Vic No-Till goes Underground for 14th annual conference & tour

Vic No-Till goes Underground for 14th annual conference & tour

Three leading international farming experts and growers from across Australia will come together in July for Victoria’s biggest farmer-based grower network’s 14th annual conference.

Building the future of your farm from under the ground is the theme of Victorian No-Till Farmer’s Association Underground conference in Bendigo on Thursday July 7.

Dr Jonathan Lundgren from South Dakota, Dr Odette Menard from Canada and Joshua Dukart from North Dakota will speak at the conference. Leading Australian grain growers Scott Blurton from Streatham in Victoria and Tom Robinson from Hoyleton, South Australia will also share their farming journeys.

The following day Vic No-Till will lead a farm tour to the family farm of 2016 Victorian Farmer of the Year Grant Sims, who award judges described as the face of modern farming due to his commitment to innovative cropping and sharing information. Grant drives production through improving soil health with plant diversity, companion planting and re-thinking rotations all playing a key role in his farming system.

The tour will also visit Fraser Pogue, a former dairy farmer-turned-cropper from Mooroopna who has turned soil diminished by flood irrigation and continual cropping into a productive, thriving landscape.

Farmers from Western Australia, Queensland, NSW, South Australia and Victoria have already registered for the event, which will explore how to build symbiotic no-till farming systems that manage money, land and people the way farmers want to. The focus will also be on ensuring farms are in good health financially and continue to be highly productive for future generations.

Vic No-Till president Paul Oxbrow said Underground would bring together more than 300 people at the forefront of cropping innovations, soil, water, plants, diversity, people, slugs and insects.

“The Underground conference brings together the world’s leaders in ag food production systems in a line up never seen before in Australia. We’ll have experts in cropping systems, residue management, soil health, microbiology and pests and insects plus a room full of switched on, like-minded farmers.

“It’s a must attend event if you are serious about getting the most from your soils and contributing to the long-term future of Australia’s grain sector. It’s also a fabulous networking event that we all look forward to, catching up with old faces and new.”

Dr Jonathan Lundgren from Brookings in South Dakota is an award winning agroecologist specialising in pest management and sustainable food systems and will focus on using insects to your advantage.

Dr Odette Menard from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Quebec, Canada, is a leading agricultural engineer and soil and water conservation specialist. Her talk, Getting to the Roots of it, looks at how to improve your soils through no-till, increasing residues, re-thinking rotations, earthworms, roots and economics.

Joshua Dukart from Bismarck, North Dakota will speak about finding the right balance in your farming system so it is financially healthy and highly productive for future generations.

  • People can register for Underground and the farm tour online at or by phoning (03) 5382 0422.

Media contact: For an interview with Vic No-Till president Paul Oxbrow please phone Melissa Pouliot, 0427857213 or email

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