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28 May, 2021

GRDC sunflower workshop at Pittsworth

Sunflower growers, agronomists and farm advisers will have an opportunity to hear from some of Australia’s leading crop management specialists at workshops being held next month, with one to take place in Pittsworth.

Presented by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Australian Sunflower Association (ASA), the two workshops will offer the latest information on plant growth and development, agronomy, pests, weeds and disease, harvest, storage and marketing.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager – North, Richard Holzknecht, said the workshops were being held in Pittsworth (June 8) and in Gunnedah (June 15) and would also include a section on the shared experiences of growers and agronomists.

“This is an invaluable opportunity for sunflower growers and their advisers to hear the latest research and development from leading researchers and industry experts to help inform their decision making from paddock production right through to harvest and beyond,” he said.

Kevin Charlesworth, chair of the Australian Sunflower Association, said the sunflower industry had a positive future and attending the workshops would provide both experienced and future growers with insights into marketing profitable crops.

“There has been some significant developments in sunflower marketing in recent years and how growers can access these opportunities will be one of the key presentations at these workshops,” Mr Charlesworth said.

The workshops will be facilitated by Kerry McKenzie from PulseAg Consulting. 

Mr McKenzie said the line-up of speakers for the two workshops had been designed to deliver farm-ready information to industry that could be used by growers and advisers as they prepared for this season’s harvest or planned next season’s crop.

Key presentations include:

  • Plant growth and development – Chris Haire, Barenbrug Australia
  • Agronomy – Loretta Serafin, NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • New varieties 
  • Weeds – Paul McIntosh, WeedSmart
  • Insects – Kerry McKenzie
  • Disease – Sue Thompson, formerly University of Southern Queensland
  • Storage and drying – Philip Burrill, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
  • Harvesting – Kevin Charlesworth, ASA
  • Marketing – Mark Schmidt, Deacon Seeds
  • Grower/agronomist experience – Tony Lockrey, AMPS.

The Queensland workshop is scheduled for June 8 at the Pittsworth Function Centre from 8.30am to 5pm while the NSW workshop will be held on June 15 at the Gunnedah Services Club from 8.30am-5pm.

To register for either of these workshops, visit

For more information contact Kerry McKenzie on 0467 650 252.

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