It’s official! The highly-anticipated TECHSPO will be returning to WA on the 7th & 8th August 2019. 

We are bringing technology developers, farmers, advisors, expert researchers and officials together for two jam-packed days of advanced agriculture technology, information sharing and collaboration with an optional study tour for those who want to experience more. Topics that will be unpacked include virtual sales yards, augmented reality in farming, robotics in agriculture and provenance and traceability trends. 

This event format is based on a mixture of conference and in-field demonstrations. TECHSPO is unique in that it offers working demonstration areas that allow participants to learn experientially which has long been acknowledged in agriculture as a primary extension tool: farmers can touch feel and see the technologies first hand. The event will demonstrate areas that are critical for farming in this state – Livestock technologies for sheep, cattle, and other animals, broadacre cropping technologies, big data and new apps, machinery and Greentech. Tickets are limited and will sell through quickly, so be sure to secure your spot for TECHSPO 2019. Early bird tickets are now available for members at $55 off the regular ticket price for a limited time.  The first day of the conference will be held at Wagin Showgrounds, with the second demonstration day held in Katanning. 

To view the current program of activities, purchase your early bird tickets and take a sneak-peak at TECHSPO’s impressive line-up, visit

CSIRO research on Canola Varieties in the High Rainfall Zone

Kojonup’s Spring Field Day NVT tour looked at Southern Dirts Canola Trails and Dr Heping’s main take-home messages from the CSIRO research and his presentation on the day were:

  1. The CSIRO trials at Kojonup over the last five years showed that hybrid canola outyielded open-pollinated canola by 15-24% on average. Our economic analysis also showed that growing hybrid canola is more profitable than open-pollinated canola after considering the cost of hybrid seeds. Therefore, growers in the high rainfall (annual rainfall > 450mm)  zone of Western Australia can take advantage of hybrid canola. We recommend that growers gradually switch from open-pollinated canola to hybrids as growers increases their confidence in hybrids.
  2. The CSIRO trials at Kojonup showed that late flowering spring canola allows the crop to accumulate more biomass, set up high yield potential and produce a 5-13% higher yield than early flowering canola. If the early sowing opportunities present, growing late-flowering spring canola can also reduce the risk of frost.

GRDC funding for local farm trials

Southern Dirt have been awarded GRDC funding for several local projects of importance to our farmers. Through an extensive consultation with farmers we developed a priority list for funding and were successful in obtaining a number of grants.

The 4 trials we are implementing currently include:

Summer Cropping Demonstrations  – This project will be a demonstration of summer cropping and will evaluate the resultant impact on crop growth and yield on winter waterlogged soils in the Albany port zone.

Optimising Timing of Nitrogen – To enable growers to make timely and efficient nitrogen decisions by having a rule of thumb around the cost/benefit of feeding N to crops on waterlogged soils.

Ripper Gauge Trials – Growers will use the demonstration sites to increase knowledge and adoption of deep ripping and controlled traffic farming used for alleviating non-wetting soils, compaction and waterlogging on their particular soil types and farming systems.

Demonstrations of Legume Crops for Reliable Profitability –  The majority of growers in the port zones will have access to agronomy packages for pulses/legumes and to whole farm modelling tools for their own farms to determine if particular legumes are profitable in their system. 20% of growers will be actively using these tools to assess the risks and rewards in growing a legume for a break crop on their property by 2021.

New year begins with a bang

Southern Dirt is off to a huge start with a number of key events scheduled for February in our region. First up on Feb 6th is the GRDC Farm Business Updates followed by a Plozza Plow Demonstration event on the 15th February alongside the Cropping Challenge 2017 Wrap up and awards and followed by the GRDC Grains Research Updates on the 28th. You can book for all events on  Don’t miss out because all places are limited.

SDYF Ball 2017 Huge Success

Attendees at the inaugural Southern Dirt Young Farmers Ball had a fantastic night of partying at the old Moodiarrup hall.  It was interesting to note that many of them talked about how their parents had attended similar events back in their day and were happy it was now their turn to have fun.

Tickets for the ball sold out in a matter of days and just showed how hungry young people are for socialisation in a country environment.

A huge congratulations to the committee for their fabulous work and a great social marketing campaign.

Click on photos to see full album.

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SDYF Kojonup Sundowner (Sleepover)

Click here to book

Date: 18 March

Time: 6pm

Place: Qualeup Hall

What better way to celebrate the end of harvest then sharing some beers, food and boogie times with a bunch of like minded friends!!!

Southern Dirt Young Farmers KO would like to invite to to the Qualeup hall on the 18th of March for a post harvest/new year/general fun time sundowner. For a low price of $44 for members +BF (and $55 for non-members) it’s shaping up to be the best !

THEME/DRESS: Cocktail with a country twist (we will be having a fashion shoot prior to the big day to give you ideas!)

SLEEPING: Bring ya swags and a pillow. Plenty of space for everyone to stay!

~drinks~ Beer, cider and soft drink
~food~ Snacks and dinner plus breaky for a nice morning wake up!

TICKETS: will be available soon online. Will also have cash sales on the night (no ticket no entry!!)

GET: EXCITED! Gonna be a ripper yeww

Any questions please feel free to contact Caz House or Soph Forrester or any of the SD committee ���


Dirt to $ Cropping Challenge 2.0

The DIRT to $ Cropping Challenge was a concept developed by Southern DIRT to provide a unique opportunity for members, sponsors and the wider community to create a syndicate with a difference. Making a comeback in 2017, the completion is scheduled to run for three consecutive years. At the end of each rotation yield and profits are calculated on a basis of a 50 Ha paddock with an overall winner announced at the closure of the final rotation.

About Dirt to $ Brochure

DIRT to $ Nomination Form

 Entries open now 

Team requirements

  •  Choose a current, commercial variety of Canola for 2017
  •  Select a sowing rate
  •  Choose sowing time
  •  Decide on the option to conduct a soil test analysis
  •  Design a fertiliser program
  •  Decide on the option to apply lime to improve soil health for the following rotation
  •  Nominate a herbicide spray program, both pre-emergent and post-emergent
  •  Decide on grain marketing strategies

Competition rules

  • The cost of the optional soil test will be taken off the gross margin
  • All plots will be harvested at maturity


  • To encourage the learning and sharing of new products and techniques
  • To compare district practice with alternative management strategies
  • To provide the opportunity for Southern DIRT members, sponsors, other Growers and the wider community to interact with like-minded industry peers
  • To provide members, sponsors and other growers with the opportunity to participate in an industry focused team building exercise
  • To give young agriculture students and farmers a ‘hands on’ experience growing and marketing a crop


Southern Dirt’s new Cropping Challenge 2 is now open for team participation. Contact us for further details.

Southern DIRT would like to acknowledge and thank Dominic Laurino for the land we are using and the Katanning Shire for their support.

Thank you to all of the teams for accepting the challenge and being involved with Western Australia’s first Cropping Challenge. There has been great interest in the competition and Southern DIRT looks forward to your continued involvement as we commence a new rotation of the competition.

An information brochure is downloadable at the top of this page or email for more information.