After the topic had been mentioned repeatedly in various forums around Monto, BCCA identified a community need for a local Growers Group to share ideas, discuss new technology and investigate marketing options.

Thanks to funding provided via the Regional Landcare Facilitator Programme, an enthusiastic group was assembled in September for a BBQ tea and a meeting to ascertain interest in the formation of a group and gauge the level of ongoing support for the concept.

The meeting was very well attended and the ensuing discussions were interesting and engaging.  Growers discussed the advantages of establishing a group and what form such a group may take.  Input from Kay Enkelmann, the local Regional Landcare Facilitator and Misty Greene, Community Development Officer with the North Burnett Regional Council was very valuable and contributed to other discussion topics throughout the evening such as Education, Marketing/Sharing Information and Mungbeans.

With the group agreeing that they would like to continue, a second meeting was held in early October 2016 and it was also very well attended.  The group name – ‘Monto Growers Group’ was formally selected and a steering committee was appointed.

Due to the large amount of interest in Mungbeans at the first meeting, BCCA engaged Sue Thompson BAppSc Qld, Research Fellow (Summer Crop Pathology) at the Centre for Crop Health Research, University of Southern Qld, Toowoomba to speak about Mungbean health.  Sue’s presentation was very informative and included information on Powdery Mildew and other Pathogens affecting Mungbeans and other crops.  The importance of crop rotations for soil health was emphasised.

Also speaking at the second meeting, Andrew Dieckmann, Agronomist and Area Sales Manager for Pioneer Seeds provided a market update on the topic of Corn and associated agronomy.  Andrew came well prepared with samples of different varieties for all to see and the group gave great feedback on the presentation.

BCCA will work with the newly appointed Steering Committee members to schedule a third Monto Growers Group meeting and then look forward to seeing the group progress on its own.

For further information about the Monto Growers Group, please don’t hesitate to contact BCCA’s Monto Office.

This project is supported by the Burnett Mary Regional Group through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and is coordinated locally by BCCA.  The Regional Landcare Facilitator Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

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