About thirty CASI members were treated to a fascinating discussion of some of the very innovative work that Greg Butler, Research and Development Director of the South Australian No-till Farmers Association, and the more than 500 Australian farmers who make up SANTFA are doing to be proactive and to create “real innovation in real time.” SANTFA is a non-profit farmer-driven organization that develops and shares information on high quality no-till systems and creates a wide variety of quite impressive technological advances in the “broad-acre,” or field crop farming systems that are common throughout the state of South Australia. A key aspect of SANTFA is the close relations the organization has with private sector partners and their true emphasis on improved, practical and profitable production systems. Accompanying Greg at the seminar that took place on the UC Davis campus on Friday, January 22, were Dylan Howes of FLOW, an ultra-high pressure water jet technology company, and Neil Wahlgren, of CoolPlanet, a biocarbon production company.
Greg Butler Presentation Flyer
Butler presented recent work that he and SANTFA partners are conducting using ultra-high pressure water jet technology to cut residues as part of overall residue management systems, and also on precision application of engineered biochar. Because over 85 or so percent of farmers in this region of Australia already use no-tillage seeding techniques, the emphasis of SANTFA is now looking to address specific problems that their conservation agriculture practices have with truly integrated residue, fertilizer, weed, and water management systems.
A video of Greg's presentation is available at the CASI website at https://videocenter.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/videos/video/185/.