Supporting grower group capacity to better inform growers

Over several iterations the Risk Reward Tool (RRT) being developed as part of the WMG led Soil CRC Risk/Reward Project has evolved into a writing guide, design template and onboarding suite designed to aid grower groups in producing more farmer-friendly, informative technical reports.

While dense and hard to read technical reports are often seen when communicating trial and project results, initial research findings from this project have demonstrated the need for clear, concise, and farmer-centric information in project extension and communication materials. The evolution of the RRT reflects these initial research findings, as well as a recognition from the industry on the need for improved agricultural communications and extension.

The final version of the tool developed as the key output of the project is aiming to ensure technical reports effectively speak the language of farmers, facilitating their understanding and decision-making processes, while simultaneously providing a support tool for grower groups themselves. This standardisation not only expedites report writing but also guarantees consistent quality and format across different regions and farmer communities. Grower groups utilising the tool can tailor reports to their specific needs, dedicating more resources to direct support and outreach.

Surveys conducted in the project have highlighted financial feasibility is a crucial factor for farmers considering new technologies. The RRT aims to tackle this concern by including a section focused on the production of detailed economic analyses in technical reports. The inclusion of these analyses in reporting looks to provide farmers with clear visualisations of potential returns, cost comparisons, and resource allocation considerations. Armed with this data, farmers can make confident decisions about investments and financial implications, enabling them to maximise the potential benefits of new innovations and technologies.

The current phase of the project is user testing by participating grower groups to shape the final version of the tool. This will ensure it effectively addresses both grower group, and farmer specific needs and challenges.

Open communication and collaboration remain key to the project’s success, guaranteeing the RRT becomes a vital asset for grower groups, ultimately benefiting farmers and the broader agricultural industry through focused, user-friendly, and informative technical reporting.

Soil CRC Project Spotlight with Dr Nathan Craig. Nathan explains how two Soil CRC projects (including the RRT) are helping grower groups and extension officers deliver information to farmers, so they can make well-informed decisions.

The RRT project is funded by the Soil CRC, led by the West Midlands Group and supported by project partners Corrigin Farm Improvement Group, Central West Farming Systems  and Charles Sturt University.

For more information on this project get in contact with us at extension@wmgroup.org.au.

Simon Kruger
Project Communications Officer, WMG

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