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The Australian Society of Agronomy is the National Organization of Scientists and Producers devoted to the promotion of research and technology in crop and pasture production. This volume contains the invited and contributed papers of the Fourth Biennial Conference of the Society held at La Trobe University during 24-27 August, 1987.

The programme of the Conference contains many papers contributed by members that collectively describe the current state of research and production of most plant commodities in Australia. The programme of invited papers was developed under the theme Responding to Change because the challenge facing producers and scientists today is not just to increase productivity and efficiency. The end products must be saleable in the market place and the production systems must be compatible with the socio-economic climate and be readily available to producers. Increasingly we need to be aware of the political areas in which we produce and market agricultural products.

The membership of the Society has grown considerably during the eight years of its existence to now exceed 300. I invite those who are interested in its objectives to join the Society. The membership fee is $20 and covers the period between successive biennial conferences. The next Conference will be held in Western Australia in 1989. The incoming President of the Society is Professor Walter Stern of the Department of Agronomy, University of Western Australia.

The Proceedings of the Conference are a summary of the state of Agronomy of Australia. In order that the information contained in this volume can be made widely available to researchers, extension specialists and producers who are not members of the Society, the Society gratefully acknowledges the support provided by Rural Industry Research Funds to allow the preparation of additional volumes. These can be obtained from Australian Institute of Agricultural Science, Clunies Ross House, 191 Royal Parade, Parkville 3052, Victoria.

D.J. Connor
4th Australian Agronomy Conference

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