GRDC Research Updates are a hothouse of new projects, debate, knowledge-sharing, ready-to-go innovations and a sneak peek at what is on the horizon for our cropping industry. For this issue of Ground Cover we crossed the country to cover Updates in Adelaide, Wagga Wagga, Goondiwindi, Auburn, Perth and Yuna.
Cropping skills weld a community
A full house at the GRDC Grains Research Update in the new Yuna Community Centre.
PHOTO: Brad Collis
When Western Australia’s Yuna Farm Improvement Group hosted the 2016 GRDC Grains Research Update for the Geraldton Zone in March, it marked a significant milestone for the community.
The event was held in the new Yuna Community Centre, built with seed funding raised by the group from a 270-hectare cropping program on land leased from the Catholic Church.
Yuna, WA, grower Brady Green.
PHOTO: Brad Collis
Yuna is 70 kilometres north-east of Geraldton and 520km north of Perth in a 320-millmimetre rainfall zone. The group’s president, local grower Brady Green, says the community crop is a way to raise money to improve local amenities.
“Ours is not just an R&D group, it has a really important role in the whole community,” Mr Green explains.
“The new community centre is an example of that, and we fought really hard to host the GRDC Update because it shows the community as modern and progressive.”
The technically advanced function centre incorporates all of the necessary IT/communications technologies, two separate rooms for concurrent sessions and catering facilities.
As a consequence, the 35-strong Yuna grower group attracted three times that number of other growers, from up to 150km away. It also brought to the district eminent grains researchers such as CSIRO’s Dr Greg Rebetzke, the University of Adelaide’s Dr Chris Preston, climate researcher Dr David Stephens from the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre, leading Department of Agriculture and Food, WA, researchers and agronomists from across the WA wheatbelt, and GRDC representatives.
Mr Green says that when you consider there is no hotel at Yuna and a widely spread farming population, the centre now provides an important focal point for learning and knowledge sharing, and for coming together as a community.
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GRDC Research Updates:
GRDC Research Updates unveil tomorrow's tools and technologies – Adelaide
GRDC Research Updates unveil tomorrow's tools and technologies – Auburn
GRDC Research Updates unveil tomorrow's tools and technologies – Goondiwindi
GRDC Research Updates unveil tomorrow's tools and technologies – Wagga Wagga
GRDC Research Updates unveil tomorrow's tools and technologies – Perth