The major outcome from the GRDC's investments in research and development - on behalf of its grower and community stakeholders - is information.
Unless that information is made available to end users full value from the investments will not be captured. Ground Cover is one important way in which information is transferred to the GRDC's grower stakeholders. We also use other media, including television through our regular stories on 'Cross Country', and audio cassettes in the 'Ear Ear' series.
Feedback on these initiatives has been favourable but we are always open to suggestions for improvement. One observation made to me recently was that Ground Cover sometimes carries stories which seem, on the surface, to be contradictory.
The research on which we report is carried out by many different workers, under different conditions in different locations all over Australia. Growers, themselves, know that crops don't always perform in the same way on different properties — or even in different paddocks on the same property.
What the GRDC tries to do is to present information in a user-friendly format, enabling our audience to draw conclusions in relation to their own situation. If in doubt, we supply contact information to enable easy follow-up to stories of particular interest.
Another major information investment by the GRDC is in industry conferences. The annual Cereal Chemistry Conference, for example, brings together leading researchers from Australia and around the world. But, most importantly, this conference is also attended by downstream processors and marketers, ensuring that messages from the market place get back to the research bench.
Other meetings, like the biennial Australian Agronomy Conference and the Australian Sunflower Association meeting, specifically cater for grower involvement. This, too, provides an excellent opportunity for researchers to find out if they're 'getting it right'. Industry-wide exchange of information is vital if R&D is to deliver the goods for Australian grains.