Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.01.2000

Further debate on wheat breeding in Australia

Just like his invited presentation to the grains industry forum at Grains Week '99, John Hamblin's article on wheat breeding in the last issue of Ground Cover stimulated considerable interest.

A contribution by John Brennan and John Mullen of NSW Agriculture has been submitted to Ground Cover and we are pleased to present it, at right.

As our readers would expect, John Hamblin has penned a detailed response which has been forwarded to Dr Brennan and Mr Mullen.

Let me simply observe that, on all the evidence which the GRDC has gathered, nationally and from overseas, there are presently too many programs for the size of the Australian wheat industry. Neither the agencies concerned nor growers and the Federal Government via the GRDC can afford to support all of these programs at a world's best-practice level.

Unless the GRDC can help to bring about consolidation of the programs, with adequate resourcing — bringing together the best of current plant breeding with the gene technologies now emerging, and driven by the market — it will not have met its responsibilities to its stakeholders.