The GRDC, Graincorp Operations Ltd and the University of Sydney have reached an agreement in principle to form a joint wheat-breeding venture with SunPrime Seeds Pty Ltd.
SunPrime is an established wheat-breeding and seed wholesaling company. The GRDC is to become a one-third partner in the business.
“Graingrowers, bulk handlers, seed merchants, researchers and the Federal Government will be key stakeholders in the consortium through the structures of the partner organisations,” said GRDC Managing Director, John Lovett.
Other organisations that will play a supporting role will be the Grain Growers Association and the Wheat Research Foundation (NSW).
Professor Lovett said the participants aimed to complete the legal documentation stage by the middle of the year, when an official launch is planned at the I.A. Watson Research Institute, Narrabri.
“The new enterprise will serve the national grains industry — with a particular emphasis on breeding hard wheats for the northern grains region — from the consortium’s research bases at Narrabri and Tamworth in northern NSW.
“The SunPrime joint venture represents a major step on the way to the re-focusing of Australian wheat breeding.” Another joint venture is being negotiated for Australia’s southern grains region and is progressing favourably. Talks are also under way to establish a third, transnational, consortium; interested parties include the Queensland Department of Primary Industries, NSW Agriculture, Agriculture Western Australia and CSIRO.