Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.02.2002

SOIL BIOLOGY BOOST

Greg Bender

BIOLOGIST Greg Bender has been appointed coordinator of the national grains industry soil biology initiative. His appointment is designed to expand and coordinate activities in soil biology research and development leading to improvements in crop performance.

Dr Bender spent 10 years in research at the Australian National University specialising in plant root/soil microbe interactions and then 11 years working in agribusiness including being business manager of the Biotechnology Division of SGB Pty Ltd.

In supporting this five-year initiative, the GRDC Board said it was hoped it would lead to the development of practical methods and cost-effective products, to overcome soil-based limits to crop performance through a better understanding of crop root/soil microbial interactions. As a result, graingrower profit margins should increase and the sustainability of cropping systems should be improved.

The soil biology initiative will be managed by a group including representatives of the GRDC and stakeholders.

Greg Bender (phone 02 6020 2061) would appreciate comments, particularly from researchers and agronomists.