New grains research investment will address important questions being asked by growers across NSW and Queensland such as `what’s happening below the soil surface, can I grow crops with greater heat and drought tolerance and can I better measure soil water and nutrient availability?’
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has committed to funding a suite of innovative projects in its recently released External Investment Plan 2016-17, following extensive industry consultation over future research needs and priorities.
The GRDC is now seeking the support of research partners to collaborate on the projects which are aimed at equipping growers with the technologies and practices required to keep their businesses profitable.
GRDC northern panel chairman James Clark said the External Investment Plan 2016-17 provided a future roadmap for grains research funding and reflected widespread industry calls for additional research into soils, nutrient availability, crop genetic advancement, water use efficiency and weeds.
“These are among the most challenging issues for northern cropping productivity and profitability – the northern panel has heard these messages loud and clear from growers, grower solutions groups, advisors and researchers and their feedback has been channelled through to GRDC,” Mr Clark said.
“During our recent northern panel spring tour across northern and central western NSW we repeatedly heard requests from growers and advisors for extended research into soil biology; root lesion nematodes; soil water capture, storage and use; improved management of diseases like crown rot; herbicide resistance and residual herbicide management; frost and varietal advancement.
“Many of these areas are the focus of current research projects but we need to continually `ground-truth’ existing GRDC investments against industry needs and priorities to ensure that we identify any RD&E gaps. This External Investment Plan ensures those gaps are addressed.”
Mr Clark said the funding outlined in the External Investment Plan complimented nearly $180 million of existing GRDC funding for 2016-17 in research, development and extension (RD&E) projects.
“In the north this covers areas such as grower solution group investments targeting important localised RD&E issues; agribusiness trial extension networks; research and farm business updates; and an extensive range of agronomic and farming systems management projects,” he said.
“This new and continued investment is vital to ensure the northern grain industry remains viable and sustainable in the long-term.”
As one of the world’s leading grain research organisations, the GRDC is responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing research, development and extension to deliver improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry.
The External Investment Plan outlines investment priorities for the GRDC’s northern, southern and western production regions.
Applications for project funding are being sought under six key theme areas – meeting market requirements, improving crop yields, protecting your crop, advancing profitable farming systems, improving your farm resource base and building skills and capacity.
Tenders close at 2pm AEDT on Thursday, November 5. More information about the Investment Plan.
James Clark, GRDC Northern Panel Chair
0427 545 212
Sarah Jeffrey, Senior Consultant Cox Inall Communications