Grains Research and Development

Date: 19.10.2012

Agribusiness trial and extension opportunity

Author: Sharon Watt
The proposed trials would ideally be focused on specific tactical issues such as soil health, crop nutrition, rotations, spray application or the identification and management of cereal diseases.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) will next year support an agribusiness trial and extension network in the southern cropping region.

The initiative will enable up to four individual projects to be conducted, focusing on agronomic trials and associated communication and extension activities.

Andrew Rice, GRDC Manager Regional Grower Services – South, says the initiative targets agronomic issues and areas not covered by GRDC’s existing investments in farming systems projects.

“While current investments in farming systems projects are addressing a range of agronomic issues in broad areas, there remains an opportunity to meet the extension needs of smaller, more localised groups and individual growers,” Mr Rice said.

“In recognising these needs, the GRDC is proposing to invest in small scale trial and extension programs with local agribusiness.

“Projects will be aimed at enhancing communication and extension activities between private agronomists, agribusiness and local growers, with the focus being on agronomic trials in targeted areas of the southern cropping region during the 2013 season.”

Mr Rice said the trials would ideally be based around specific tactical agronomy issues in areas such as improving soil health, crop nutrition, rotations, spray application or the identification and management of cereal diseases.

The initiative, which has been undertaken in previous years, is listed in the GRDC’s national Investment Plan for 2013-14, through which the GRDC is seeking tenders from interested parties to:

  • Locate, design, conduct and communicate agronomic experiments
  • Improve communication and extension of research outcomes and activities from localised experiments through agronomists, private sector advisers and grower groups
  • Interpret experiment data and apply practical applications
  • Provide an economic analysis on the results from the trials
  • Develop consistent and targeted agronomic communication and extension around these trials
  • Ensure that information for growers and advisers is current and accessible
  • Increase the understanding of the potential of these trials as part of their farming system
  • Conduct open days, field walks and speak at field days and GRDC Updates
  • Deliver agronomic extension that will enhance farm and crop management best practice, particularly in relation to the issues being investigated in the trials.

The GRDC expects to invest in total up to $100,000 for four individual projects.

All research, development and extension activities funded by the GRDC’s Investment Plan are aimed at providing growers with the technologies and practices they require to remain competitive in global grain markets. The 2013-14 Investment Plan builds on the GRDC Strategic R&D Plan 2012-17.

Tenders close on October 30, 2012. More information about the Investment Plan is available via www.grdc.com.au/Investment-Plan.

ENDS

Caption: The proposed trials would ideally be focused on specific tactical issues such as soil health, crop nutrition, rotations, spray application or the identification and management of cereal diseases.

Media releases and other media products can be found at www.grdc.com.au/Media-News

Interviews:

Andrew Rice, GRDC
0427 965 469

Contact:

Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100

Region South, North