High priority crop production issues facing Western Australian grain growers will be addressed under a new series of regionally-targeted ‘Fast Track’ projects.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) will fund the short-term Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) investments targeting important research, development and extension (RD&E) issues.
GRDC western regional panel chairman Peter Roberts said information about the RCSN projects and bigger, longer-term GRDC investments was outlined in the GRDC External Investment Plan 2015-16.
“The five western region RCSNs align with WA’s port zones and meet formally twice a year with the main objective of identifying issues critical to ensuring the prosperity of the grains industry in their area,” he said.
“The GRDC has invited interested parties to submit tenders addressing issues and activities identified for each zone.”
RD&E priority issues identified by the RCSNs include:
- Esperance RCSN: Biological, physical and chemical soil constraints; soil moisture; herbicide resistance and weed management
- Albany RCSN: Frost; herbicide resistance and weed management; legume options; snails and slugs
- Kwinana East RCSN: Business management and farm profitability; stored soil moisture; frost
- Kwinana West RCSN: Matching inputs to soil types; frost; subsoil constraints; crop disease
- Geraldton RCSN: Management of seasonal and soil variability; subsoil pH; weeds/herbicide resistance; soil compaction; non-wetting soils; canola area increasing; sclerotinia in canola; lupin area declining.
Mr Roberts said that in addition to the RCSN investments, the GRDC External Investment Plan 2015-16 outlined longer-term investments to be made by the GRDC.
“These investments will address issues impacting on the productivity and profitability of WA growers, including frost; herbicide resistance and weed management; soil constraints (including non-wetting soils and soil acidity); break crops; crop rotations; crop nutrition; pests; disease; oats; grains research capacity; crop protection capability; crop nutrition; barley grain defects; and nematodes,” he said.
Mr Roberts said the GRDC External Investment Plan 2015-16 had been developed as a result of industry consultation, taking into consideration currently funded investments and identified priorities.
“The GRDC western panel, along with other GRDC regional panels and the national panel, play an important role in advising the GRDC and helping it determine investment priorities,” he said.
“Growers and other representatives of WA’s grain industry comprise the GRDC western panel, which regularly consults with growers and receives input on investment priorities at a local level from the RCSNs.”
Go to www.grdc.com.au/Investment-Plan to download the GRDC External Investment Plan 2014-15.
GRDC western panel chairman Peter Roberts
0428 389 060
Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827