The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has confirmed its commitment to the successful Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) initiative by reappointing Julianne Hill as a coordinator in the western region.
Ms Hill’s role, which previously covered RCSN groups in the Albany, Esperance and Kwinana port zones (Kwinana West and Kwinana East), has been expanded to include the Geraldton port zone.
GRDC western regional panel chairman Peter Roberts said the RCSNs were a vital part of the GRDC’s issues identification process for the western grain growing region.
“The five western region RCSNs 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.
“Comprising a mix of growers and industry professionals, they are helping to validate priorities determined by the GRDC western regional panel.
“Julianne works closely with the RCSNs to identify top issues affecting local growers and helps develop and coordinate short-term projects with the aim of overcoming barriers and creating the desired practice change.”
Ms Hill said the GRDC RCSN initiative had created valuable links between growers, GRDC personnel, researchers and other industry representatives and increased the GRDC’s ‘on the ground’ presence in WA.
“The RCSNs have also identified some novel strategies to address important issues,” she said.
“For example, a GRDC RCSN research project investigating the effect of stubble management on the impact of frost on grain crops was instigated at the suggestion of a grower on the Albany RCSN.
“The project linked with DAFWA and Living Farm to add value to work being undertaken by the Facey Group which was also interested in learning more about these stubble interactions.
“The GRDC RCSN research project made some valuable initial findings and has since expanded to become a bigger GRDC project which aims to develop stubble management guidelines for frost-prone cropping areas in Australia.”
Ms Hill will be assisted in her expanded GRDC RCSN role by Gilly Johnson and Cameron Weeks (in the Geraldton port zone).
More information about the RCSN initiative, including access to the GRDC RCSN western region annual report From the Ground Up, is available at on the GRDC website.
Prior to her role as GRDC RCSN coordinator, Ms Hill worked for several years for the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) and with her husband owned and ran a broadacre farm at Ravensthorpe until 2010.
Peter Roberts, GRDC
0428 389 060
Julianne Hill, GRDC RCSN coordinator
08 9726 1307, 0447 261 607
Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827