GRDC National Panel on the ground in SA
Date: 28 Jun 2013
The contribution of South Australian researchers, in fields like cereal and pulse breeding, managing herbicide resistance and new farm technologies to increase productivity, was emphasised this week during a visit to the State by the GRDC National Panel.
Panel members were in SA for three days of site visits and meetings to discuss the status of GRDC-funded research and development projects and opportunities for future investments and collaborations to address issues prioritised by growers and the broader grains industry. Comprising GRDC Managing Director John Harvey, the three Regional Panel chairs and GRDC’s executive management team, the National Panel visited the Waite research precinct, the University of SA’s Mawson Lakes campus and Australian Grain Technologies’ trial sites and facilities at Roseworthy.
Mr Harvey said the visit provided the Panel with a valuable opportunity to meet with leading researchers and to discuss, in person, the advances they are making and any obstacles they have encountered.
“As key decision makers, it’s important for us to get out into the field and get a good sense of where our priorities need to lie.
“Discussions with scientists enable us to identify gaps in research and determine the potential for extended and strategic new investments to help overcome cropping constraints,” Mr Harvey said.
The Panel was briefed on progress being made to improve cereal and pulse variety options for growers, as well as investigations into the impact of frost on yield and genetic research which could enable the breeding of more frost tolerant wheat varieties.
The spread of herbicide resistant weeds in the southern cropping region and the need for concerted integrated weed management practices was detailed by the University of Adelaide’s Dr Chris Preston.
The first generation of an integrated seed destructor mechanism for harvest weed seed control was demonstrated to Panel members by staff of the University of SA’s School of Engineering.
Caption: The GRDC National Panel Tour group at the University of SA’s Mawson Lakes campus where the first generation of an integrated seed destructor mechanism for harvest weed seed control was demonstrated.
Caption: GRDC National Panel members Andreas Betzner (acting), David Shannon and John Harvey are informed about the workings of The Plant Accelerator at the Waite research precinct by the facility’s Dr Bettina Berger.
Region South, National