Stuart is the GRDC’s representative on the Southern Regional Panel, and has been involved with GRDC since 1998.
He began working for GRDC as a Northern Panel Officer, and his role has evolved over 15 years of service. However, the constant theme of his tenure has been grower services. In 2011, Stuart was appointed to the position of GRDC Executive Manager, Regional Grower Services, and he is very much focused on innovation and how grower needs can best be translated into effective research outcomes.
In fulfilling this role, Stuart regularly talks to growers about the issues that are most important to them and how GRDC can assist to improve their productivity and profitability.
Four of those drivers of profitability raised by growers are nitrogen management, herbicide resistance, farm inputs management and irrigation. Stuart recognises that formulating targeted research around these issues and coming up with ways to manage them is fundamentally important.
“It’s a complex area...how GRDC unpacks these sorts of issues to come up with solutions to them. It is not just one project or one response to these sorts of issues. They are increasingly being pulled together and coordinated by a program of four or five different projects that are working on different elements of each of those things.”
Stuart says growers require strong and effective strategies to bolster their bottom line.
“I think the use of inputs is becoming an increasing challenge, especially when banks and lending agencies are putting pressure on agricultural businesses to try and come up with ways to effectively use them and still maintain healthy profit levels.”
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