Local problems, local solutions: GRDC

Author: Rachel Bowman | Date: 07 Sep 2012

James Clarke with Neil Halpin, Richard Daniel, Maurie Street and Richard Sequiera

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) cropping solutions approach continued to gather steam recently as key regional advisers gathered in Brisbane.

James Clark, GRDC northern panel chair said the new approach was based on addressing short-term, one- to three-year crop production issues at a local level. 

“This approach is proving popular with growers because they are seeing research results tested and ground-truthed on a local level,” Mr Clark said.  

“Our grower-collaborators hosting trials run by the GRDC-funded Northern Grower Alliance (NGA), Grain Orana Alliance (GOA), central Queensland and coastal farming systems projects are likely to be your neighbour or someone you know.” 

Mr Clark said the northern grains region from Dubbo, NSW to Emerald, Queensland and further north along the far north Queensland coastal farming areas had been divided into four sub-regions in order to reach all growers.

The coastal farming systems group from northern NSW to far north Queensland is now underway, and joins existing groups – NGA in northern NSW and southern Queensland, GOA in central west NSW, and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF)-led project based in central Queensland. 

“The end result of the cropping solutions approach is that growers are driving where GRDC invests and what issues are tackled,” Mr Clark said.

“The regional cropping solutions approach delivers excellent return on investment for the grower levy.” 

He said GRDC’s aim in calling the groups together was to improve capacity for designing and conducting efficient on-farm trials; continue to develop linkages with key resource people; and to maintain communication between the groups. 

Mark Hickman, DAFF and Guy McMullen, NSW DPI outlined research activities underway and the commitment of research providers to the cropping solutions approach. 

Alison Kelly, DAFF principal biometrician and member of the GRDC-funded project, Statistics for the Australian Grains Industry, told the group trial design will influence how accurate and meaningful results are from these trials.

Ms Kelly said more replicates were needed in large plot trials than small plot trials as large plots have lower efficiency when comparing varieties.

“This data gives researchers and agronomists the opportunity to run more efficient trials and gives them a better chance of accurately answering the research question and meeting grower needs,” she said.

Growers are urged to have input to the regional cropping solutions groups by contacting: 

Richard Daniel, NGA – 07 4639 5344      

Maurie Street, GOA – 0400 066 201

Richard Sequeira, CQ – 07 4983 7410        

Neil Halpin, Coastal – 0407 171 335      

For more information on GRDC-funded research, visit www.grdc.com.au.


PHOTO CAPTION: Neil Halpin, DAFF senior agronomist; Richard Daniel, Northern Grower Alliance chief executive officer; James Clark, GRDC northern panel chair; Maurie Street, Grain Orana Alliance chief executive officer; and Richard Sequiera, DAFF principal research scientist.

Media releases can be found at www.grdc.com.au/Media-Centre/Media-News  

James Clark
GRDC Northern Panel Chair
0427 545 212

Contact: Rachel Bowman
Cox Inall Communications
07 3846 4380; 0412 290 673

GRDC Project Code DAQ00170; NGA0004; GOA00003

Region North