GRDC showcases key northern research nodes

Author: Sarah Jeffrey | Date: 08 Sep 2015

Image of GRDC northern panel chair James Clark

The successful roll-out of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) strategy for northern grain research will be showcased this week during a comprehensive tour of influential research nodes at Tamworth, Narrabri, Trangie and Condobolin.

Newly appointed GRDC northern panel members will gain a first-hand insight into ground-breaking research projects being undertaken at the northern research nodes and the critical role they play in progressing the future of northern crop productivity.

The tour provides an opportunity to demonstrate how GRDC’s northern investment strategy is driving improvements in research scope, validity and resourcing as well as highlighting the significant benefits of incorporating the southern NSW production zones under the `northern region’ umbrella.

The itinerary includes a visit to the Tamworth Agricultural Institute, attendance at the IA Watson Grains Research Centre and Plant Breeding Institute field day near Narrabri, tours of the Trangie and Condobolin Research Stations and meetings with representatives from the Grain Orana Alliance (GOA) and Central West Farming Systems group.

Northern panellists will also meet with local growers and consultants from the Burren Junction, Coonamble and Narromine districts to canvass their future research priorities.

The tour comes in the wake of the recent announcement of the new northern panel which includes several new faces including Tony Hamilton, a grower from Forbes; Andrew McFadyen, an agronomy consultant from Coolah; Arthur Gearon, a grower from Chinchilla, Queensland, and former southern panel members John Minogue from Barmedman and Neil Fettell from Condobolin.

GRDC’s northern panel chair James Clark said the northern panel provided an effective link between growers, the research community and GRDC and played an important advisory and strategic role in GRDC investments across the research, development and extension spectrum.

“Panellists are effectively GRDC’s eyes and ears on the ground so getting out into the research centres and growers’ paddocks plays a critical role in garnering information about future needs and priorities for research, development and extension (RD&E) which can then be channelled through to GRDC,” Mr Clark said.

“The panel system is one of the enduring strengths of the GRDC as it ensures that GRDC-funded research is regionally focussed and delivers local solutions to growers’ production challenges.

“Consultation during the tours is a two way street though – it also allows the GRDC to explain its investments in new projects relating to key issues such as farming systems agronomy, disease and pest management, herbicide resistance and soil/crop nutrition.

“This investment is a result of years of engagement with industry over areas which offer the greatest potential to lift productivity or reduce production costs. The new panel will continue to ensure that these investments are delivering maximum value to growers.”

Newly appointed panellists will be joined on the tour by returning panellists including Loretta Serafin, NSW Department of Primary Industries agronomist, Tamworth; Jules Dixon, NSW based consultant; Penny Heuston, agronomist, Warren; Jack Williamson, agronomist and grower, Goondiwindi; and Brondwen MacLean, GRDC executive manager research programs, Canberra.

Growers seeking information on the tours should contact David Lord on 0422 082 105 or on email.

Contact Details 

For Interviews

James Clark, GRDC Northern Panel Chair
0427 545 212


Sarah Jeffrey, Senior Consultant Cox Inall Communications
0418 152859

Region North