Get the good oil on sunflowers at GRDC workshops

Date: 17 May 2021

image of sunflowers
The GRDC and the Australian Sunflower Association will run workshops in Pittsworth and Gunnedah to share the latest research into agronomy and marketing insights with growers and advisers. Photo GRDC.

Sunflower growers, agronomists and farm advisers will have an opportunity to hear from some of Australia’s leading crop management specialists at workshops being held in Queensland and northern New South Wales next month.

Presented by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Australian Sunflower Association (ASA) the two workshops will offer the latest information on plant growth and development, agronomy, pests, weeds and disease, harvest, storage and marketing.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager – North, Richard Holzknecht, said the workshops were being held in Pittsworth (June 8) and in Gunnedah (June 15) and would also include a section on the shared experiences of growers and agronomists.

“This is an invaluable opportunity for sunflower growers and their advisers to hear the latest research and development from leading researchers and industry experts to help inform their decision making from paddock production right through to harvest and beyond,” he said.

Kevin Charlesworth, chair of the Australian Sunflower Association, said the sunflower industry had a positive future and attending the workshops would provide both experienced and future growers with insights into marketing profitable crops.

“There has been some significant developments in sunflower marketing in recent years and how growers can access these opportunities will be one of the key presentations at these workshops,” Mr Charlesworth said.

The workshops will be facilitated by Kerry McKenzie from PulseAg Consulting.

Mr McKenzie said the line-up of speakers for the two workshops had been designed to deliver farm-ready information to industry that could be used by growers and advisers as they prepared for this season’s harvest or planned next season’s crop.

“We have chosen the locations based on need, with the majority of sunflowers produced in the northern region being grown across the Darling Downs and throughout the Liverpool Plains, but these workshops are open to growers or would-be growers from anywhere,” he said.

Key presentations at the workshops will include:

  • Plant growth and development – Chris Haire, Barenbrug Australia
  • Agronomy – Loretta Serafin, NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • New varieties
  • Weeds – Paul McIntosh, WeedSmart
  • Insects – Kerry McKenzie
  • Disease – Sue Thompson, formerly University of Southern Queensland
  • Storage and drying – Philip Burrill, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
  • Harvesting – Kevin Charlesworth, ASA
  • Marketing – Mark Schmidt, Deacon Seeds
  • Grower/agronomist experience – Tony Lockrey, AMPS.

The Queensland workshop is scheduled for June 8 at the Pittsworth Function Centre, Pittsworth from 8.30am-5pm.

While the NSW workshop will be held on June 15 at the Gunnedah Services Club in Gunnedah from 8.30am-5pm.

For more information contact Kerry McKenzie on 0467 650 252 or email

Contact details


Toni Somes, GRDC Communications Manager – North
0436 622 645

GRDC Project code: PAC1809-001SAX