SA grains industry to start groundwork for season 2016

Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 05 Jan 2016

The South Australian grains industry will launch into the 2016 cropping season when the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) hosts a major forum in Adelaide in February to support growers through the coming year.

The GRDC Grains Research Update, this year entitled “informed decisions – driving change”, will be attended by agronomists, consultants, researchers, growers and other grains industry personnel committed to ensuring the State’s cropping sector remains productive and profitable well into the future.

To be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on February 9 and 10, the Update will feature a line-up of expert speakers from throughout Australia who will provide insights into research developments and advice about progressing cropping enterprises.

Considered the State’s premier grains research, development and extension (RD&E) forum, the Update will showcase innovative thinking, products and practices.

GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley says advances in technology, cutting-edge advice and outcomes from GRDC-funded R&D offer the State’s growers the opportunity to make positive changes to their farming systems.

“With production costs continually rising, growers and their advisers are looking for ways to generate on-farm efficiencies,” Mr Pengilley said. “When seeking out ways to do that, the best place to start is the annual two-day Update in Adelaide.”

Keynote speakers on day one will include Peter Wilson from Australian Milling Group who will discuss the global and domestic factors influencing the viability of the nation’s pulse industry.

SA Research and Development Institute scientist Peter Hayman will explore the latest forecasting tools and how they can assist in agronomic decision-making, as well as the lessons learnt from the weather events of 2015.

Out-smarting the weed seed bank will be the topic of an address by Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative’s Peter Newman, of Western Australia, who will provide an update on the status of the war on herbicide resistance.

Other keynote speakers include Andrew Weidemann, a grower from Victoria’s Wimmera and the chairman of Grain Producers Australia, who will emphasise the importance of on-farm quality assurance in terms of protecting and growing markets.

Business consultant Ken Solly will outline strategies and systems that can be employed to avoid making mistakes when under pressure.

The Update program will offer a wide range of timely topics and issues and will provide maximum choice for attendees to construct their own preferred learning path over the two days.

Relevant agronomic issues to be covered on day one include micronutrients fact versus fiction; the value of break crops in low rainfall systems; best practices with fungicides; early sowing and soil moisture probes.

Other day one topics include herbicide residues in soils; herbicide tolerance in pulses; optimising nitrogen fixation; canola agronomy; amelioration of sandy soils; new insights into slug and snail control; and emerging research by GRDC-funded PhD scholars.

Among the subjects to be addressed on day two are positive crop adaptations to climate change; improving productivity on sandy soils; cereal diseases to watch in 2016; barley and wheat variety update; weed and herbicide management; factors influencing nitrogen supply from soils and stubbles; chemical impact on bees; pulse performance maximisation; and the potential of UAVs and robotics to capture useful field data.

For a detailed program and to register for the event please visit GRDC Update Dates or phone ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email

For Interviews

Keith Pengilley, GRDC Southern Panel

0448 015539

Matt McCarthy, ORM

03 5441 6176


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli

0409 67510

Caption: GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair, Keith Pengilley, says advances in technology, cutting-edge advice and outcomes from GRDC-funded R&D offer SA growers the opportunity to make positive changes to their farming systems.

Region South