Bendigo forum to explore grain business opportunities and challenges

Author: | Date: 07 Mar 2018

GRDC Managing Director, Dr Steve Jefferies, will be the opening keynote speaker at the GRDC Farm Business Update in Bendigo
GRDC Managing Director, Dr Steve Jefferies, will be the opening keynote speaker at the GRDC Farm Business Update in Bendigo. Photo: GRDC

The opportunities and challenges confronting Australian grain-growing businesses now and into the future will be detailed and discussed at the farm business forum in Bendigo this month.

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Managing Director, Dr Steve Jefferies, will be the opening keynote speaker at the GRDC Farm Business Update where he will outline local and global market trends, the impact of these on growers and the broader industry, and the GRDC’s investment strategy for countering the challenges and capitalising on the opportunities.

Dr Jefferies will provide insight into how Australian growers and industry participants can leverage their production environment to achieve enduring profitability.

The Farm Business Update on March 20 will be an important forum for exploring opportunities to better integrate farm business management knowledge and techniques associated with operating a grain-growing business for enhancing farm enterprise operations and profit-growth opportunities, according to GRDC Grower Relations Manager – South, Darren Arney.

“The profitability of farm enterprises and the overall grains industry is very much influenced by what happens away from the paddocks, so it is vital that we understand what those factors are and how we can manage their impact,” Mr Arney said.

“The Farm Business Update will explore issues such as emerging technologies and innovations, farm succession planning, reducing operational risk and efficient resource allocation, data evolution, and the benefits of on-farm grain storage.”

The Update will be attended by advisers, consultants, rural service providers, agribusiness representatives and growers from across Victoria.

Another keynote speaker will be Paul Higgins of Emergent Futures who will look at emerging technologies and how to determine their likely relevance and use within a farm business.

Jill Briggs from Affectus will discuss preparing the next generation for leadership, while farm business succession planning will be dissected by a panel comprising Nigel McGuckian, Daniel Cole from Beck Legal, and Strategem’s Stuart McKenzie.

Solving farm business challenges with technology innovation will be the focus of a presentation by Naomi Stuart from FARMpay, while data evolution’s impact on the capabilities for variable rate technology application and outcomes will be addressed by Andrew Whitlock of Precision Agriculture.

On-farm grain storage systems for enhanced harvest productivity and logistics will be examined by Peter Botta from PCB Consulting, and Phil O’Callaghan from ORM will speak about planning and measuring sustained profitability, allocating resources more efficiently and reducing operational risk.

Closing keynote speaker will be John Toomey from The Fatigue Prevention Company who will outline strategies to reduce fatigue for improved workplace safety, reduced mistakes and better decision-making capacity.

To be held at the All Seasons Bendigo, the Farm Business Update will be from 9.00am to 4.30pm, with catering included.

A detailed program can be obtained by visiting, or by contacting ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email

Contact Details

For Interviews

Darren Arney, GRDC
0447 877178

Jane Foster, ORM
(03) 5441 6176


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100

GRDC Project code: ORM00015