GRDC Panel on the road to meet with growers

Author: | Date: 06 Sep 2018

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GRDC Southern Region Panel Chair John Bennett says the spring tour will serve an important function in terms of developing a greater understanding of issues facing growers and identifying research, development and extension priorities.

A diversity of farming systems, rainfall zones, cropping constraints and profit growth opportunities for grain growers will be on the radar for the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Southern Region Panel during its annual spring tour this month.

This year’s tour will be through north central, north eastern and south west Victoria where Panel members and GRDC staff will meet with growers, researchers, advisers, farming systems groups, agribusiness and other grains industry specialists.

Panel Chair John Bennett says the tour, which begins on September 17, will be of enormous value to the Panel and GRDC staff, who will visit growers’ properties, research facilities and institutions, trial sites and downstream enterprises.

“The tour serves an important function in terms of developing a greater understanding of issues facing growers and identifying research, development and extension (RD&E) priorities,” Mr Bennett said.

“It also enables us to assess first-hand the impact and relevance of GRDC investments in RD&E in the regions.”

Mr Bennett says spring tour participants will be exposed to barriers to profitability across a range of rainfall zones that not only affect growers in Victoria, but have broader relevance across the entire southern cropping region which also includes South Australia and Tasmania.

“We will be discussing with growers various production issues they are dealing with in their farming systems – from constraints in irrigated cropping programs, through to the impact of this year’s dry growing season in many areas, as well as subsoil amelioration, soil acidity, precision agriculture and optimising canola yields,” Mr Bennett says.

The tour this year will be split into two groups: one group will travel through Victoria’s north central and north eastern regions where locations for visits include Congupna, Numurkah, Yarrawonga, Rutherglen, Wangaratta, Glenrowan and Dookie.

The south west tour will include visits to Bridgewater, Ballarat, Ararat, Tatyoon, Lake Bolac, Skipton, Derrinallum and Geelong.

Two new members of the Panel will be on their first spring tour this year. They are grain growers Michael Chilvers, from Nile in Tasmania’s northern midlands, and Andrew Russell, from Browns Plains in north eastern Victoria.

They will be on tour with Mr Bennett and other existing Panel members Michael McLaughlin (deputy Chair), Peter Kuhlmann, Fiona Marshall, Jon Midwood, Rohan Mott, Richard Murdoch, Kate Wilson and Brondwen MacLean (GRDC general manager representative), as well as GRDC staff.

Contact Details

For Interviews

John Bennett, GRDC Southern Panel Chair
Phone 0429 919 223


Sharon Watt, GRDC
Phone 0409 675 100