Beyond 2020 vision: grains research forum looks into the future

Author: | Date: 09 Jan 2020

Ross Kingwell
The GRDC Grains Research Update in Adelaide next month will feature a presentation by Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre chief economist Ross Kingwell who will discuss the expected future path for the southern grains industry over the coming decade. Photo: GRDC

South Australia’s grains industry has only just entered a new decade of production, but analysts and economists are already looking to what the future may hold in 2030.

Their insights into the likely challenges and opportunities awaiting the grains sector will be outlined to the State’s growers, their advisers and other grains industry personnel at the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Grains Research Update in Adelaide.

To be held on February 11-12, the Update will feature a presentation by Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) chief economist Ross Kingwell who will discuss the expected future path for the southern grains industry over the coming decade.

Professor Kingwell, who is based in Western Australia, will delve into the expected ramifications of climate variation, population growth and consumer dietary habits.

Complementing his keynote address will be an overview of the long-term trends in international grain markets, to be delivered by RaboResearch senior grains and oilseeds analyst Cheryl Kalisch Gordon.

Based in Orange in New South Wales, Dr Kalisch Gordon will explore the current drivers in global markets, including the future for low cost production origins and the international trade dynamic in the wake of recent United States-China tensions.

The presentations by Professor Kingwell and Dr Kalisch Gordon will provide the backdrop and context for the GRDC Grains Research Update which is recognised as the State’s premier grains research, development and extension (RD&E) forum.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager – South, Courtney Ramsey, says the event will feature a line-up of experts from throughout Australia who will extend new knowledge and understandings from GRDC investments in RD&E.

“The latest research findings, advice and recommendations to be delivered over the two days will inform SA growers’ decision-making – not only over the coming production year but well beyond,” Ms Ramsey says.

“The GRDC Grains Research Update will help shape the course ahead for growers and advisers and other industry personnel. It will cover likely future industry challenges and opportunities along with more immediate, regional agronomic and tactical approaches – underpinned by outcomes from rigorous scientific research.”

Day one of the Update will feature a presentation by Roberto Busi from the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative who will outline several new herbicide actives and how they can be most effectively integrated into weed management strategies to prolong their impact. This will be built on by Chris Preston on day two who will lead a discussion on new herbicide products, their expected behaviour and fit as weed control options at the paddock level.

Other day one topics include new pasture species to boost mixed farm productivity; deep ripping sandy soils; a sensor-based approach to improved nitrogen decision making; canola disease control and optimising canola profitability; frost mitigation; and management of potassium and sulphur deficiencies.

Controlling problem weeds; an update on pulse diseases; export market requirements around chemical residues; break crop selection in low rainfall environments; an update from National Variety Trials; and emerging research from PhD students will round out day one topics.

An ‘early risers’ session on the cost-benefits of soil testing will kick-start the program for day two, which will include two plenary presentations – one of which will focus on predicted climate change impacts on southern farming systems, to be delivered by Peter Hayman who is the principal scientist in climate applications with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the research division of Primary Industries and Regions SA.

The second plenary presentation will be by Peter Newman, from the communications team at the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, who will demonstrate how to determine the best option for harvest weed seed control in a given situation.

Topics on day two also include seeding strategies for non-wetting soils; an update on the management of the most concerning cereal diseases; management practices for manipulating flowering date and yield; controlling septoria disease in drier regions; the latest research for improving snail management; and rapid post-event frost damage assessment.

Completing the day two program will be sessions on early identification and assessment of seep areas, new legume varieties, improving the heat tolerance of wheat, pest incursion surveillance and subsurface acidity.

The GRDC Grains Research Update at the Adelaide Convention Centre will be attended by hundreds of agronomists, consultants, researchers, growers and other grains industry personnel.

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

Contact Details

For Interviews

Courtney Ramsey, GRDC
Phone 0428 274018


Sharon Watt, GRDC
Phone 0409 675100

GRDC Project code: ORM1906-001SAX