Results-driven research a priority for panellist

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 22 Dec 2015

Greg Rebetzke knows the significance of meaningful research that delivers timely, effective results to growers.

The long-serving CSIRO research scientist has been appointed to the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) western regional panel, bringing with him a wealth of technical knowledge and experience.

“I have always believed that scientists need to make every effort to deliver their research to growers in a timely and user-friendly manner – this is where the greatest impact is made for every grower dollar levied,” Dr Rebetzke said.

“I was excited about joining the western panel. I wanted to help in facilitating stronger delivery of research outcomes in the west, and to provide closer links between research outcomes in eastern and Western Australia, as many production problems facing growers are common to both regions.”

Dr Rebetzke has worked with CSIRO for 20 years and is based at Canberra, where he holds the position of senior principal research geneticist.

As a researcher, he helps to identify and deliver traits and germplasm for improving crop water productivity, improvement of weed competitiveness and nutrient-use efficiency - to contribute to better on-farm profitability and sustainability.

“I work closely with Australian and overseas crop breeders and breeding companies to identify and deliver new genetics, new traits and ultimately new varieties that are more resilient, higher yielding, and cost growers less money to manage,” Dr Rebetzke said.

He believes research in the Australian grains industry must be centred round delivering results, and views the western regional panel as the ideal way to facilitate this in Western Australia.

“The panel works to identify growers’ pressing issues, prioritises them and provides a conduit between growers and innovation through research and development,” Dr Rebetzke said.

“I take very seriously the need to maintain and contribute to a strategy that delivers beneficial results to growers.

“I see a real opportunity in learning more about WA growers’ key issues, and establishing how I can help in integrating science to more readily deliver research results that have the greatest impact.

“Can we speed delivery of new genetic or breeding tools? Can we deliver more water productive, salt tolerant, nutrient efficient, frost-tolerant and heat tolerant varieties? And importantly, can we do more to reduce the costs of growing a crop while increasing its yield and maintaining a sustainable system?

“I also want to help better connect the very best in genetics and breeding with new opportunities in agronomy, to reliably drive water productivity and profitability in our water-limited production systems.”

Dr Rebetzke says it is a personally rewarding experience serving on the western regional panel.

“It’s thoroughly satisfying to be working with a diverse, skilled and experienced team of people,” he said.

According to Dr Rebetzke, the panel’s interactions with growers and grower groups are invaluable in helping the panel to better understand the specific needs of the industry they are supporting.

“These interactions are also beneficial for growers, who can better understand the research and development objectives of the panel,” he said.

“At the two western panel spring tours I was lucky enough to attend, I’ve found the openness, questioning and honesty of growers to be refreshing.”

A video interview of Dr Rebetzke talking about his role on the GRDC western regional panel is available on the GRDC YouTube channel.

The GRDC is one of the world’s leading grains research organisations, responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing RD&E to deliver improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry.

Contact Details

For Interviews

Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827


Greg Rebetzke, GRDC western regional panel
0429 994 226

Region West