Local grain R&D to feature at Geraldton Update

Author: | Date: 08 Feb 2017


CAPTION: Crop Circle Consulting’s Grant Thompson will present latest findings from this trial site investigating improved spray fallow techniques in the Geraldton port zone at the upcoming GRDC Regional Grains Research Update, Mingenew on February 24. PHOTO: Crop Circle Consulting.

Tactics to improve the profitability of grain production in the Geraldton port zone will be the focus of an upcoming research and development (R&D) forum in Mingenew.

To be held at the Mingenew Recreation Centre from 8.30am on February 24, this is part of a series of Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Update events being staged across the Western Australian grainbelt in the next month. Registrations are open by going to Grains Industry of Western Australia (GIWA) updates page.

GRDC Western Regional Grower Services Manager Roger States said the program for the Update at Mingenew was specifically targeted at addressing priority issues impacting on grower profits in the Geraldton port zone.

He said these included strategies to deal with soil compaction, putting controlled traffic farming into action, managing common crop diseases – especially sclerotinia in canola – using the best crop varieties and sowing times and dealing with frost.

“Weeds researchers from the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) will also present findings from long-term trials into harvest weed seed control, row spacing for crop competition and managing annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum),” he said.

“Latest results from local grains R&D trials will be discussed at this Update, including work into improving spray fallow techniques that have potential to conserve soil moisture and better manage weeds to boost crop yields.

“This was a local project supported by the GRDC’s Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) Geraldton port zone and carried out by local agronomy firm Crop Circle Consulting.”

Mingenew Irwin Group members Peter Horwood and Debbie Gillam will present an overview of the lessons learned from the 2016 season to improve productivity and profits going into 2017 and members of the Yuna Farm Improvement Group will discuss the ‘seeding Olympics’ and how local growers can get involved in R&D projects.

From a local to a global perspective, the Grains Research Update, Mingenew forum will also host international speaker Lise Jorgensen, of the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University in Denmark, to provide insight into how that country is dealing with fungicide resistance in cereal crops.

And consumer trends will be discussed by Dr David Hughes, an international expert in the global food and drink sector based at the Imperial College in London.

Many of these speakers are also presenting at the GRDC’s Grains Research Update, Perth – being held on February 27-28.

Mr States encouraged growers to attend the Update event that was most convenient for them.

He said the GRDC’s Regional Update programs were designed to provide up-to-date information that was specific to that region and would help local growers implement tactics to boost their bottom-line profitability.

“All Update events also provide valuable opportunities for growers to quiz and network with each other and experts on wide-ranging topics of importance to their grain business,” he said.

“These include strategies to deal with soil constraints, crop nutrition, weeds, pests, diseases and frost.

“Growers coming to the Mingenew Update will have time to meet and interact with service providers to the grains industry from right across the supply chain – from on the ground research to end-markets.”

More information, programs and registration details for the GRDC Grains Research Update events are available on the Grain Industry of WA website.

Contact Details

For Interviews

Rachel Nash, GIWA
08 6262 2128

Roger States, Western Regional Grower Services Manager, GRDC
0427 565 780,


Melissa Williams
Cox Inall Communications
0428 884 414

GRDC Project Code GIA00004

Region West

GRDC Project code: GIA00004