Ideas harvested to create enduring profitability

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 08 Mar 2017

GRDC managing director Steve Jefferies addresses the joint meeting of western region GRDC RCSN groups in the Swan Valley, WA.

If you have an idea for research, development and extension (RD&E) that creates enduring profitability for grain growers, we want to know about it – nothing is ‘off the table’.

This was the message delivered by Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Managing Director Steve Jefferies to a recent combined meeting of the organisation’s western Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) groups.

“We want to see ideas that address profitability and we want to look at the whole picture – what is making the biggest difference to collective profitability,” he said.

“The GRDC wants to make sure that levy payers optimise the value-capture on the RD&E that the GRDC invests in innovation - on their behalf.

“We need to be agile and business-like and look at ideas on a case-by-case basis to capture maximum value for growers.

“The challenge for RCSNs is: What are the transformational things that will make a big difference to the productivity and profitability of growers in your zones - in the short, medium and long-term.”

Dr Jefferies said the GRDC’s RCSN groups were virtually an extension of the GRDC’s regional panels which brought together ideas and advised the GRDC about investment priorities and how it could best deliver on its purpose of delivering enduring profitability for growers.

Western region GRDC RCSN representatives at their joint meeting in the Swan Valley in WA.

“The RCSNs are essentially the tentacles of the panels – they are the outreach mechanism that captures a much broader cross-section of the grower communities,” he said.

“Based in each of WA’s port zones, the five western region RCSNs identify grain growing productivity constraints and opportunities and bring ideas for addressing these through the Western Regional Panel into the GRDC, to help design our research portfolio.”

Dr Jefferies said the combined RCSN meeting, held on March 1 and 2 in the Swan Valley, WA, allowed RCSN representatives to share experiences from their zones and gain a better understanding of opportunities to add value to growers’ bottom lines.

“In addition to leveraging thoughts and ideas from each other, the RCSN representatives used the meeting to learn and develop their own skills through presentations from guest speakers – this is important because they are sacrificing their time for the good of the industry,” he said.

GRDC Western Regional Grower Services manager Roger States said the meeting provided RCSN representatives with the opportunity to gain an understanding about the direction of the GRDC and changes underway within the organisation.

“The meeting of the RCSNs included presentations by key GRDC staff and a question and answer session with personnel including research program leaders responsible for important areas such as crop protection and genetic technologies,” he said.

“Concurrent sessions were then held to provide an update about RCSN projects in which the GRDC has invested following on from priority issues identified by the RCSNs.”

Mr States said the RCSNs were highly valuable to the GRDC in helping it identify local, tactical issues and prioritise their importance.

“This helps to ensure that the GRDC’s responses to issues are relevant, and address issues identified by the RCSNs, and that broader, statewide issues are considered by the Western Regional Panel for longer-term, more strategic investments,” he said.

For more information about WA RCSNs and to find out who the representatives are in your area go to GRDC Website, or contact WA RCSN coordinator Julianne Hill on or 0447 261 607.

Contact Details

for Interviews

Roger States, GRDC 
0427 565 780


Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
0427 189 827

Region West