Network guides research and development by region

Regional Cropping Solutions group members (from left) Lachlan Seears from Lucindale, SA, Bill Long from Ardrossan, SA, and Stuart Kearns from the GRDC consider regional cropping issues at a gathering Adelaide, SA

A GRDC network of more than 50 grain growers, consultants and researchers recently met in Adelaide, South Australia, to discuss issues identified as high research priorities in the southern grain-growing region.

It was the first time members of the four GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions (RCS) Networks had met since being appointed to positions representing the main cropping zones in south-east Australia – high rainfall, medium rainfall, low rainfall and irrigated.

The gathering provided RCS members from New South Wales, SA, Tasmania and Victoria with an opportunity to focus on the following priorities: blackleg disease in canola, snails and slugs, herbicide resistance, stubble management and capacity building.

GRDC Southern Panel chair David Shannon said RCS members aimed to better identify, articulate and deal with regional cropping issues. Mr Shannon said each network was expected to interact with the grower community in their respective production zone, and the feedback they provided would guide GRDC’s investment program.

Stuart Kearns, executive manager regional grower services, GRDC, said rapid identification of issues, development and testing of solutions, and grower adoption could improve on-farm results and increase competitiveness in global grains markets.

However, Mr Kearns said apart from tackling well-understood issues across the southern region, the network was looking to hone-in on the most pressing local production contraints and design R&D projects that delivered locally relevant solutions.

“By increasing our ability to capture information at the coalface of grain production, we will be in a better position to put in place research, development and extension where and when it is needed most,” Mr Kearns said. Cropping solutions facilitators have been appointed to support RCS groups and connect them with the GRCD’s regional panels.