News in brief

Cereal nutrition app

The GRDC has released a new app to help grain growers assess their fertiliser requirements for the 2014 winter cereal-growing season.

GRDC delivery platforms manager Tom McCue says the app, GRDC Winter Cereal Nutrition: The Ute Guide, aims to help growers identify nutritional disorders while out in the paddock.

Apart from providing information on nutrient deficiencies and toxicity, Mr McCue says the app also covers environmental, chemical and physiological conditions that can result in symptoms similar to nutrient disorders in crops.

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Tom McCue,,

Profarmer app

Profarmer Grain Australia has released an iPad app to provide commodity price information to help with grain marketing decisions. The new app shows buyers’ current grain contract prices for different grain types at more than 500 locations across the country.

As well as providing up-to-date grain prices, the app allows users to compare them with the prices that buyers have paid in the past two years, based on the grain receival site, grain type and the bin grade. This information includes the best price paid on the day. The app is free for subscribers to the Profarmer’s pricing services.

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Researcher wins international award

Photo of Professor Kadambot Siddique

Winner of the 2013 Dunhuang Award, Professor Kadambot Siddique

PHOTO: Evan Collis

China’s Gansu Provincial Government has presented a research and leadership award to the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Professor Kadambot Siddique AM FTSE FAIA, a former GRDC western region panellist.

Professor Siddique, chair in agriculture and director of UWA’s Institute of Agriculture, is one of only three foreign experts to win the Dunhuang Award in 2013.

The award recognises Professor Siddique’s contribution to research and leadership within Gansu Province, especially at Lanzhou University.

He has been working with Lanzhou University in dryland agro-ecology since 2006, playing an important leadership role in academic capacity building, research, and developing international research and teaching collaborations between Lanzhou University and UWA.  

More information:

Professor Kadambot Siddique,
08 6488 7012,

Grains industry welfare

The Australian grains industry is set to donate 3000 tonnes of grain a year to the country’s largest food relief organisation, Foodbank Australia, as part of a new collaborative initiative to help feed people in need.

The donation is expected to provide up to 30 million meals, with processors also contributing factory time to manufacture the grain into 1200t of breakfast cereal, 800t of pasta, 400t of flour and 240t of bread.

Grain Trade Australia (GTA) is managing a Grain Industry Consultative Group to coordinate the collection of grain from individual growers and oversee its delivery to major processing companies.

GTA chair Peter Reading announced the initiative at the recent GRDC-sponsored Australian Grains Industry Conference in Melbourne.

“We are delighted to make this commitment to Foodbank, which is a conduit between the generosity of the food industry and the needs of the welfare sector,” Mr Reading said.

“The demand for healthy grains-based food is increasing and that’s where we, as an industry, come in, starting after the next harvest.

“We believe the target is achievable and will be a world-leading testament to the generosity of spirit that exists within the Australian grains industry,” Mr Reading said.

Foodbank Australia chief executive officer John Webster says the organisation needs to double its food supply to assist people facing personal crises.

“Our research shows welfare agencies are turning away 90,000 people each month due to insufficient food supply, and this commitment from the grains industry will help to bridge the gap,” Mr Webster said.

More information:

Grain Trade Australia,
02 9235 2155,

HRZ Wheats name change

HRZ Wheats has been renamed Advantage Wheats to reflect its new business direction for innovative research and new wheat markets.

Advantage Wheats general manager Neil Comben says the organisation aims to combine intellectual property, science and agribusiness to become a leading wheat breeding company.

Mr Comben says while the focus on developing high-yielding, milling-quality and long-season varieties for high-rainfall areas is ongoing, the company also plans to expand the scope of its wheat breeding: “The diversity of our breeding material means that we have genetic lines well suited to regions outside the high-rainfall zones of Australia,” he says.

The company’s partners include the GRDC, CSIRO, the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, Seednet and Dow AgroSciences.

Examples of the wheat varieties resulting from the company’s research and development are Preston and ForrestPBR logo.

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Vale Doug Reuter


Smart new way to place seed over moisture

GRDC Project Code RCL00002

Region National, Overseas