Capital investment Growers fund state of the art research equipment

Scientific officer Stefan Harasymow (left) and grain products laboratory chemist Allen Tarr operate the new near infrared equipment used to test grain quality in Western Region plant breeding programs.

Graingrowers are starting to reap the benefit of GRDC investment which totalled $3.6 million for research equipment for R&D institutions, ordered in 1993-94.

The equipment purchases range from major items such as glasshouses down to field equipment like drilling rigs and weather stations.

The GRDC's investment is helping reverse years of decline in research equipment availability in scientific institutions across Australia.

One purchase - a $140,000 near infrared spectrometer - is giving a valuable boost to WA plant breeding. The WA Agriculture Department recently took delivery of this state-of-the-art machine designed to speed up the testing of genetic material.

The new equipment is housed at the grain products laboratory and allows whole grain, ground grain or liquid extract to be analysed for a range of quality components.

Grain products laboratory officer-in-charge, Graham Crosbie, said the GRDC had invested in a significant amount of equipment in the laboratory and this was playing an important role in developing new cereal varieties suited to specific markets.

GRDC Western Region Panel Chairman, Mick McGinniss, said improved grain varieties were a major priority of Western Region research. "The new equipment will streamline plant breeding programs so growers can benefit from new varieties suited to specific regions," he said.

Subprogram J .3.01 Contact: Mr Graham Crosbie 09 368 3504

Above: Scientific officer Stefan Harasymow (left) and grain products laboratory chemist Allen Tarr operate the new near infrared equipment used to test grain quality in Western Region plant breeding programs.