News in brief

Malting accreditation

Barley Australia has announced malting accreditation for the La Trobe and Flinders barley varieties from the InterGrain–Syngenta collaboration.

The two varieties were accredited following evaluation in association with the Malting and Brewing Industry Barley Technical Committee.

La Trobe was developed for low to medium-rainfall areas, while Flinders is suited to medium to high-rainfall areas. From a quality perspective, both varieties have malting characteristics suited to export brewing markets.

More information:

Barley Australia 

Western grower services

Image of Roger States

Roger States

PHOTO: Natalie Lee

The GRDC has appointed Roger States as the new grower services manager in Western Australia.

In his new role, Mr States will facilitate the regional adaptation of the GRDC’s research, development and extension to help speed the delivery of research outcomes to growers.

This will involve identifying RD&E needs, managing regional information delivery, overseeing regional research and promoting the GRDC’s products and services by working closely with GRDC Western Panel members, researchers, advisers and growers.

Before joining the GRDC, Mr States worked in crop protection and agronomy, most recently with crop protection company Sipcam Pacific Australia.

More information:

Roger States
0427 565 780

HSD award finalist

De Bruin Engineering’s Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD) was named a finalist in the international 2015 Edison Awards, which recognise innovators and innovative products and services.

In response to global herbicide resistance, the HSD was designed to destroy weed seeds captured in harvest operations, preventing them from returning to the seedbank in broadacre cropping. The HSD was nominated as a finalist in the ‘Smart Agriculture’ section in the ‘Applied Technology’ category, along with two other inventions.

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Edison Awards

Farm business manual

The GRDC has released a manual to help increase farm business management knowledge and skills for growers and advisers. Authored by Mike Krause from Plan2Profit Agri, the Farming the Business manual comprises three modules, including an overview, ‘how to’ and advanced sections.

It also features on-farm case studies highlighting strategies that have helped other growers across the country improve their farm businesses.

These case studies profile: New South Wales growers David and Nell Mott from Wagga Wagga, and Tony and Vicky Geddes from Holbrook; Tasmanian growers Michael and Fiona Chilvers from Launceston; Victorian growers Bruce and Lachie Wilson from Winchelsea, and Robert and Scott Nicholson from Campbells Bridge; and South Australian growers John Gladigau and Robin Schaefer from Alawoona, and Steve, Lhot and Jerome Martin from Minlaton. Hard copies of the free manual are available from Ground Cover Direct (1800 11 00 44 or, a $10 postage charge applies.

To view or download the manual, visit the GRDC website.

GRDC Research Code PTP00001

More information:

Mike Krause
0408 967 122

Global recognition

Professor Michael McLaughlin, an authority on fertiliser management from the University of Adelaide whose work was instrumental in helping growers through the Millennium Drought, has been named the 2015 International Fertilizer Industry Association Norman Borlaug Award laureate. Since 1993 the annual award has recognised research that has led to significant advances in crop nutrition as well its successful communication to growers.

Professor McLaughlin’s work focuses on the fundamental mechanisms of fertiliser behaviour in soils to improve its effectiveness. His research is characterised by the use of new methods to examine fertiliser behaviour and effectiveness such as isotope tracing and dilution methods to determine the fate of added fertiliser and to benchmark improvement in crop nutrition.

In the mid-2000s, in the face of severe drought, Professor McLaughlin and two colleagues developed a fact sheet advising on nutrient management under drought conditions and recommendations for fertiliser management, which has been used widely across Australia.

A CSIRO science fellow, Professor McLaughlin is a long-time GRDC collaborator. His work spans more than 30 years and three continents and now has global impact through the establishment of the Adelaide Fertiliser Technology Research Centre.

Rural women’s awards

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) has announced the state winners of the 2015 Rural Women’s Awards.

South Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award winner Sarah Powell runs a mixed-farm business at Wharminda on the Eyre Peninsula. Ms Powell’s award-winning project aims to establish and manage a ‘Champions Academy’ pilot program, to create opportunities for emerging community leaders.

Recipient of the Western Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award is InterGrain chief executive officer Tress Walmsley, formerly a grains commercialisation officer with the Department of Agriculture and Food, WA. Ms Walmsley won the award for her ‘oodles of noodles’ project, which seeks to increase demand for noodle wheat by encouraging consumer interest in udon noodles.

Winners of the Northern Territory and Victorian RIRDC Rural Women’s Awards respectively are Dr Sally Isberg, who runs the Centre for Crocodile Research, and third-generation orchardist Katie Finlay. Award recipients in New South Wales and Tasmania will be announced in advance of the national award winner at a ceremony in Canberra on 9 September.

More information:



Australia needs a quality grains brand


Call to lift farm finance skills

GRDC Project Code PTP00001

Region National, North, South, West