Issues priority central to RCSN meetings
Priority local issues that have the biggest impact on grain growers in specific regions were the focus of Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) meetings held across the Western Australian wheatbelt at the end of 2015.
The RCSN groups operate in the Geraldton, Kwinana East, Kwinana West, Albany and Esperance port zones to provide an on-the-ground link to the GRDC. They meet twice a year to identify ways of boosting grower profitability in their region and to shape local GRDC-funded grains research. GRDC western regional grower services manager Roger States says the success of the RCSN model in recent years has prompted the GRDC to significantly increase its commitment to these groups.
He says this has included allocating more funding for short-term research, development and extension projects that are overseen by RCSNs.
“In 2015-16, the GRDC has invested more than $1 million to date into projects addressing issues raised at RCSN meetings across the western region,” he says. “These are designed to encourage productive and profitable practice changes and address priority issues in each port zone.”
RCSN coordinator Julianne Hill says the groups comprise growers, advisers and other industry members, each with a good handle on grain production in their region.
She says 60 people were appointed to the five RCSN port zone groups late last year for the next two years. For a full list of current RCSN members, visit the western region RCSN website (www.rcsn.net.au).
Ms Hill says in mid-2016 each group plans to hold an open meeting for consultation with other growers and industry stakeholders across their port zone and to provide all growers with an opportunity to raise issues of concern.
“Issues raised at these open meetings will feed into subsequent meetings of the RCSNs and to the GRDC’s Western Panel,” she says.
“This process ensures that critical issues impacting on the productivity and profits of WA grain growers are identified and appropriate research is carried out.”
Julianne Hill, RCSN western region coordinator,
0447 261 607,