Editorial: Thanks to you... By John Lovett

John Lovett

We're very pleased to report that the GRDC newspaper Ground Cover has been rated in an independent survey of farmers as 'the most regularly read' grains journal across Australia. Total readership has also increased in leaps and bounds since Ground Cover was started in 1993. We're now up among the leading farming publications, most of which have been established for a lot longer. All of us at Ground Cover appreciate your support.

But we're not ready to rest on our laurels. Although 81 per cent of the 397 growers surveyed rated Ground Cover high as a 'source of useful information', we'd like to hear from you, the readers. How can we make Ground Cover even more useful to you? Or maybe to more of you? We'd like to hear your thoughts on our mix of stories, our level of technical detail and whether anyone feels we're slighting some important research area or regional concern.

The survey showed almost half of those questioned — a valid sample of growers across the country — have changed practices as a result of research findings. More to the point, perhaps, is the finding that 53 per cent of farmers believe their dollar turnover has increased during the past five years as a result of research and development activities.

The survey estimates that, across all growers, turnover has increased by 8 per cent. Those who perceived a turnover increase due to grains R&D reported an increase of 15 per cent.

The survey found that your priorities for allocation of R&D dollars haven't changed a great deal during the past three years. Heading the list is; better yielding-varieties of grains/pulses; new/better wheat varieties; grains/pulses that tolerate local conditions; better varieties of malting barley and feed barley; and weed and pest control.

We've also got some results from the Kondinin grower survey (below) which help to fill in the big picture on what's in demand and what's not, as far as research and development goes.

With this issue, we're also bringing the start of our indexing system for Ground Cover to make it an even more useful resource to you.