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New GRDC Panel to Tour CQ Crops and Trial Sites

30 August 2011

AUSTRALIA - The new Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) northern panel will hit the ground running with a tour of Central Queensland crops and research trial sites in early September.

GRDC northern panel chair, James Clark says the corporation’s investment in CQ cropping research has recently been revamped as requested by growers to focus specifically on grower-identified and adviser-driven issues.

“GRDC has put growers and advisers back in the driving seat in determining what issues receive research funding and this has resulted in a new direction that includes new research into mungbean agronomy, fertiliser trials and weed management,” Mr Clark said.

“The new grower solutions project management committee is made up of growers and consultants who determine what issues the researchers tackle and are particularly focused on grower’s immediate one- to three-year issues such as spray application to reduce drift.”

Welcoming Committee: Darren Aisthorpe, DEEDI development extension officer; Maurice Conway, DEEDI principal technical officer; Vikki Osten, DEEDI principal research scientist; Graham Spackman, Graham Spackman and Associates; and Jeff York, Acres Rural Sipplies.

The new committee includes prominent CQ agronomists and advisers including Graham Spackman, Andrew Farquarson, Jeff York and Stuart Olsson; growers Ross Bate, Neil Johanssen, David Lund, Joe Reddy; GRDC northern panel deputy chair and Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) wheat breeder, John Sheppard; and DEEDI’s Andrew Ward.

DEEDI principal scientist, Dr Richard Sequeira will lead the project.

The panel’s visit will coincide with the launch of the new GRDC-supported desi chickpea variety, Pistol, which has been bred specifically for Central Queensland.

The new chickpea will be on show at four GRDC-funded National Variety Trials (NVT) sites from 5-7 September and the GRDC northern panel will be available at each site to speak with local growers.

During the tour the panel will visit Biolela Research Station to meet with DEEDI staff, Goonoo feedlot, Emerald Agricultural College and several grower’s farms to view winter crops.

Mr Clark says the panel system is a notable strength of GRDC’s operations and panellists are the “eyes and ears” linking the corporation directly with growers.

“The regional panels are a conduit for growers to influence where GRDC invests levies and government funds and for GRDC to communicate back to industry,” Mr Clark said.

“Having the GRDC northern panel in Central Queensland gives growers, advisers and researchers direct access to the funding body.

“The annual spring and autumn tours also give panellists an opportunity to build their knowledge and understanding of the diverse northern grains region which helps them make well-informed funding decisions.”


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