AUSTRALIAN Grain Technologies’ (AGT) Southern Crop Breeding Centre, which features a state-of-the-art greenhouse and leading-edge growth rooms and evaluation services, will be officially opened in South Australia tomorrow.
AGT chief executive officer Haydn Kuchel said the new centre was an exciting development for Australian farmers, agronomists, consultants, researchers, consumers and the wider agricultural industry.
“We are absolutely committed to the success of the Australian grains industry,” Dr Kuchel said.
“It’s that commitment to Australian agriculture that has led to us investing into this new world-class breeding centre.
“The technology built into this new site will increase our capacity, expand our breeding programs and improve on our existing track record of producing market leading field crop varieties for Australian farmers.
“Growers are continually looking for better varieties with improved performance that can help them stay ahead of their international competitors.
“As a company, we are proud of the work we do to serve growers and look forward to taking up the challenge to deliver better genetic outcomes in the future.”
The centre will house more than 30 staff and provide support services to another 35 staff located at AGT’s regionally-based breeding nodes at Narrabri in northern New South Wales, Wagga Wagga in southern NSW and Northam in Western Australia.
South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Tim Whetstone, who will help launch the new centre, said it was a welcome development for the industry.
“AGT serves Australian farmers and the world’s population by developing new field crop varieties that are more productive, better quality and/or cost less to grow,” he said.
“In the past 15 years, AGT has released 61 wheat varieties, which make up more than half the national wheat crop annually. Mace, an AGT variety, is the most successful wheat ever released on the Australian market.
“The South Australian Government is looking forward to supporting their continued growth and thank them for their contribution to the Australian grains industry.”