GRAINGROWERS has hosted more than 20 policy professionals from the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on a Grains Innovation Tour in the NSW Riverina.
GrainGrowers general manager policy and innovation, David McKeon, said the tour focussed on connecting government decision-makers with the farmers and agricultural researchers who were on the forefront of grains sector innovation.
“The objective of the tour was to provide the Canberra-based group with a holistic overview of the grain supply chain and demonstrate the importance of innovation to our future success,” he said.
The first day of the tour the group visited FarmLink Research in Temora where they explored the importance of grower-led farming systems groups and observed field trials of wheat, barley, canola and lupins.
“In particular they learnt about the role of lupins in fixing nitrogen in the soil – an essential component of any rotational cropping system,” Mr McKeon said.
The next day the group was provided an insight into the breadth of grains innovation at the Graham Centre, part of Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.
Research topics explored by the group extended from canola varietal performance, through to functional food priorities, such as low-gluten cereals.
The tour included visits to a number of grain farms, where participants learnt about how grain is produced and discussed modern farming practices and relevant policy issues directly with grain farmers.
“Other highlights of the tour included a GrainCorp laboratory and a grain storage site, and a discussion of grains research, development and extension with the chair of the GRDC Northern Panel and farmer, John Minogue,” Mr McKeon said.