Cropping

Five-year RD&E revamp targets profitability: GRDC

Neil Lyon, August 3, 2018

A NEW, five-year Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan launched by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) at the Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) in Melbourne this week is focused squarely on grower profitability.

John Woods

“The RD and E plan is absolutely about impact to growers. That is the driver and we are very unapologetic about that,” GRDC chair, John Woods, said.

“We are focussed on grower profitability. We used to talk a lot about investing for productivity at GRDC, but the profitability equation covers a range of metrics, productivity is only one. Profitability is the driver for GRDC now and is the principle that covers investments.

“Growers want us to reach forward and not be quite as conservative. Growers expect us to push the boundaries. They want us to make transformational impacts rather than incremental.

“They want us to seek higher value opportunities. It is absolutely useless for Australian grain to be competing on the world stage with 10 per cent protein Ukraine wheat where the cost of their production is $70 to $80/tonne less than ours. We need to look at differentiation.”

Mr Woods said under the plan there would be an emphasis on crop rotations, higher value crops and niche opportunities.

“We need to bring more power and margin to the grain growers in their rotation systems, bringing in high value crops. A big driver for us is having diversity in the system and increasing the value of the rotation.

“Another area is niche opportunities. Things like omega-3 canola which GRDC holds some IP on.”

GRDC RD&E plan, https://grdc.com.au/about/corporate-governance/strategic-rd-plan

 

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