THE Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has announced a grant for the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) in Victoria to establish a new laboratory facility designed to improve the efficiency of research trial work and the delivery of profit-generating outcomes to growers.
GRDC chairman John Woods said BCG had been awarded a $310,000 GRDC Grains Research and Development (R&D) Infrastructure Grant to enable the farming systems group to build the new facility at Birchip in Victoria’s Mallee. BCG has contributed an additional $28,400 to the project.
Mr Woods said the GRDC Grains R&D Infrastructure Grant was part of $15 million the GRDC Board had agreed to invest in a strategy to build national research capacity.
“The purpose of the grant program is to boost capacity and capability in Australian grain research and development through funding key infrastructure, and to create enduring profitability for grain growers,” he said.
The grant was officially announced at the BCG Field Day by GRDC southern regional panel chair Keith Pengilley.
With construction expected to start soon, Mr Pengilley said the new laboratory facility would further enhance BCG’s delivery of valuable science-based research and extension outputs for the benefit of growers throughout the Mallee and Wimmera regions in Victoria, and well beyond.
“BCG is an important research partner of the GRDC – the work undertaken by this highly respected organisation has over many years directly contributed to adoption of improved farm practices for increased grower profitability,” he said.
“The GRDC Grains R&D Infrastructure Grant recognises the vital role BCG plays in furthering our grains industry and the new facility will no doubt be a considerable asset for the group and the many growers it supports.”
The laboratory building and the new equipment it will house will create a safe and labour-efficient work place for researchers undertaking various tasks associated with the processing of soil, plant and grain samples.
It is expected to facilitate improvements in the timing and quality of research results delivered to growers.
BCG chief executive officer Chris Sounness said his organisation was excited to partner with the GRDC to continue the high quality of BCG’s research results and delivery of grains research to broadacre farmers.
“BCG has grown in recent years to manage more than 35 research sites with trials encompassing over 10,000 plots annually,” Mr Sounness said.
“This new facility will enhance the efficiency of operations to manage the huge volume of soil, dry matter and grain samples that are processed throughout the busy BCG research calendar.”
The GRDC recently conducted an open, competitive process seeking applications for grants between $20,000 and $3 million for the construction of new, or enhancement of existing, infrastructure primarily used for R&D in the grains industry in Australia.
The grants can be also used for procuring building materials and services associated with the infrastructure’s construction, as well as the purchase of plant, equipment or fittings.
Successful applicants are required to contribute to their projects either themselves or through other third-party contributions. The amount of the co-contribution must be equal to or greater than 10 per cent of the grant from the GRDC.