The Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Southern Regional Panel is about to embark on its annual spring tour to assess cropping challenges confronting grain growers in the region.
Panel members will meet with growers, researchers, farming systems groups, advisers and policy decision makers to gain a greater understanding of the most pressing agronomic issues facing growers and identify future research priorities.
GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley says the week-long tour, which begins on September 12, will be an important undertaking for the Panel.
“As Panel members, we are responsible for ensuring that the voices of growers are heard in relation to the challenges they encounter within their farming systems,” Mr Pengilley said.
“The annual spring Panel tour helps to provide us with a greater understanding of growers’ concerns and needs which in turn helps to informGRDC investments in relevant research, development and extension, ensuring the best possible outcomes for growers.”
This year’s spring tour will be throughout Victoria, where Panel members will see first-hand cropping constraints across a range of rainfall zones that affect growers not only in Victoria, but have broader relevance across South Australia and Tasmania as well.
Frost, nitrogen management, herbicide resistance and waterlogging will be among just some of the many issues to be looked at by the Panel who will be joined on tour by the GRDC’s new Managing Director Steve Jefferies and GRDC regional and national staff.
The tour will begin on the Monday when the Panel will travel from Albury to Swan Hill, meeting with members of farming systems group Riverine Plains Inc and growers at locations along the way.
Trial sites at Manangatang, Timberoo and Hopetoun will be visited on the Tuesday, while Wednesday’s schedule starts with attendance at the BCG field day at Birchip and then meetings with grains industry personnel at Longerenong and Horsham.
Grains Innovation Park in Horsham will be visited on Thursday, September 15, before the Panel travels to Hamilton to inspect the Managed Environment Facility and high rainfall zone projects, including new waterlogging research.
The final day will be spent travelling to Inverleigh where Panel members will meet with Southern Farming Systems representatives to discuss the progress of GRDC-funded research projects.
The panel comprises:
Tasmania – Keith Pengilley (chair), Conara.
Victoria – Rob Sonogan, Swan Hill; John Bennett, Lawloit; Jon Midwood, Inverleigh; Rohan Mott, Ninda; and Kate Wilson, Hopetoun.
SA – Michael McLaughlin (deputy chair), Adelaide; Bill Long, Ardrossan; Mark Stanley, Port Lincoln; and Peter Kuhlmann, Mudamuckla.
The GRDC’s three regional Panels are a key strength of the organisation, playing an important advisory and strategic role in GRDC investments.
The regional Panels help to ensure that the GRDC investment plan responds to the regional and national priorities of grain growers and the Australian Government, and results in R,D & E activities that create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.