New laboratory for Birchip Cropping Group

Grain Central June 29, 2018

THE Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) in northern Victoria will celebrate the official opening of a new laboratory facility in Birchip on Wednesday 4 July.

The new Birchip Cropping Group laboratory under construction at Birchip, Victoria.

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) managing director, Steve Jefferies, will officially open the facility which was generously supported by the organisation and by in-kind and monetary donations from BCG members.

The building will enable BCG staff to analyse the high volume of soil, plant material and grain samples processed from the extensive BCG research program.

This means results will be delivered to Mallee, Wimmera and growers further afield more efficiently as the space to conduct activities nearly doubles in size.

BCG operations manager, James Murray, said the facility had been designed according to workflow.

“A central driveway allows for easier loading and unloading of samples” he said.

“Importantly, this helps us keep samples out of the weather and will improve the work environment for staff.”

Specialist equipment housed in the facility will support activities including seed packing, soil sampling, dry matter assessment of crop material and grain testing.

BCG research sites extend up to 230 kilometres from Birchip and are managed from the office and laboratory facility located in Birchip.

A team of agricultural research and extension staff are responsible for the planning, sowing, spraying, spreading and assessment of approximately 11,000 individual plots sown annually.

“Most of our trials are on land generously donated by local farmers for the growing season,” Mr Murray said.

“This year, the main research site is situated at Peter and Jenny Jolly’s property at Narraport, east of Birchip, but trials are managed at sites as far as Mildura and Horsham, or Nhill and Kaniva.”

Source: BCG,

Two other events will also be held on the Wednesday of the opening:

  • Hosted by ORM and partnering with BCG, the GRDC Farm Business Updates will starts at 8.30am at the Birchip Community Leisure Centre. Registration:
  • Immediately following the GRDC Farm Business Update, BCG will host an Industry Crop Walk which will tour the research trial site at Kevin and Owen Reid’s property at Kinnabulla from 1.45pm.


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