National crop breeding advocacy group launched

Grain Central, March 5, 2020

Board members of the newly-formed Australian Crop Breeders: Haydn Kuchel (AGT), Tim Sutton (SARDI), David Leah (Seed Force), Tress Walmsley (Intergrain), Troy Keenan – Secretary (InterGrain), Amanda Box (SECOBRA Recherches), Neil Comben – Chairman (Longreach Plant Breeders).

PUBLIC and private crop breeding organisations from across Australia have joined forces for the first time to launch a national crop breeding advocacy group called Australian Crop Breeders Ltd (ACB).

Members include Advanta Seeds, Australian Grain Technologies (AGT), Ag Vic Services (AVS), Elders, InterGrain, LongReach Plant Breeders, Nuseed, PGG Wrightson Seeds, SARDI, SECOBRA Recherches, Seed Force and S&W Seed.

ACB chair Neil Comben said the organisation was created to provide industry advocacy and to facilitate improved communication within the industry.

“Prior to this organisation, every breeder in Australia would engage with the rest of industry as a separate entity, or in loosely formed, subject specific, committees. This meant advocacy was complex and information didn’t flow particularly well,” he said.

“Now we have a chance to pool our resources, advocate for Australian breeding under one banner and communicate much more effectively.”

Crop platforms of current members include cereals, pulses and oilseeds.

The initial areas of focus are End Point Royalties (EPR), National Variety Trials (NVT), research strategy and the Breeders Week event.

Committees have been established to oversee these key areas to create impact at the industry level on behalf of the breeding sector.

“ACB has also taken over responsibility for the coordination of Breeder’s Week, an event which is held in March each year.”

He said while this week has traditionally been focused around wheat and barley, future events will include topics inclusive of all field crops, such as cereals, pulses and oilseeds.

Mr Comben said ACB membership was open to public and private field crop breeders who are actively breeding for Australian industry.

“We want to encourage every crop breeder to take this opportunity to be connected to the industry.”

He said pricing for membership has been set at a very modest level to make the organisation inclusive to smaller breeding programs.

Mr Comben said while there were two membership options available, he strongly urged breeders to take up full membership as opposed to an associate membership to ensure they have full industry engagement.

He said he was looking forward to leading the new group and welcoming more members on board.

“The stronger our membership, the more effective we are as an organisation.”

Source: ACB

For further information on ACB Ltd or the upcoming Breeders Week in March, visit the ACB Ltd website at:



Grain Central: Get our free daily cropping news straight to your inbox – Click here




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Grain Central's news headlines emailed to you -