THE GRAINS Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is asking grain growers, advisers, researchers and industry stakeholders to have input into the organisation’s new five-year-plan that will guide investment into R&D plus extension from 2023-28.
This “grain storming” stage will be the first opportunity for growers to contribute their insights and perspective on the drivers, threats and opportunities for the grains industry.
GRDC chair John Woods said it was critical that industry had an opportunity to be involved and engaged in the development of the plan, which would guide targeted and strategic RD&E investment into the future.
“Grain growers manage about four per cent of the Australian continent covering an estimated 22.4 million hectares,” Mr Woods said.
“This year growers will contribute more than $20 billion to the national economy, so they play an important part in delivering economic and environmental outcomes on behalf of the broader community.
“It is important [GRDC] understand growers’ needs and priorities, so research dollars are invested in RD&E that yields results, for this we need industry input, guidance and support during the consultation phase.”
Mr Woods said the current RD&E plan had prioritised investments designed to improve growers’ bottom lines.
“GRDC is looking forward to exploring grower’s insight and appetite for a longer-term focus on transformation research that comes with higher risk, higher reward ratio,” he said.
“When we launched the current RD&E plan in 2018, feedback from growers showed they wanted us to achieve more in our portfolio and be less conservative with a clear focus on the future, including (being) more agile and responsive to immediate needs.
“The current RD&E plan continues to deliver impactful research outcomes for industry with gains in varietal development, agronomic, crop protection and the climate challenge space to name a few areas, but there is still more to be done.”
Mr Woods said the next RD&E plan informed by growers, would determine how and where GRDC invested, as well as priorities, partners and risk appetite.
GRDC managing director Nigel Hart said the competitive advantage of Australian grain growers hinged on innovation, access to new technologies and a future-focused approach.
“Australian grain growers are recognised globally as innovative, resilient and highly efficient, with proven abilities to adapt. Through this plan we want to deliver ambitious, diverse RD&E that supports and improves their production and profitability,” Mr Hart said.
“This means identifying and maximising the opportunities and looking at a five-year RD&E plan that discovers and deploys new solutions and innovations to set the sector up for 2030 and beyond.
“Realising these opportunities will require new partnerships and collaboration across organisations, disciplines and sectors. The opportunities are significant, but to prioritise investments we must consider the needs of today, whilst anticipating those of the future.”
Click here to find out how you can be involved, or have your say on the future priorities and needs for GRDC RD&E.