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GRDC Update: Perth event breaks record + PICS

Grain Central, February 26, 2024

GRDC chair John Woods addresses the opening session of the Grains Research Update at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

A RECORD of 780 has been set for attendance at a Grains Research Update by the event being held in Perth today and tomorrow.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation gathering has attracted delegates from across Australia and overseas to hear the latest on agronomy, markets, and more in relation to Western Australia as Australia’s biggest grain-producing and exporting state.

In addressing the opening session, GRDC chair John Woods spoke about the increasing spend in its research, development and extension from around $180 million to $230M.

“This is a big deal,” Mr Woods said.

“We do need to increase our risk appetite to give you those game-changing opportunities.”

Along with WA’s Department of Primary Industries and Development, GRDC funds the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre, which he said was playing a crucial role in fostering market opportunities.

“We need to tell those people overseas what we can do with a tonne of wheat, a tonne of barley.”

He said AEGIC, along with Grains Australia as an overarching body on market issues, will help to propel opportunities for Australian growers, and not before time.

“We’ve been pretty flat-footed for the past eight to ten years.”

Mr Woods said GRDC was committed to ensuring grain-growing enterprises could turn RD&E into profitable decisions.

“All the inputs now are enormous…and we need to restrain the cost base and maximise upside as much as we can.”

He said sustainability was also a focus for GRDC and its investments.

“We’re definitely looking for more opportunities about soil carbon.

“We need to know what’s real and what’s not real.”

He said the regenerative ag space was become a crowded one, and GRDC was committed to providing guidance to growers to help them stay away from options related to “what might slither on the ground”.

He said while the private sector is out to monetise advances, public-sector organisations like GRDC, CSIRO, and state-based departments needed to keep looking for step changes that could benefit growers and foster investment down the track from the private sector.

Nuseed customer sales representative Pippa Reilly, Koorda, and Pioneer Central Wheatbelt farm services consultant Rob Bagley.

CBH Group grower directors Ken Seymour, Miling and Barry West, Kulin, with Omnia Nutriology territory manager and agronomist Johan Prinsloo and LDC WA grain merchant Mal Bennett.

Kat Davis and Louise Fraser, SLR Agriculture, York, with Nutrien Ag Solutions graduate agronomist Millie Brady, Merredin.

Yara Australia Perth-based regional manager Jason Brady and Pingrup grower and WA Grains executive committee member Doug Smith.

Grains Australia chair Andrew Young and GRDC managing director Nigel Hart.

Bridget Smith, Elders Merredin, Millie Brady, Esperance Rural Supplies, and Lleyton Whitely-Yzerman, Delta Ag WA.

University of Western Australia PhD student Manish Sharma and Masters student Angelia Tamu.

Minginew Irwin Group

Mingenew-Irwin Group research agronomist Shannah Kanny and technical officer Montana Bradley, Mingenew, with Great Northern Rural Services graduate agronomist Claire Wilson, Geraldton.

Summit Fertilizers representatives Amy Corsini and Rachel Nash.

Esperance grower and i-paddock principal Mic Fels, Halcyon Downs, and Grain Producers Australia director and Beverley grower Duncan Young.

DPIRD researcher and leader of the national disease-modelling project Jean Galloway, Grower Group Alliance adoption manager Julianne Hill from the South-west WA Drought Hub, and Pioneer Seeds technical support manager Peter Bostock.

Kalyx research agronomist James Rollason, Esperance, Chad Hall from South Coastal Agencies and Jordan Whiting, Kadali Pastoral, Esperance.

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