GRDC board meets in WA, discusses RD&E strategy

28 Dec, 2010 11:39 AM
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Keith Perrett.
Keith Perrett.

A recent Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) board meeting in Western Australia discussed the implementation of a national strategy for grains research, development and extension (R,D&E).

The board meeting was held in Perth to coincide with the International Grains Forum (IGF).

GRDC chairman Keith Perrett said the GRDC and its research partners were starting to make decisions on where investments needed to be made under the national RD&E strategy.

Recently approved by the Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC), the strategy will improve national collaboration between participants in Australia’s grains industry.

Better coordination of grains RD&E under the strategy will reduce duplication of services and increase cooperation between all grains industry participants.

Grains RD&E will be linked nationally, with different regions responsible for fields of research which will be developed and extended to growers in all regions.

Speaking after the GRDC board meeting in Perth, Mr Perrett said the strategy would be implemented progressively.

“We are starting to scope out where investments need to be made and how to capitalise on existing expertise,” he said.

“For example, there is the potential for WA to play a lead role in research to enhance grain quality, which is a logical fit as the State’s grains industry is primarily export based.

“This grain quality research will ensure that growers have access to the best technologies and varieties, and understand the market place.”

Mr Perrett said the GRDC was also in discussions with the WA Government and Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) about their grains industry strategy and how they could work together to enhance research in priority areas including drought and frost.

While in Perth, GRDC board members also attended the IGF event which focused on the theme ‘Grains supplies and global food security’.

“The event was valuable in bringing a global perspective to the Australian grains industry, and an Australian perspective to the international grains stage,” Mr Perrett said.

The forum was hosted by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and DAFWA, and sponsored by the GRDC and CBH Group.

During his visit to WA, Mr Perrett also visited the property of Darkan grower Ray Harrington to view first-hand the ‘Harrington Seed Destructor’.

Invented by Mr Harrington, verified by the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) and funded by the GRDC, the HSD is being developed as a new tool in the fight against annual ryegrass and other weeds.

“The GRDC has made a significant investment in the development of this machine, which is showing promise in trials,” Mr Perrett said.

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