Current grains industry challenges are associated with the efficient use of resources in a climate of rising costs and growing awareness of environmental impacts, according to Dr Fran Hoyle, Department of Agriculture and Food WA research scientist.
Dr Hoyle, who is also a member of the Grains Research and Development Corporation Western Region Panel, says the potential future scenarios for WA farming could involve "retirement of marginal cropping land and a greater emphasis on rainfall capture and water use efficiency".
"There is a need to explore ways of increasing the effective rooting zone of cropping plants and pastures to utilise the soil resource more efficiently, helping reduce input costs and maximising productivity," Dr Hoyle said.
"Future yield increase is underpinned by understanding future climate, the development of new and lower energy intense technologies and smarter use of inputs."
In 2007-2008, GRDC invested $12 million nationally in agronomy, soils and environment research, which includes sustainable farming initiatives.