Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 095 November-December 2011 - North
On-farm research NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2011 GROUND COVER 13 resources was initiated by the Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC) to foster greater cooperation between the Commonwealth and the states, avoiding unnecessary duplication and maximising benefits from the investment in research, development and extension. “The RCS initiative is part of a renewed effort by the GRDC to work with growers to reduce the time it takes for new varieties, practices and technologies to be adopted, with the ultimate aim being to increase the productivity of the Australian grains industry,” Mr Harvey says. Members of the nine RCS networks are due to be appointed soon for WA’s five designated zones and south-east Australia’s four zones. The acting chairman for the GRDC’s Southern Panel, Peter Schwarz, says the facilitators will work with the networks in each region to help identify and prioritise local production issues. “Feedback will be provided to the GRDC and the regional panel on emerging issues, attitudes and activities which are relevant to local production issues and the needs of the networks,” he says. “The facilitators will also maintain a regional RD&E database of GRDC project activities and results.” The GRDC and its regional panels, in turn, will provide information, support and guidance to the networks. As currently envisioned, the role of each RCS facilitator will be to: n establish, link and support a regional development and extension network of regional farming systems groups, local agribusiness and R&D organisations; By Gio Braidotti n Eight facilitators have been appointed to head the GRDC’s new research, development and extension (RD&E) platform – the Regional Cropping Solutions (RCS) networks. The new system aims to link growers’ local R&D needs with the nation’s agricultural researchers in a more streamlined, targeted and responsive fashion. Nine networks are being established across the southern and western growing regions. Each will comprise up to 12 members representing farming, agronomy, agribusiness and research sectors. They will also include a local GRDC panellist. The newly appointed facilitators are to head these networks, a role that requires familiarity with long-standing and emerging local issues and the ability to identify the research question that best helps address these challenges. A separate GRDC funding arrangement has been established to allow rapid deployment of short-term trials and research to tackle specific issues. An expected side benefit will be growth in extension capacity among growers and advisers in the regions. Of the eight recent appointments, three of the RCS facilitators are based in WA and five across south-east Australia. The appointees in WA are Julianne Hill and Sally Thomson, who will work in WA’s central east, central west, Great Southern and Esperance zones. Cameron Weeks has been appointed to facilitate for WA’s northern zone. In south-east Australia, Dr Nigel Wilhelm will work across the low- rainfall zone, Felicity Pritchard in the medium-rainfall zone, Jen Lillecrapp and Trent Potter in the high-rainfall zone and Rob Fisher in the irrigation areas of southern NSW and northern Victoria. GRDC managing director John Harvey says the facilitators provide essential on-the- ground links between growers, agribusiness and researchers to complement the Grains Industry National RD&E Strategy. This national restructuring of RD&E GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions (RCS) network faciltators Facilitator Growing region Zone Contact Julianne Hill Western Central east, central west, Great Southern, Esperance 0447 261 607 Sally Thomson Western Central east, central west, Great Southern, Esperance 0417 983 356 Cameron Weeks Western Northern 0427 006 944 Nigel Wilhelm Southern Low rainfall 0407 185 501 Felicity Pritchard Southern Medium rainfall 0427 600 228 Jen Lillecrapp and Trent Potter Southern High rainfall 0427 647 461 08 8762 9132 Rob Fisher Southern Irrigation areas of southern NSW and northern Victoria 0428 545 263 KEY POINTS n Regional Cropping Solutions (RCS) networks are being established to respond rapidly to regional grower issues n RCS is part of a new national research, development and extension (RD&E) strategy n The aim is to lift grower profitability and industry productivity Local voices integral to new RD&E strategy Implementation of the National Grains Industry RD&E Strategy is underway, with the GRDC appointing eight facilitators to head its Regional Cropping Solutions (RCS) networks in Western Australia and south-east Australia. They join facilitators already appointed for the northern region Figure 1 Facilitating better trial design Coordinator Coordinator Facilitator Facilitator What is the specific question? What do we currently know about it? What are the R,D or E questions that, if answered, would address the issue? What experimental design or style of activity would best answer the question in the quickest and most cost-effective way? What capability/capabilities – infrastructure, equipment, human resources – is/are required to conduct the activity? Conduct trial and extension activities Trial results website/ database n work with regional farming systems groups and local advisers to support the identification and prioritisation of local production issues; n establish the critical RD&E question needed to be answered; n establish and maintain in conjunction with the GRDC a regional industry RD&E database of GRDC project activities and results; n provide an effective interface between these networks and the GRDC; n promote opportunities for these networks to access public and private funds to address local production issues; and n provide feedback to the GRDC and its Regional Panels on emerging issues and current attitudes and activities within the region that are relevant to local production issues and the needs of the networks. □ More information: Stuart Kearns, GRDC acting executive manager for regional grower services, 02 6166 4500, email@example.com Introducing Axioms Quality Grain Testing Equipment & Weighing Scales Manufactured and Supplied by 1 Hartog Place Wagga Wagga NSW, 2650 Phone. 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Ground Cover 096 January-February 2012 - North
Ground Cover 094 September-October 2011 - North