Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 059 December-January 2006 - North
GRDC news and views 2 Editorial opinion By Peter reading Managing Director, Grains Research and Development Corporation fertiliser, driven up by high oil prices. These higher input costs, combined with low commodity prices, continue to increase the margin squeeze on growers. It is hoped, therefore, that the recent favourable movement in wheat prices may be sustainable. While the season has delivered mixed fortunes, one positive step forward has been the recent announcement by the states of the establishment of a threshold limit for the presence of GM adventitious material in canola. The establishment of a 0.9 per cent threshold for commercial crops and 0.5 per cent for seed gives the industry certainty for this year’s harvest, and a way forward for the continued evaluation of GM technology in Australia. Reaping rewards ground Cover is brought to you by growers and the Australian Government through the publisher, the Grains Research and Development Corporation. grdC: 02 6272 5525; fax 02 6271 6430 Write to: the editor – ground Cover PO Box 5367, Kingston aCt 2604 executive editor: Ms Maureen Cribb, Publications Manager, GRDC, 02 6272 5525 Managing editor: Brad Collis, Coretext, 03 9670 1168, fax 03 9670 1127 design and production: Coretext, www.coretext.com.au advertising sales: Max Hyde, Hyde Media Pty Ltd, 03 9870 4161, fax 03 9870 4163, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising is subject to terms and conditions published on the rate card, available from Hyde Media, and on the website www.coretext.com.au Printing: Capital Fine Print, Canberra Circulation: Ms Maureen Cribb, 02 6272 5525 iSSn 1039-6217 Registered by Australia Post Publication no. NAD 3994 Key to symbols Plant Breeders’ rights AThis symbol denotes that the variety is protected by Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR). Harvest radio Where this symbol appears, readers can listen to an online audio presentation by: n going to www.grdc.com.au/radio/main.htm; n scrolling to the relevant link. grains research Updates Where this symbol appears, growers and advisers can catch up on the latest Grains Research Update information by: n going to www.grdc.com.au; n clicking on ‘For Growers’; n clicking on ‘Research Updates’; and n selecting your region (North, South, West, High Rainfall, Irrigation). For more information ÆWhere this symbol appears, readers can access additional information or contact the people named. n By the time this edition of Ground Cover goes to press, a number of growers will have completed harvest while the majority should be well into harvesting their winter crops. The harvest in parts of the Northern Region has been affected by rain, leading to downgrades in quality, while in other areas the late rain will have been beneficial. Significant areas of the Western Region were again hit by frost. Current production forecasts for winter crops stand at around the 33 million tonne mark, with wheat expected to be in the range of 22 to 24 million tonnes. As well as the usual climatic variations, this cropping season has been affected by the significant increase in farm input costs, particularly in the prices of fuel and The decision was a good example of industry and government, at both federal and state levels, working together. Working collectively has been the key driver of GRDC strategy throughout the year, and remains an underlying principle. The increasingly complex and competitive international grains industry, together with increasing pressure of research and development funding, make it essential for everyone involved in grains R&D to work together more effectively to maximise the research outputs. The significant strides that the industry has made this year in barley and pulse breeding are strong examples of what is possible through a collaborative approach to grains R&D. For both crops now have nationally coordinated breeding programs. There will be open sharing of germplasm and intellectual property and performance benchmarks will be agreed to and monitored nationally. Market input for the programs will be industry-driven, with Pulse Australia providing input into the pulse breeding programs and Barley Australia input into barley breeding. This national approach to breeding should help resolve many of the duplications and fragmentation that currently exist and also help focus everyone’s effort on delivering maximum output. The GRDC is also working with its R&D partners to work more effectively across other research areas, including farming practices, value-added grain products, grower communications and capacity building. It is hoped that doing this more effectively will better help address the issues that growers are facing on how to remain competitive in the rapidly changing international grains industry. disclaimer: This publication has been prepared in good faith by the Grains Research and Development Corporation on the basis of the information available to us at the date of publication, without any independent verifcation. Neither the Corporation and its editors nor any contributor to this publication represent that the contents of this publication are accurate or complete; nor do we accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents, however they may arise. Readers who act on information from Ground Cover do so at their own risk. The Corporation and contributors to Ground Cover may identify products by proprietary or trade names to help readers identify particular types of products. We do not endorse or recommend the products of any manufacturer referred to. Other products may perform as well as or better than those specifcally referred to. Copyright: © All material published in Ground Cover is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the Grains Research & Development Corporation. RESEARCH ICARDA visit highlights R&D opportunities Collaboration with ICARDA, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, will be stepped up following a recent GRDC trip to its headquarters in Aleppo, Syria. ICARDA is part of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and in the same stable as the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CYMMIT). GRDC chairman Terry Enright and program manager Dr Richard Brettell visited the research centre to discuss ways that Australia and ICARDA could further work together. Dr Brettell says there are important similarities between the two regions, most importantly in climate. “We also share a lot of the same breeding objectives, so working together will be of mutual benefit and help deliver the goal of ‘better varieties faster’.” The visit involved meetings and laboratory and field visits with scientists involved in genetic resource conservation, breeding, biotechnology, integrated pest management (IPM), agrono- my, water-use efficiency, marketing, seed production and crop/livestock integration. Two Australian researchers at ICARDA, Dr Colin Piggin and Dr Ken Street, are already managing projects part-funded by the GRDC and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Dr Piggin heads up a new program – ‘Diversification and Sustainable Improvement of Crop and Livestock Production Systems in Dry Areas’. Dr Street is working on plant genetic resource conservation in Central Asia and the Caucasus. The work being done at ICARDA and the similarities between the southern Australian and northern Syrian environments – including dry summers and drought, pests and diseases, weeds, soil management and rotations – impressed the GRDC team. As the ICARDA region is the centre of origin of many of Australia’s temperate cereal, grain and oilseed crops, it is important that collaborative research links with the region are main- tained. The visit identified many opportunities for enhanced collaboration, including breeding (traits, markers, accessions), crop protection (diseases, pests), access to hot-spot locations to evaluate plant resistance and pest/disease biology, plant genetic resources (collection, con- servation, characterisation, evaluation) and capacity building and sabbaticals (post-doctorate and researcher exchanges). APPOINTMENTS New members for GRDC board Four new directors have been appointed to the GRDC board. Nicole Birrell, Steve Marshall, Professor Timothy Reeves and Phillip Young join chairman Terry Enright and return- ing directors Dr Donald Plowman and Ross Johns for three-year terms, which started on 1 October 2005. Each new director has specialist grains industry skills, from production to managing international grain research centres. Nicole Birrell runs a mixed cropping/grazing property in southern NSW and a risk manage- ment consultancy. She is also a director of SMS Management and Technology Ltd, a director of the Australian Practice Nurses Association Inc and a former director of AusBulk Ltd. Steve Marshall is a consultant with a background in science and international food process- ing. He is serving his second term as a director on the board of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. He is also a director with the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Rice Production, a former managing director of Goodman Fielder Ingredients and a former director of Plantic Technologies Ltd. Professor Tim Reeves is a consultant in agricultural R&D, sustainable agriculture, natural resource management and international development. He recently returned from Mexico, where he was director general of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CYMMIT). He also chairs the NSW Agricultural Advisory Council on Gene Technology and is a former board member of the CRC for Molecular Plant Breeding and the Rural Adjustment Scheme Advisory Council. Phillip Young owns a grain property in WA and consults in Australia and overseas on rural development and agribusiness. He is a founding director with technology and development com- pany Agrilink Pty Ltd and recently retired as chair of Australian Grain Technologies Pty Ltd. Announcing the appointments, Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestries, also thanked outgoing directors Dr Rachel Lucus, Dr Tony Fischer and Christine Hawkins for their contribution to the GRDC and the grains industries. grdC aCtivity GROuND COvER DECEMBER 2005/JANuARY 2006 ICARDA senior entomologist Dr Mustapha El-Bouhssini (left) and the GRDC’s Richard Brettell and Terry Enright (right) discussing resistance testing for Hessian fy, which does not occur in Australia, but is considered a potential threat.
Ground Cover 060 February-March 2006 - North
Ground Cover 058 October-November 2005 - North