Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 053 December-January 2005 - North
As we go to press, the 2004 grain harvest will be well under way. Unfortunately in many areas it will be a disappointing harvest impacted in various areas by lack of rain, disease and frost damage. It is hoped that in those areas where crops are looking reasonable, the harvest proceeds smoothly. e difficult seasonal conditions, together with low commodity prices and a strengthening dollar, have contributed to a disappointing year for many growers and the broader grains industry. It is years such as these that again highlight the importance of many of the issues raised in the grains industry strategic plan (Towards a Single Vision for the Australian Grains Industry 2005-2025), which was launched at Grains Week in April this year and has been followed up by the formation of a number of grower forums and task forces. It is critical that where possible the industry works together to address the big issues facing the grains industry, including excessive fragmentation and duplication, sustainability and growers' terms of trade. An industry working together to address common issues will greatly improve the chances of developing industry solutions. Just last month, plans to bring barley breeding into a nationally coordinated program moved a step closer, with leaders of the breeding programs agreeing on the need for structural change to keep Australian programs internationally competitive (see report, page 7). Following on from the Single Vision strategy, the GRDC has been looking at its own strategic direction and how better to implement its current strategic plan, 'Driving Innovation'. Our primary objective is to ensure that Australian graingrowers are provided with the technology that keeps them competitive in the rapidly changing global grains industry. To achieve this objective there are four supporting strategies. e first of these is for the GRDC to facilitate and coordinate a national approach to grains research and development. is is important to ensure a balanced R&D portfolio, with reduced areas of fragmentation or duplication. A coordinated national approach is also necessary for maximising opportunities to develop technology into products and services that are of benefit to growers. e second strategy is to ensure that the industry leverages the total R&D investment, including sourcing additional funding, and working cooperatively with other R&D corporations such as Australian Wool Innovation and the Meat and Livestock Association, as demonstrated in the Grain and Graze initiative. e third supporting strategy is to ensure that the GRDC delivers against the Australian Government's priorities. e Australian Government is a major investor in grains R&D through the GRDC and it is essential that its priorities are effectively addressed. e final supporting strategy is to ensure all research and development is market driven. is includes making sure that market signals such as grain quality are fed back into breeding programs, ensuring that the broader grains industry contributes to relevant research, and finally to utilise private capital and expertise if this helps deliver better outcomes to growers. e international grains industry will continue to evolve and it is essential that Australian grains R&D continues to deliver outcomes to graingrowers to enable them to compete more effectively in the marketplace. 2 GRDC NEWS & VIEWS DECEMBER 2004 EDITORIAL OPINION By PETER READING, Managing Director, Grains Research and Development Corporation 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 verification. 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 specifically referred to. Ground Cover is brought to you by growers and the Federal Government through the publisher, the Grains Research and Development Corporation. 02 6272 5525 Fax 02 6271 6430 Write to: The Editor -- Ground Cover PO Box 5367 Kingston ACT 2064 Executive Editor: Ms Maureen Cribb Managing Editor: Brad Collis, Coretext Pty Ltd. 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, email@example.com Printing: Capital Fine Print, Canberra Circulation: Ms Maureen Cribb, Publications Manager, GRDC, 02 6272 5525 ISSN 1039-6217 Registered by Australia Post Publication No. NAD 3994 A This symbol denotes that the variety is protected by Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR). The ongoing success of the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) in improving the profitability and viability of farmers in Victoria's Mallee and Wimmera regions has been recognised with the presentation of the GRDC's 'Seed of Light' award to the BCG's founding chair, Ian McClelland. The GRDC's 'Seed of Light' Award recognises excellence in grains R&D communication, and was presented to Mr McClelland at the 4th Crop Science Congress in Brisbane by GRDC southern panel chairman Ian MacKinnon. Mr McClelland has been chairman of the BCG since its formation in 1993. With his brother Warwick, he farms properties totalling 7800 hectares in the Birchip, Mortlake and Swan Hill districts of Victoria. He is a board member of Marcus Oldham College at Geelong, an honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of Land and Food Resources -- Crop Production (Melbourne University), and in 1998 was the recipient of the Hugh McKay Innovators Award for Excellence in Agriculture and Resources. Mr MacKinnon said BCG had become one of Australia's leading farmer-owned and driven groups, and now had a membership of more than 500 families covering north- west Victoria, South Australia and NSW. "Much of the success of BCG can be attributed to Ian," Mr MacKinnon said. "The group's aim is to improve the profitability and viability of all farmers in the region, resulting in prosperous businesses and industry contributing to prosperous towns, pride in the region and a commitment to furthering the good of the community. "Over one four-month period in 2003, BCG attracted more than 3000 visitors to its trials and projects. "The BCG's direction towards excellence has largely been a result of Ian's leadership, vision, enthusiasm and constant concern for enhancing the productivity of Australian graingrowers." GRDC PROGRAM 6 For more information: www.grdc.com.au GRDC's program operations executive manager, John Harvey, felt very much the honoured politician when he was invited to pull the drawstring that officially opened the new research site for Southern Farming Systems (SFS) in November. He admitted to the assembled growers and other industry representatives that it was a first, and definitely something for the family scrapbook. On a more serious note he acknowledged the increasing importance of Australia's high- rainfall cropping zone, and the role being played by the SFS group: "We see this as the region most likely to increase Australia's grain yield," he said. SFS plans to use the site, 10 kilometres west of Inverleigh, in Victoria, for ongoing agronomic trials to develop improved high rainfall varieties. Birchip founder honoured In recognition of excellence: Ian McClelland, left, receives his 'Seed of Light' award from the GRDC's southern panel chairman, Ian MacKinnon. Deep tillage and nutrition, cropping rotation's impact on yield and precision agriculture are a few of the areas being studied by the winners of the three GRDC-sponsored 2004 Nuffield Scholars. They are Mark Branson, from Stockport, SA; Simon Turnbull, from Warren, NSW; and Mark Modra, of Port Lincoln, SA. Their awards were announced on 8 October in Canberra. Together with eight other winners from around Australia, these Nuffield Scholars will undertake a six-week study program next year that will see them tour Australasia, Europe and North America before they pursue individual study programs based on their own interests. The Australian Nuffield Farmers Scholars Association chairman, Brendon Smart, said: "We are focused on developing the practical, managerial and commercial capacities of each scholar to enable them to be better farmers and to make a significant contribution to the future of Australian agriculture." GRDC RESEARCH CODE NUF 00007, program 6 Three win GRDC Nuffield awards Big issues need the industry working together KEY TO NEW SYMBOLS To enhance access to further information about reports in Ground Cover, two new symbols appear in this edition. 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; and 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).
Ground Cover 054 February-March 2005 - North
Ground Cover 052 October-November 2004 - North