Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 051 August-September 2004 - North
The GRDC is to establish a National Variety Trials (NVT) program to give independent performance assessments for new crop varieties prior to their release. The NVT will replace the current state- based Crop Variety Testing (CVT) programs. Project leader for the NVT program, Dr Andreas Betzner, says the change will establish a nationally coordinated system for testing new varieties, and will clearly separate breeding and release trials from grower-funded variety trials. He says NVT will be a separate activity running parallel to breeders' trials. Dr Betzner says the move is in response to grower demands for independent variety testing as plant breeding becomes more commercial and competitive. The establishment of the independent NVT program, scheduled to begin with the 2005 planting season, follows extensive consultations with industry stakeholders, especially with plant breeding programs that are members of the Seed Industry Association of Australia. "It has been important to create a system that is supported by the whole industry so that we don't need legislative force," he says. He says the focus of NVT measurements will be the "rewards and penalties criteria" that apply to delivered grain at receival point. This essentially means yield, screenings, protein, oil in canola, and colouration for some pulses. There will also be independent disease resistance ratings for wheat and durum. However, for cereal rusts and the diseases of other crops, the program will access disease resistance data from breeders, the GRDC-funded Australian Cereal Rust Control Program and the National Brassica Improvement Program, respectively. The GRDC will contract ACAS Limited to manage the new program. ACAS, or the Australian Crop Accreditation System, was founded in 1997, initially to develop accreditation protocols for public breeding and CVT trials and to inform growers on variety performance in those trials. Since its incorporation in 2000, the company has been known as ACAS Limited, and is a not-for-profit organisation. Its trustees are the GRDC, the GCA, the Seed Industry Association of Australia, and the Primary Industries Standing Committee, which represents State and Commonwealth Government agencies. Under the proposed agreement with the GRDC, ACAS Limited will focus its activities on the management of NVT and appoint a senior technical crop evaluation expert as NVT coordinator. Dr Betzner says expressions of interest will soon be called for from organisations to run the assessment trials. ISSUE 51 AUGUST 2004 ® SPECIAL FEATURE FARMING SYSTEMS Growers hop into beds of promise PAGE 3 INDEX EDITORIAL OPINION 2 ABARE REPORTS 6 GROWER FORUM 10 LETTER TO THE EDITOR 17 SOIL ACIDIFICATION 28 SUBSOIL RESEARCH 29 CEREAL RUSTS 30 GO GRAINS 32 THE GENE SCENE 32 WEATHER 35 Scientists search for weed-eating solution NEWS PAGE 24 MACHINERY BROADACRE LANDSCAPES Disc's reputation is on the mend Farming for a profitable community PAGES 22 & 23 PAGES 14 & 15 Grains may be the good oil PAGE 5 GROWER GROUPS Networked growers with clear destiny PAGES 20 & 21 Seeking the truth about tillage PAGE 16 GRDC Publications and Products: Pages 33 and 34. For a complete listing go to www.grdc.com.au/bookshop/ GrainZone, the official website of the GRDC, includes current and back issues of Ground Cover www.grdc.com.au Grain Zone Objective measurement system for new crops Dr Andreas Betzner: project leader. To many, Jules Dixon embodies the changing face of the grains industry -- a young, professional woman, working as the link for five large grower groups who are collaborating to improve their knowledge and farm management skills. It is Ms Dixon's job to draw together the increasingly collective capacity of the grower groups, by being the hands-on human communications link. Her territory stretches from her base in Tamworth, south to the Liverpool Plains and north to Moree. The GRDC-funded position was created after lobbying from local NSW Farmers' Association members, who felt the potential of grower groups would be improved with a full-time support person. Chairman of the NSW Farmers' Association Grains Research, Development and Extension Committee, James Clark, says the position has given the groups a stronger structure. "Groups are keen at the start, then they go through a slumber period where it is hard to see the results. Jules is helping them get results and meet their goals," Mr Clark says. Ms Dixon, who grew up on the family farm at Gunnedah, has found the new role quite different from her previous work as an agronomist. "This has a more business and research focus, and we take a flat, levelled approach to building communications between grower groups and people who can help them." Ms Dixon is part of an increasing trend of women working in industry support services. "My first job after uni was with a large company and I was one of two females among 45 blokes. Today in that same company it would be 50-50. I see women all around me now in the grains industry." -- Kellie Penfold Pages 20 and 21: The network development project in north-west NSW. NORTHERN REGION Industry's changing face a link in the knowledge chain Jules Dixon: communicating to improve the collective efficiency.
Ground Cover 052 October-November 2004 - North
Ground Cover 050 June-July 2004 - North