Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Thu Oct 12 05:07:55 CEST 2006

LUCERNE PHASE - Lucerne in a companion cropping system will be as effective
at controlling groundwater recharge as lucerne incorporated in a phase
rotation system, according to research supported by the GRDC and CRC for
Plant-Based Management of Dryland Salinity.


CSIRO researcher Dr Phil Ward told the recent Australian Society of Agronomy
Conference in Perth that it meant increased flexibility for lucerne in
farming systems and could lead to more being grown in southern Australia.


"Lucerne's effectiveness in maintaining a dry soil was not affected by the
presence of a crop in a companion cropping system. Furthermore, in-crop
treatments such as lucerne suppression with herbicides, or the addition of
supplementary nitrogen or water, did not substantially affect soil water


In WA dryland salinity affects about one million hectares, which could
increase to between two and four million hectares in the absence of
preventative action or a prolonged decrease in rainfall.

Contact: Dr Phil Ward, Tel 08 9333 6616


COLLABORATION THE KEY - More than half a billion dollars invested in
Australian agricultural research last year was testament to the success of
Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), according to
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Sussan Ley.


Ms Ley, in a recent address to the Council of RDC chairs, said obtaining
results investors wanted meant collaborating on many fronts.


"At the high end, it means working with their industries and Government to
address, meet and set priorities," she said.


Last year's combined investment of $511.3 million in 2005 by RDCs, including
the GRDC, was expected to deliver around $1.65 billion in returns to
Australia over the next four years.


GRDC chairman and chair of RDC chairs, Terry Enright, said GRDC annually
invested about $120 million in Australian grain research and development and
more than $20 million a year in WA alone.

Contact: Terry Enright, Tel 08 9854 2039


 Authorised by GRDC and issued on its behalf by Brendon Cant & Associates,
Tel 08  9384 1122 




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