Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Oct 18 03:25:13 CEST 2006

GRDC Media Release - 18.10.06




Graingrowers in WA's central wheatbelt recently invested in their future by
sharing concerns with their peak research and development body, the Grains
Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), while helping direct future


For the first time, the GRDC's Western Region Panel was split for its spring
tour, allowing it to cover more ground and speak with more growers.


GRDC Western Panel Chairman Dale Baker led Merrie Carlshausen, Ralph
Burnett, Ben Curtis and Greg Fraser on a tour of the central wheatbelt,
while Deputy Chairman, Robert Belford, along with David Capper, Richard
Oliver, Neil Young and Gavin Whiteley, covered the Great Southern.


The central wheatbelt two day tour visited growers at Kellerberrin,
Nokanning, Merredin, Quairading and York.


Mr Baker said the grower groups visited received productive information
about the GRDC and its investment priorities, while giving feedback to the
Panel of where and how they saw their R&D investment going in the future.


"We gathered and delivered more information by splitting the Panel and now
know, in more detail, the regional and local issues affecting growers.


"This intelligence will provide the Panel with valuable feedback on the best
ways to direct the $20 million or so the GRDC annually invests directly in
the Western Region  in grains R&D," Mr Baker said.


At Kellerberrin, Panel member BenCurtis explained End Point Royalties to 20
growers, who also appreciated his update on GRDC's wheat breeding


During a subsequent robust discussion on breeding and variety choice, Mr
Baker suggested growers ask the following question when contemplating
variety choices: "Will the variety deliver more than I pay?" He referred to
it as "a value promise".


Frost, climate variability, biofuels and pastures were also discussed.


At Nokanning pastures were again on the agenda, as were crop water use,
cover crops, wheat streak mosaic virus, lack of a malt barley variety for
low rainfall areas and weeds, including kerosene or stink weed, a major
summer weed problem in the area.


On the tour's second day, the Panel met with a handful of growers in a
paddock at Greg Richard's farm at Danjin, south of Quairading, where topics
covered included lupins in rotations, climate change, ryegrass, rhizoctonia,
salinity, cereal rust diseases, GMOs, frost and water tolerant wheats.


The 2006 central wheatbelt spring tour concluded at York, where an
enthusiastic grower group, Co-operative Research on Production Systems
(CROPS), co-ordinated by consultant Bill Roy, explained their wheat variety
trials at Harvey Morrell's farm.


CROPS has been conducting their own systems trials for more than a decade.


Dale Baker explained that the GRDC invested in the National Variety Trials
(NVT), which delivered independent data on the performance of varieties at
many locations.


"I suggest growers visit the NVT website at HYPERLINK
"http://www.nvtonline.com.au/"www.nvtonline.com.au where sites and results
can be found on a map-based search, but I ask them to be patient, as the
service is relatively new and is continually being refined to make it more
user friendly."


The Western Panel met post-tour at WAFarmers Perth office to review issues
growers raised and will use that knowledge when making future investment



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

MEDIA CONTACT: Dale Baker, Mob 0427 913 980

GRDC Ref: SpringTourCentral.doc/Baker/Weldon




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