[ASC-media] CSIRO: Trans-Tasman collaboration builds new business

Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au
Mon Dec 17 22:47:17 CET 2007

18 December 2007 

Ref 07/ 249

Trans-Tasman collaboration builds new business 

Business opportunities are emerging for new wheat varieties being
developed under the AUSGRAINZ alliance between CSIRO Plant Industry and
New Zealand's Crop & Food Research.

A production-line of new wheat varieties for high rainfall zones has
been established with most of the milling wheat varieties being
developed through HRZ Wheats Pty Ltd - a company set up by AUSGRAINZ and
the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Chief of CSIRO Plant Industry, Dr Jeremy Burdon, says the collaboration
between Australian and New Zealand scientists is proving beneficial on
both sides of the Tasman.

"Wheats grown in New Zealand are placed under more disease pressure so
we find that the breeders can generate results much faster," Dr Burdon

"Screening processes and associated crosses made in Crop & Food
Research's disease-intensive nurseries have conferred good resistance to
both stripe rust and leaf rust."

He says just as importantly, trialling of breeding lines in Australia
can help select for those best suited to the Australian environment. 
"We find testing can be more efficient by using both climates, not to
mention the advantage of combining scientific expertise."

Crop & Food Research CEO Mark Ward says that without the degree of
co-operation generated at both the scientific and business levels
through the partnership, New Zealand might not be able to afford the
high standard of grain breeding research currently being undertaken.

"The new dual-purpose wheat varieties developed in New Zealand, in
collaboration with the Australian partners, are in demand in Australia's
higher rainfall zones," he says.

"These dual-purpose wheats can be sown from February to April, grazed
through the cool months and harvested for grain in summer. They
effectively fill an autumn/winter feed gap and have a high nutritive
value, often leading to very good live-weight gains in livestock."

The AUSGRAINZ partnership is also working on new durum varieties that
can be grown beyond traditional growing regions due to traits like
Durum is normally highly sensitive to saline soils, limiting the area
where it can be grown.

The partnership is flexible and designed to couple expertise rather than
duplicate it, in order to produce better results for farmers in both

Image available at:

Further Information:

Dr Jeremy Burdon, CSIRO Plant Industry
02 6246 5546, jeremy.burdon at csiro.au

Visit the AUSGRAINZ site at:

Media Assistance:

Sophie Clayton, CSIRO Plant Industry
02 6246 5139, 0418 626 860, sophie.clayton at csiro.au


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Beck Eveleigh
Media Assistant
CSIRO Media Liaison
6276 6451
0409 395 010

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