[ASC-media] 'Prosperity Through Innovation': GRDC Strategic R&D Plan 2007-12

BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Jul 11 04:00:24 CEST 2007

 GRDC Media Release – 11.7.07<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns =
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‘Prosperity Through Innovation’

GRDC Strategic R&D Plan 2007-12


Key drivers of change in the next five years for the Grains Research and
Development Corporation (GRDC) include water availability, productivity
growth, grower terms of trade, grain market dynamics, customer expectations
and farm demographics.


GRDC Board Chairman Terry Enright emphasised that the GRDC’s fourth five
year strategic plan, “Prosperity Through Innovation”, would encourage
stakeholders and research partners to meet clearly defined performance
measures and outcomes so that growers could adopt technologies and practices
to remain globally competitive.


Acknowledging climate change was a reality growers had to deal with,
especially in accessing declining water sources, he said the GRDC had
targeted a 10 per cent increase by 2012 in water use efficiency in certain
agro-ecological zones.


Other five year plan performance targets include: 

•        Proportion of growers taking up Precision Agriculture represents
60pc of growers surveyed.

•        Area of cropping land with retained stubble increases by 10pc.

•        Proportion of growers with improved confidence in managing pests,
weeds and diseases averages 90pc of growers surveyed, up from 80pc.

•        Annual yields, as measured in National Variety Trials (NVT),
increase by:

•       1.0pc for wheat and barley

•       1.5pc for a canola

•       2.0pc for pulses

•       1.5pc for sorghum

•        By 2010, 90pc of wheat entries in NVT meet minimum disease
standards for rust resistance.

•        By 2010, 90pc of canola entries in NVT have blackleg resistance
scores of 7 or above.


Mr Enright said that when developing a business case for investments, the
GRDC would ensure proposed new products and services had sufficient market
demand to justify the investment.


“The GRDC’s primary objective in commercialising research outputs is to make
new, improved technology and crop varieties available to Australian grain
growers as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible,” he said.


Likely highlights in 2007-08, the first year of the five year plan, include:


·        Newly developed farming practices successfully tested and
integrated into existing farming systems.

·        Precision agriculture training packages for growers, advisers and
tertiary students.

·        New advanced germplasm, with associated molecular markers,
developed and used by relevant Australian breeding programs.

·        New breeding technologies developed and made available to
researchers and breeders.

·        Analysis of delivery pathways for genetically modified crops in

·        Further investment in research on industrial feed stocks in

·        Screening program established for contact and short-residue

·        Cross-grains industry research effort on grain hygiene, through CRC
for National Plant Biosecurity.

·        Develop protocols for registration of microbes for bio-control and

·        Develop and commercialise a new ethyl formate–based grain pest


ABARE’s most recent Crop Report predicted a 10pc increase to 20 million
hectares in this year’s winter crop, with a likely production of 37 million
tonnes, up by 21 million tonnes on the drought affected 2006-07 season. 

Noting the report, Mr Enright said that with GRDC’s major levy funding
source being wheat, which may double to up to 25 million tonnes this year,
the GRDC would, hopefully, begin its five year plan with a positive outlook.

“Our reserves policy has helped the GRDC sustain a significant level of R&D
investment across Australia in the last couple of tough years,” he said.



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

Further Information: GRDC, Tel 02 6272 5525



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