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Big names to headline Perth Grains Research Update

GRDC Chair John Woods will speak at day 1 of the Grain Research Update – Perth, presenting on future directions for GRDC investments.
Photo: GRDC

The program for the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) two-day Grains Research Update in Perth has been released, with several of the Australian grains industry’s most prominent researchers included in the schedule.

The event, recognised as WA’s premier grains industry forum, will take place on 27 and 28 February at Crown Perth and features the latest research, technology, market development and management innovations.

Day one will be opened by GRDC Chair and NSW grower John Woods, who will present on future directions for GRDC investments as the organisation moves to implementing its new 5-year Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan (2023-28).

Richard Simonaitis - CEOWA-based Grains Australia CEO Richard Simonaitis will provide an update on Grains Australia, which delivers ‘industry good’ services and functions on behalf of the grains sector. Photo: Grains Australia

Plenary sessions include a Grains Australia update from newly appointed, WA-based Grains Australia CEO Richard Simonaitis; a market outlook for grains from Michael Whitehead, Head of Food, Beverage and Agri Insights at ANZ; and a session on the sustainability of Australian grain farming systems from Richard Heath from the Australian Farm Institute.

Day one also includes a session from Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) Interim CEO and General Manager, Research and Technical Services, Ken Quail who will speak on market requirements and how Australian wheat performs. AEGIC Leading economist Ross Kingwell will discuss grain export supply chain challenges.

GRDC Senior Regional Manager – West Peter Bird says the 2023 Update will be an important platform for extending the latest research insights and advice to the state’s growers ahead of sowing this year’s crops.

“Grains research and development efforts are continually generating new knowledge, ideas and recommendations – all of which have the potential to accelerate growers in their endeavours to advance their farming systems and bottom lines,” Mr Bird says.

“By underpinning that fresh thinking with a good understanding of the broader industry state of play, growers and advisers are well informed and well placed to seize on the opportunities being presented.”

Other day one topics of note include:

  • Selecting the right cereal variety for the conditions
  • Understanding crop residue effects on wheat yield
  • Glyphosate alternatives for summer and pre-seeding knockdown weed control
  • Optimal planting times for canola varieties
  • Key learnings from benchmarking greenhouse gas emissions from WA growers
  • Improving harvest and post-harvest storage
  • Long coleoptile wheats for improved establishment
  • Re-engineering soils to define water-limiting yield potential
  • A session on potassium nutrition will round out day one topics.

Day two kicks off with a plenary session from Australian Plant Proteins’ Phil McFarlane, covering plant protein production - value adding to Australian pulses.

Topics on day two include:

  • New genetics for improved canola establishment
  • Impact of timing of strategic deep tillage
  • Next generation digital technologies for the grains industry
  • What does an information intensive agricultural system look like?

Also on day two are presentations on net blotch in barley, resistance status of wild radish, brome and barley grass, options for managing sodic soils, as well as focus sessions on reducing grain farming emissions, a session on the opportunities and risks of planting canola on canola instead of rotating crops, and a plant breeding research workshop.

Day two wraps up with Greg Perkins of Wildfire Energy and Louise Brown of Hydgene Renewables presenting on converting grain crop residues to hydrogen and ammonia. These two innovative companies are fine-tuning processes to extract hydrogen from crop straw with financial support from the Australian Government’s Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) and GRDC.

Presenters at the Update include some of Australia’s leading grains RD&E professionals, including researchers from WA’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), CSIRO, Murdoch University, University of Western Australia and the Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM), based at Curtin University.

The GRDC Grains Research Update at Crown Perth will be attended by agronomists, consultants, researchers, growers and other grains industry personnel.

More information: to register for the Update and see the full program visit GRDC Updates or contact Grain Industry Western Australia (GIWA) on 08 6262 2128 or [email protected].

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