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Stellar speaker line-up for Perth Grains Research Update

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

How global issues will impact the security of grains markets over the next decade is the headline topic at Western Australia's premier grains event for 2024.

Internationally recognised speaker Dennis Richardson, who has been director general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and an Australian ambassador to the United States, will deliver the keynote address in Perth next month.

Mr Richardson joins a stellar line up at speakers at the Grains Research and Development Corporation's (GRDC) annual Grains Research Update on February 26 and 27.

The event, which is being held this year at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, will be opened by GRDC Chair John Woods and will showcase the latest grains research, development, technology and management innovations.

In the second plenary session on day one, Simon Kuestenmacher will speak about Australia’s changing demographics and what it means for the demand for grains.

Image of Simon Kuestenmacher.

Demographer Simon Kuestenmacher will speak about Australia’s changing demographics and what it means for the demand for grains in the second plenary session on day one of the Update. Photo: Provided

Mr Kuestenmacher is a media commentator on demographic and data matters, a columnist for The New Daily newspaper and a regular contributor to The Australian newspaper. He ranks as one of the world’s top 10 influencers in data and his social media posts reach over 35 million people every month.

International speaker, CEO and Director at Inari, Ponsi Trivisvavet will present new technology for accelerating plant breeding on day two of the updates.

Image of Ponsi Trivisvavet.Ponsi Trivisvavet, CEO and Director at Inari, USA, will present on new technology for accelerated plant breeding on day two of the Grains Research Update – Perth. Photo: Provided

Inari is a United States-based biotechnology company that uses predictive design and advanced multiplex gene editing to unlock the full potential of seed. Ms Trivisvavet leads Inari in its mission to help build a more sustainable global food system in the face of climate change.

Well known researcher Ben White from the Kondinin Group will lead a panel featuring presenters from Agritechica 2023 in Germany, will explore future innovations for farm machinery.

GRDC Senior Regional Manager  – west Peter Bird said the 2024 update will be an important platform for extending the latest research insights and advice to the state’s growers and advisers ahead of sowing this year’s crops.

“GRDC is committed to investing in RD&E that continually generates new knowledge, ideas and best practice management solutions with the goal of making farming business more profitable,” Mr Bird said.

“Our updates offer a way to share the latest research outcomes and they also offer growers, advisers, researchers, and other industry stakeholders a valuable opportunity to connect and network.”

Image of Dennis RichardsonDennis Richardson AO, Former Director General of ASIO is the first keynote speaker on day 1 of the Grains Research Update - Perth. Photo: Provided

More than 50 concurrent sessions will be held over two days on topics ranging from crop choices and farming systems; markets, soils and agronomy, weed management, emissions, climate and weather, diseases, technology and nutrition.

Topics of note across the two-day program include:

  • Looking ahead to the African opportunity, Chris Carter, AEGIC;
  • Unearthing the financial and production impact of soil amelioration for farm businesses in WA, Peter Newman, AHRI;
  • Understanding canola seed bed conditions and their implications for establishment, Andrew Fletcher, CSIRO;
  • Carbon Neutral Grain – reducing emissions for grain pre and post farmgate, Jane Wardle, CBH; and
  • RiskWi$e: practical paths to getting farm management decisions more right more often, Rick Llewellyn, CSIRO and James Dempster, Goldsand Farms.

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

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