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Grains industry state of play to shape SA research forum agenda

The GRDC Grains Research Update in Adelaide next month will feature a presentation by Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre chief executive Richard Simonaitis who will discuss current market drivers and future opportunities for Australian grain growers.
Photo: AEGIC

Opportunities for growth through innovation and differentiation will be outlined to the State’s growers, their advisers and other grains industry personnel at the GRDC Grains Research Update in Adelaide.

To be held on February 9-10, the Update will feature a presentation by Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) chief executive Richard Simonaitis who will discuss current market drivers and future opportunities for Australian grain growers.

Presentations by Mr Simonaitis and others will provide the backdrop and context for the GRDC Grains Research Update which is recognised as the State’s premier grains research, development and extension forum.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager – South, Tom Blake, says the 2021 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 winter 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 Blake 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. For that reason, the Adelaide Update plays a pivotal role.”

Day one of the Update will also feature a presentation by Jonathan Wilson, the chief executive of the recently established Grains Australia Ltd, who will outline the purpose and core functions of the new industry body and how it can enhance the value of Australian grain.

New GRDC Managing Director Anthony Williams will open the Update and share his vision for the organisation and how it assists growers to compete and differentiate while increasing productivity and profitability.

The GrainInnovate fund – established by GRDC and Artesian Venture Partners to invest in ag-tech start-ups in the development of innovative solutions to cropping constraints – will be in the spotlight, with leaders of three start-ups detailing their initiatives.

Other day one topics include:

  • the rise of glyphosate resistance;
  • ameliorating sandy soils to maximise crop water use;
  • lessons in insecticide resistance;
  • the National Phenology Initiative;
  • the latest on blackleg disease in canola;
  • a new rhizobia testing tool;
  • the agronomic value of precision planting technologies;
  • maximising benefits from vetch.

Chaff lining as a weed reduction tool; revised critical soil test values for key nutrients; the drivers of insect pressure (as seen in 2020); boosting lentil performance on sandy soils; rules of thumb for nitrogen fertiliser use efficiency; and the latest knowledge on treatment of soil acidification will round out day one topics.

An ‘early risers’ session on emerging technologies will kick-start the program for day two, which will include two plenary presentations – one on future glyphosate use in Australia with Katie Asplin from CropLife Australia, and the second on integrating new chemistries into the farming system with Chris Preston from the University of Adelaide along with a panel of leading agronomists.

Topics on day two also include:

  • profitability from hyper yielding crops;
  • a pulse disease update;
  • phosphorus application recommendations;
  • the latest tactics for snail control;
  • non-chemical tactics for brome grass management;
  • reducing input costs for pulse crops.

Completing the day two program will be sessions on calculating thresholds for spraying Russian wheat aphid; integrating GM canola into the rotation; an update on managing cereal diseases; the impact of chemical use on market access; and novel agronomy strategies for improving yield.

The GRDC Grains Research Update at the Adelaide Convention Centre 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, phone ORM 03 5441 6176 or email

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