LOCAL grain growers will share in a $16 million research boost, it was announced at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute yesterday.
The Department of Primary Industries and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) have combined forces to bring 22 new projects to farming regions across NSW.
Tamworth-based crop specialist Loretta Serafin will be coordinating several of the grain research projects with the new funding.
The multi-million dollar funding package was announced by Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce, NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson, and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson.
Ms Hodgkinson identified crown rot as one of the “scourges of our grains industry” that was responsible for significant losses last year.
“If we can find species that are not so susceptible to crown rot, that has got to be a great advantage for NSW and for Australia as a whole,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“We look forward to reaping very positive benefits from these research projects in the years to come.”
The funding will be shared across Department of Primary Industries research centres in Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Narrabri and Trangie.
Mr Joyce highlighted the importance of research in maintaing a quality agricultural product that would be attractive to markets in Asia and the Middle East.
“This nation is only going to go forward if we produce a premium product,” Mr Joyce said.
“This is how we’re going to make sure that agriculture stays as a mechanism that can truly buffer our nation into the future.
“Agriculture is pulling its weight, it’s putting money on the table, and its delivering an outcome. So if you invest where you make money, you’ll make more money.”
Mr Anderson said the research would prove critical to growers and graziers.
“It’s difficult under the circumstances, like the climate conditions we’re facing at the moment, so if they can get that edge, if they can get that one or two percent to make a difference in their yields, it’s going to put them in a very good position,” Mr Anderson said.
The research will focus on key areas, including disease management, eliminating grain defects in chickpeas, enhancing the quality of canola varieties and increasing the resilience of wheat and grain crops, as well as opening up new export markets and developing new crops.