Grain growers, researchers to benefit from $130 million, 10-year funding partnership between GRDC, government

FUNDING FIRMED: Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair, front, sign the bilateral agreement watched by GRDC chairman John Woods, GRDC managing director Steve Jeffries, DPI director-general Scott Hansen. Photo: Peter Hardin 170217PHA026
FUNDING FIRMED: Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair, front, sign the bilateral agreement watched by GRDC chairman John Woods, GRDC managing director Steve Jeffries, DPI director-general Scott Hansen. Photo: Peter Hardin 170217PHA026

THE region’s grain growers and researchers can both put down better roots after the announcement of a 10-year funding partnership between the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and NSW government.

More than $130 million will be invested into grains research and development in NSW over the next 10 years, meaning researchers will have more long-term certainty in their projects and jobs, and grain growers will continue to get the latest information for their decisions in the field.

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair and GRDC chairman John Woods announced the bilateral agreement at the Department of Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Training Centre at Calala yesterday.

Mr Joyce said the agreement would build on the current research and development partnership between the GRDC and government, and would secure research in Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Condoblin, Yanco and Trangie.

There are 31 full time equivalent positions involved across these sites, about half of which are in Tamworth.

“This announcement demonstrates our commitment to farming communities by supporting and expanding research and development in agronomy, pathology, plant breeding, pre-breeding, farming systems, nutrition, soils and grain quality,” Mr Joyce said.

“Underpinning the future of agriculture in Australia is the need to continually innovate and invest in research and development.

“This partnership brings together the lead industry research organisation – GRDC and the internationally recognised applied research capability within the NSW government.”

 Mr Blair said the agreement would enable better forward planning for resource and infrastructure requirements at DPI grains research facilities to ensure world-class research and development for NSW grain growers.

“The research and development will focus on two significant areas: winter crop pathology and winter crop agronomy and physiology,” Mr Blair said.

“The NSW grains industry generates $3.6 billion each year … This significant bilateral agreement will support our grain growers in boosting their productivity and meet future demand opportunities.”