GRDC invests another $10M to bolster grains research in WA

GRDC will invest $10 million over three years in the newly formed Western Australian Agricultural Research Collaboration.
grdc waarc investment july 2022

The collaboration, which is a joint initiative between the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia, was launched (July 21) in Perth.

Speaking at the launch, GRDC Chair and grain grower John Woods says the initiative was an important step in developing successful, efficient research collaborations that delivered positive outcomes for WA growers and agriculture more broadly.

“Having the best researchers and research institutions commit to working together to develop innovative solutions to the big issues facing agriculture is monumental.

“There is an opportunity for significant research efficiencies. Through working together, we can harness our combined might to apply innovative, cutting-edge science to address some of WA’s unique challenges and opportunities.”

Mr Woods says GRDC had an outstanding network of grain growers, advisers and stakeholders it consulted with regularly, so as well as financial resources, GRDC involvement would bring significant grower insights and priorities.

“Input from our National Grower Network and WA Regional Panel – delivered through GRDC’s WA staff – will be highly valuable as part of this initiative,” he says.

“GRDC is energized to work constructively with the collaboration and has the capacity, through our grower networks, to help ensure every investment is aligned to growers needs and driving enduring profitability.”

The $10 million contribution towards the establishment of the WA Ag Research Collaboration is the fourth major GRDC investment in WA this year.

On Tuesday, GRDC in partnership with DPIRD, announced an innovative $20.4 million research project that will give Western Australian grain growers in low and medium rainfall zones new insights into farming systems practices that increase profit, manage risk and consider greenhouse gas (GHG) emission options.

The WA Farming Systems project, a joint five-year investment, will use a whole-of-farm research approach to support growers in making informed business and agronomic decisions.

Last month, GRDC and the WA Government announced their ongoing support for the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) and committed to investing $12 million – $3 million each year, per year – until 2026. AEGIC gathers, analyses and shares market information with the grains industry to enable them to meet key domestic and export expectations.

In June, GRDC also announced it would invest another $30 million over five-years in Curtin University’s Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM). This ongoing support will also allow the CCDM to continue delivering research discoveries that reduce the economic impact of crop disease for Australian grain growers.

“The WA Farming Systems project is tailored specifically to low and medium rainfall zones in the west. It has been developed in response to grower needs to provide new insights into farming systems practices to help them make more informed management decisions.

“Our investment in the WA Ag Research Collaboration and other key projects in WA this year reflects our commitment to understanding and responding to the needs of WA growers.”

The WA Government announced in May it would invest $25 million over three years in the WA Ag research Collaboration to future-proof agriculture in the state, with further contributions from the participating organisations.

The WA Ag Research Collaboration includes a grains transformation program with the inspirational goal of an average 25 million tonne crop by 2035 with 50% increase in fertiliser, crop protection and fuel input use efficiency.

“GRDC is committed to investing, on behalf of grain growers, in RD&E that delivers genuine sustainability and profitability gains on-farm and the WA Ag Research Collaboration grains transformation program aligns with our future-focused strategy,” Mr Woods says.

Aggregate: News & Events