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Grains research precinct to drive crop profits
A confident outlook for Australian agriculture
Such confidence is sup- ported by data from the Australian Bureau of Ag- ricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, with Australian farm- gate production expected to reach $65 billion in 2020-21 on the back of the nation's second largest winter crop and promising rainfall outlook.
EVERY year AgriFu- tures Australia asks its stakeholders for candid feedback.
results, and in spite of drought and the impact of COVID-19, feedback indicated an underlying confidence about agricul- ture and, for producers, their farming businesses.
In 2020, the Stakeholder Survey showed 89.2 per- cent of people involved in our rural industries re- main positive about the future of Australian agri- culture.
To register your in- terest in completing our 2021 Stakeholder Survey, please register at agrifu
Consistent with 2019
A NEW grains research precinct at Murdoch and Curtin universities will help boost profitability for Australian grain growers and strengthen the na- tional grain industry.
million in the GRDC in matched payments.
“The fact that we are investing in this crucial infrastructure is a sign of our confidence in Western Australia grain growers and our commitment to seeing them thrive.”
grain growers,” Mr Woods said.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Lit- tleproud said the precinct would support resilience in Australia’s $14 billion grain industry.
“Innovation and research are the key themes we are focussing on in support of the industry’s $100 billion in farmgate value by 2030 vision.
GRDC chair John Woods said the aim of the GRDC Grains Research and De- velopment Infrastructure Grant program, which made the grains research precinct possible, was to boost capacity and capa- bility in Australian grain research and development and to create enduring profitability for grain growers.
The precinct infrastruc- ture consists of:
“The grains research precinct will support cutting-edge work on im- proved crop productivity and disease resistance by facilitating new research into crop pathology, plant physiology and genetic im- provement,” Minister Lit- tleproud said.
“The grains and oilseeds industry continues to make a huge contribution in search of that target, with ABARES forecasting a harvest worth $14.7 bil- lion in 2020-21.”
Four physical contain- ment Level 1 glasshouses and preparation rooms, four physical containment Level 2 glasshouses, ante rooms, preparation room and steriliser rooms, 0.9 hectares of irrigated, netted field plot area, a small office and amenities area, and a LED-lit and temperature-controlled growth facility at Curtin University.
“The Grains Research and Development Corpo- ration has invested $4.5 million to establish the grains research precinct in collaboration with Mur- doch and Curtin univer- sities, and the Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
Senator for Western Aus- tralia Slade Brockman at- tended the official opening of the precinct and hailed the new facility as an ex- ample of the government partnering with industry to grow the West’s agricul- tural output, productivity and profitability.
“This new precinct is an excellent example of collaboration between the GRDC and key research partners and will help us continue to deliver critical research, development and extension.
Murdoch University Interim Pro Vice-Chan- cellor, Food Futures Pro- fessor Peter Davies said the work undertaken at the precinct was vital at a time of climate change impacting production and increasing global demand for food.
“This investment con- tinues to support innova- tive projects around the country.
The grains research pre- cinct is mostly centred at Murdoch University though includes a collab- orative facility at Curtin University, near the Centre for Crop and Disease Man- agement.
“Over the past five years the Australian Govern- ment has invested $357
“This research hub will support grain growers both here in the West and all over the nation to grow and innovate and stay on the front-line of grains research, technology and adaptation,” Senator Brockman said.
“We have invested in this infrastructure because it will enable crop research in key areas such as dis- ease to be conducted ef- ficiently, while at the same time ensuring GRDC has increased capacity and ability for research that benefits all Australian
“Seventy percent more food will be needed to feed the world’s 9.5 bil- lion people by 2050, so the work we are doing in Western Australia will have a significant impact across the world,” Pro- fessor Davies said.
Gary Smith from Murdoch University with Professor Chris Moran of Curtin University, John Woods of GRDC, Western Australian Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan, Senator Slade Brockman and Professor David Morrison from Murdoch University joined forces to officially opened the grains research precinct in Perth. Photo: DPIRD
“Our work will also en- able farmers in third world countries to improve their production capacity by uti- lising our knowledge and skills, and the outcomes of our research.”
“Improving the quality and yield of grains through our research and develop- ment will help unlock unproductive land for production, as well as in- crease yield on our already productive lands.
For more information, visit
FarmReady Hub launched to address skills and labour shortages
THE Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance and FarmReady Hub have partnered to launch a comprehensive online accreditation program for jobseekers looking to enter the Australian agriculture sector.
allowing farmers to sat-
The Pre-Induction Micro-Credential pro- gram allows prospective agriculture employees to obtain a FarmReady Card that prepares them for work on farm and opens career pathways to all the employment opportuni- ties across Queensland’s agriculture sector.
“Demand for casual la- bour is expected to peak around March, with up to 26,000 jobs going un- filled,” Dr Davis said.
underprepared.” FarmReady Hub is de-
efits farmers by simpli- fying the business hiring process and streamlines the transfer of informa- tion from workers to farmers, employment agencies and contrac- tors.”
Queensland Farmers’ Federation chief execu- tive officer Dr Georgina Davis said COVID-19 had caused unprec- edented labour market disruption and required new and innovative ap- proaches for an ongoing workforce.
“While Queensland farmers have already reported $11 million of crop losses across a va- riety of commodities.
signed to take the guess- work out of farm work by ensuring new employees arriving at the farm gate are correctly prepared for an agricultural job, with an understanding of specific rural workplace health and safety and bi- osecurity requirements.
“The FarmReady Hub accreditation program will play a role in en- suring agriculture has a resourced, fit for purpose workforce that is respon- sive to technological advances and potential disruption for the fu- ture productivity of the sector.”
“There is a significant amount of work being done to find solutions, including encouraging Australians to consider farm work, however the industry is diverse and many job applicants are
“The program offers a skills passport for job- seekers to include their licence details, permits, letters of offer and other qualifications thereby
For information and to register to undertake FarmReady accredita- tion, visit farmreadyhub. com
isfy the necessary em- FFployment administrative requirements,” Dr Davis
“FarmReady also ben-
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Australian Pork Newspaper, January 2021 – Page 15
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