Conversations that drill down into the details of local grain production constraints and opportunities will occur when key Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) personnel embark on a tour of the Esperance port zone in late July.
GRDC Western Region Panel members and staff will tour districts in the port zone from July 27 to 30, meeting with local growers, grower group representatives, researchers and agronomists in a range of locations including farms and trial sites.
The Panel plays a critical advisory and strategic role in informing GRDC investments in research, development and extension (RD&E) to create enduring profitability for grain growers.
Panel chair and Mingenew grain grower Darrin Lee says the Panel’s annual tours help the GRDC to develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing local growers, and to identify any gaps for potential GRDC investment.
“Following a period of restricted movement, Panel members are looking forward to getting back out and, with necessary COVID-19 precautions in place, meeting in person again with growers and other industry stakeholders – and having constructive two-way conversations about the issues impacting on grower profitability,” Mr Lee said.
“Direct engagement is important to the GRDC and its regional Panels, and the face-to-face interaction facilitated by the Panel tours is a great way of getting a finer understanding of local issues.
“The Panel can then act as a conduit for this information that is gathered on the tours, bringing it to the attention of GRDC management and staff.
“These tours complement multiple other ways in which the GRDC regularly engages with growers and industry representatives – such as through the GRDC Grower Networks (previously known as the Regional Cropping Solutions Network initiative).”
Mr Lee said that while GRDC personnel would embark on the tour with open ears, some of the issues that may be raised by growers during the tour could include soil amelioration and an ongoing requirement for profitable legumes in the rotation. There was also a current lack of quality water for spraying in many areas in the region, due to water shortages.
Upon arrival in Esperance, the GRDC delegation will meet in the evening with agronomists and researchers before travelling the next day to meet with growers at Cascade.
From Cascade, the group will continue west to meet with members of the Holt Rock Group, before driving to West Ravensthorpe and Lake King to meet with local growers.
On the second day, the group will visit the East Ravensthorpe property of Peter and Lena Daw, who are applying sand to clay soils and growing different break crops such as safflower. From there the group will meet with growers at Munglinup before returning to Esperance.
On day three, the group will travel to Grass Patch before visiting Condingup.