GRDC takes ‘ground up’ approach to research

image of extension activities
Growers, advisers and researchers are invited to contribute ideas about on-farm constraints or regional opportunities to GRDC to assist in developing research, development and extension investments that deliver for industry. Photo GRDC

The research needs and priorities of Queensland and New South Wales grain growers are set to attract a renewed focus under the GRDC National Grower Network (NGN).

The NGN is designed to encourage increased engagement and input from growers, agronomists, researchers and other industry stakeholders into grains research, development and extension (RD&E).

GRDC’s RDE General Manager Peter Carberry said the NGN would provide a vital link between on-ground issues and research investments.

“The NGN will provide a crucial touch point between GRDC and growers, advisers and researchers,” Dr Carberry said.

“Essentially it will allow the identification of regional opportunities and constraints and gather local experience to help shape the future direction of regionally-relevant RD&E and deliver paddock-ready solutions to production challenges.

“The NGN is about two-way interaction, linking grower needs with research and in turn providing GRDC RD&E answers and information back to growers and agronomists to assist in decision-making on-farm.”

The initiative builds on the success of GRDC’s Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) and Grower Solutions Group (GSG) and will ensure a consistent, national approach to identifying priority grain industry investment opportunities to improve profit and reduce risk.

In the northern region, the NGN encompasses the former southern NSW RCSN, as well as the areas covered by the Grower Solutions Groups in central NSW, coastal and tablelands NSW, northern NSW and southern Queensland, central Queensland, and coastal hinterland Queensland.

“This network will ensure GRDC has extensive geographic reach to directly connect with growers, advisers and other stakeholders at a local level,” Dr Carberry said.

“We will be organising NGN forums, as well as linking in with existing and established grains industry events to elicit the needs and priorities of those working at a paddock level in the grains sector.”

Where possible GRDC’s Regional Panel members will also be involved in the NGN grower forums. This mix of growers, advisers, researchers and regional panel members will identify and inform the development of grower facing investments that address the local issues raised in the forums.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager North Richard Holzknecht said the network would ensure local issues and farming systems were considered and prioritised when GRDC developed RD&E investments with the ultimate aim of improving on-farm profitability.

“The NGN has been developed to ensure growers have a genuine opportunity to have a say when it comes to what their RD&E needs and priorities are on-farm; it is a ground-up approach to information gathering,” he said.

NGN grower forums will be held across Queensland and NSW in the coming months with each event featuring a key locally relevant topic and facilitated by GRDC Grower Relations Managers Richard Holzknecht (QLD and northern NSW) and Graeme Sandral (central and southern NSW).

NGN events scheduled for Queensland include:

NGN events scheduled for NSW include:

  • Moree – February 2022
  • Grafton – February 2022
  • Tottenham, NSW – March 2022
  • Grenfell – March 2022
  • Dunedoo – March 2022.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 challenges forums scheduled in NSW were cancelled and will be rescheduled.

All forums will be held in line with the relevant COVID-19 restrictions.

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