Showcasing science to boost grain industries

Scientific research in the breeding, processing and consumption of grain will be discussed at an international conference in Wagga Wagga next week

The 68th Australasian Grain Science Association Conference will be held at Charles Sturt University (CSU) from Monday 10 September to Thursday 13 September.

Conference co-chair, Professor Chris Blanchard from the CSU School of Biomedical Sciences, expects more than 100 researchers, students and grains industry representatives to attend.

“The conference will highlight scientific work to improve plant breeding, develop new products and processing techniques, and to better understand nutrition and human health.

“It will be an opportunity to hear about new developments to improve the profitability and sustainability of the entire grains value chain,” Professor Blanchard said.

The theme for the conference is ‘Grain Science Transforming our Future’, with more than 100 presentations and posters on the program.

Co-chair Dr Asgar Farahnaky from CSU said the conference also includes sessions on investing in grain quality research, marketing, and future trends.

“There is a strong focus on research that aims to transform the Australasian grains industry to a high-value food and feed industry, and this is a great opportunity for grain researchers and the industry to develop impactful and innovative research plans on grain quality,” said Dr Farahnaky.

Highlights of the program include:

* Dr Steve Thomas, Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), who will outline the GRDC’s planned investment targets for increasing the value of grain for growers.

* Professor Ian Godwin from the University of Queensland, who will speak about the first trial of Genetically Modified (GM) sorghum.

* Associate Professor Jane Muir from Monash University, a nutrition scientist and dietitian whose research focuses on developing diet therapies to treat common gastrointestinal disorders.

* Mr Hugh Robertson from Wheat Quality Australia, who will speak about late-maturing alpha-amalyse, a defect in wheat that can result in substantially lower prices for growers.

* Dr Ken Quail from the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre, who will speak about the demand from South-East Asia for Australian wheat.

The Conference is supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Functional Grains (FGC) and the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.

For more information about the Conference visit https://www.ausgrainscience.org.au/conference/2018-conference/

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