$16 million research boost for NSW grains industry
Joint media release
The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Minister for Agriculture
The Hon. Katrina Hodgkinson
NSW Minister for Primary Industries
11 June 2014
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, and Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, today visited the Tamworth Agricultural Institute to announce a joint $16 million investment package into cropping research programs.
"We know there is a strong link between R&D and agricultural productivity growth and recognise that it is a key driver to industry and farmgate profitability," Minister Joyce said.
"This research will focus on delivering new and existing projects, with an emphasis on making research accessible for farmers, adding to NSW's $4.4 billion grain industry.
Minister Joyce said the funding increase will help farmers out-compete their global counterparts.
"The projects are a boost to regional farming communities across NSW and will help farmers unlock new market opportunities and improve the profitability of their businesses."
Ms Hodgkinson said the 22 new projects, across the northern and southern NSW farming regions, are part of a strategic partnership between the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
"In the grains area alone we now have a $140 million portfolio of projects across NSW, as part of a strategic partnership with the GRDC," Ms Hodgkinson said.
"Research activities will be conducted at key DPI research centres, including Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Narrabri and Trangie.
"Regional trials, which are already underway this season, will also be conducted on growers' properties to capture key information from the different production region."
Breakthrough research will be undertaken in a number of areas, including:
- opening up new export markets;
- developing new and emerging crop varieties;
- improving disease management;
- eliminating grain defects in chickpeas;
- improving the resilience and drought tolerance of various grain crops, including wheat;
- enhancing oil and quality traits of canola varieties;
- double cropping options in the southern irrigation zone; and
- impacts of frost events on crop yield.
Ms Hodgkinson said a number of new research positions and industry development roles will be created to support this pipeline of new projects.
"This includes new positions working in cotton and irrigated grains, as well as industry development roles to promote our pulse and oilseed industries," Ms Hodgkinson said.
"The outcomes of this cutting-edge research will be delivered to farmers through agribusiness and consultant networks as well as farming systems groups.
"This major new investment demonstrates the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government's commitment to developing our $12 billion primary industries sector.
"Research and development underpins the growth and sustainability of this sector and helps our farmers out-compete their global counterparts."
Mr Anderson welcomed the additional investment in his region.
"The Tamworth Agricultural Institute is the NSW Government's flagship research institute for northern farming systems and leads important research in cropping, plant breeding and soil and water research," Mr Anderson said.
"These new projects that we are announcing today build on the institute's strong track record in delivering cutting-edge research to northern NSW farmers.
"I value the important work done by our local researchers and technical experts at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute and in the DPI locally."
A full list of projects can be found on the GRDC website, www.grdc.com.au