​Media Release

Strengthening the Queensland grain industry

22 January 2015

The Australian Minister for Agriculture, ​Barnaby Joyce, and the Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh, have today reaffirmed their governments’ commitment to strengthening agricultural industries in Queensland by announcing over $14 million in new research and development investments.

Making the announcement in Toowoomba today, Minister Joyce said the funding was for three separate projects which would together fund around 17 research and technical jobs in Queensland.

The first project, receiving almost $5 million, will increase the grains sector’s research capacity by funding 11 researchers to address the emerging challenges to productivity, profitability and sustainability specifically in the fields of soils, nutrition, pathology, entomology, weeds, agronomy and farming systems,” Minister Joyce said.

The second and third projects, today receiving $2.9 million and $6.4 million respectively, will see the Northern Farming Systems initiative work with a network of regional agronomists and local growers to assess the performance of current farming practices and trial promising cropping systems and farming sequences tailored to the northern region. The research will identify the current constraints to production and help local growers to identify and develop the best farming systems for their own farms.

The projects are being funded over the next five years by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (QDAFF), CSIRO, and the NSW Department of Primary Industry (NSWDPI).”

Minister McVeigh said the new projects showed confidence in Queensland’s direction in grains research.

“The Newman LNP Government and industry are working together to deliver real gains for grain farmers in the long-term,” Mr McVeigh said.

“Our reformed, dedicated Department of Agriculture is focused on research and delivering productivity benefits for farmers.

“These projects will help us deliver our strong plan to support farming jobs and double agricultural production.” 

“Australia’s grain, pulse and oilseed industries had an estimated gross value of production of around $15.7 billion in 2013–14, with exports worth around $12.3 billion to the Australian economy,” Minister Joyce said.

“This government is committed to supporting its farmers and producers to address emerging challenges and thereby safeguard their futures. The government provided $68.6 million to GRDC in 2013–14 to co-invest in a wide range of research and development projects for the benefit of grain producers.”