$14.6m bumper research outcome for WA’s grain industry
26 February 2018
Grain farmers in Western Australia will benefit from a first-of-its-kind grain crop and soil nutrition collaboration to increase farm profitability.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Chairman John Woods announced three research projects worth $14.6 million.
"Healthy soil is as vital to our farms as water and sunlight," Minister Littleproud said.
"Our farmers want to be able to get the best from their land and these projects will help them do that through the efficient enhancement of soil nutrition to increase yield.
"WA's grain, oilseed and pulse crop production averaged around 14.9 million tonnes over the previous five years (to 2016–17) and exports averaged nearly $4 billion per year over the same period.
"We want to help continue to drive WA's largest agricultural sector forward."
GRDC chairman, John Woods, said the GRDC has acted on grower and adviser feedback that a greater understanding of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is needed to maximise returns.
"Led by University of WA with Murdoch University and with industry involvement, this investment will improve knowledge about nitrogen 'cycling' and availability, soil phosphorus and potassium storage, sources of supply and responsiveness of crops," Mr Woods said.
"Findings from this $9.7 million project would be applied to two other projects to investigate the impact of soil tilling and cheaper ways of collecting soil samples in growers' paddocks.
"This is a great example of industry, government and universities coming together to invest in world-leading R&D which has a direct benefit for Australian grain growers."
More information about the projects are available at: www.grdc.com.au
- The Coalition Government provided dollar-for-dollar matching funds of $71.9 million in 2016–17, alongside the R&D funding already invested by the grains sector via levies.
- These projects were initiated by the GRDC, who committed $8.3 million. Co-investments worth $6.2 million committed by the UWA, the WA Dep. of Primary Industry & Regional Development (DPIRD), CSIRO, Murdoch University, CSBP, and Summit Fertilizers.
- UWA and Murdoch University will lead the $9.7 million project to examine nutrient use.
- The soil amelioration project is worth $3.5 million and will be led by DPIRD, while the soil sampling project is worth $1.4 million and will be led by the CSIRO.