13/02/2019 - 13:40

Govt, GRDC sign $48m partnership

13/02/2019 - 13:40

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The state government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation have signed a $48 million scientific partnership for research into Western Australia’s grainbelt soils and boosting grain production for local growers.

Govt, GRDC sign $48m partnership
The government says it will commit $25.2 million for the WA-based projects.

The state government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation have signed a $48 million scientific partnership for research into Western Australia’s grainbelt soils and boosting grain production for local growers.

The government said it would commit $25.2 million for the WA-based projects, led by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's research arm.

The remaining $22.5 million would be contributed by the GRDC, and the combined funds from both parties would be used across six research projects.

The largest of the research projects involves examining the re-engineering of soils in order to improve the access of crop root systems to water and nutrients stored in the subsoil.

This project is allocated $22.09 million over five years.

Increasing farming system profitability and longevity of benefits following soil amelioration is the second most expensive research project, with $15.48 million budgeted over five years.

Over a four-year period, $4.8 million will go towards research into increasing grower profitability on soils with sodicity and transient salinity in the eastern grainbelt of the western region.

The remaining $5.63 million will fund three research projects into boosting oat, canola, lupin, and pulse production and value, which will take up to three and a half years to complete.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the partnership would allow WA growers to make the most of technological advancements and remain globally competitive.

"Scientific research is key to helping our growers change and adapt to produce better crops, increase productivity and export competitiveness and support our regional economies and communities,” she said.

"This industry is hungry for technology to address WA's unique conditions and market challenges while striving for record growth like this season's impressive 17.9 million tonne harvest - our second biggest crop ever.

"By uniting this effort, WA researchers can attract more Commonwealth and industry investment to the ultimate benefit of our industries.”

CRDC chairman John Woods said the projects were another step in the corporation’s investment strategy re-focus.

“The underlying theme of the plan is the recognition that GRDC needs to take greater risk and to deliver more transformational impact,” he said.

“More of the same will simply not cut it going forward.” 

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