The Geraldton port zone will be the focus of an annual fact-finding tour by key Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) personnel later this month.

Each year, the GRDC Western Region Panel, that helps to refine the GRDC’s research, development and extension investment portfolio, visits different parts of the WA grainbelt to hear first-hand from growers and advisers and to view farming systems.

Panel chairman Darrin Lee said regular industry liaison was very important and helped to ensure that grower levies were invested into areas that delivered lasting and profitable impact for growers.

“While our consultation is ongoing, panel tours are a great way to tease out some of the finer details around specific challenges that grain growers might be facing, and to have the discussion on their home ground,” he said.

“Importantly, the conversations are two way and provide growers with an opportunity to ask questions about the GRDC, including its strategic direction and details of existing investments.”

The Geraldton port zone panel tour, during the week commencing July 22, will include GRDC staff as well as Panel and Board members and visit districts including Geraldton, Canna, Gutha, Bowgada, Arrino, Three Springs, Arrowsmith, Strawberry and Walkaway.

Mr Lee said the delegates would be open to hearing about a broad range of areas impacting on grower profitability, but some of the specific itinerary items earmarked for different locations included:

•             Using liming in low rainfall farming systems

•             A GRDC ‘Yardstick’ trial – designed to add value to NVT testing by using typical local grower nutrient management practices

•             Use of fallow in low rainfall farming systems

•             Harvest weed seed destruction technology

•             Soil amelioration

•             High rainfall farming systems.

The Geraldton port zone Panel tour will be followed in September by a Panel tour of the WA grainbelt’s Upper Great Southern region and Lakes district.

Growers and industry people seeking details about the GRDC Western Region Panel spring tours can contact the Perth office on 08 9230 4600.

The GRDC’s purpose is to invest in RD and E to create enduring profitability for Australian growers.