Investments in grains research projects of
$110 million during 2002/03 have been announced by the
Grains Research and Development
According to the GRDCís Managing Director,
Professor John Lovett, most of the 2002/03 investments will be
in crop improvement and crop protection projects and those
associated with the development of profitable and sustainable
"However, there will also be significant
investments in the GRDCís new Value Chain and Product and
Service Delivery programs," Professor Lovett said.
"The scope of the Value Chain program
includes market intelligence; grain storage, transport and
handling logistics; grain quality management; and new grain
products," he said.
"Investment in new grain products aims to
support the development of new food, feed, health and industrial
products that will improve grower margins through exploitation
of market opportunities.
"The Product and Service Delivery Program
is also new and will improve the economic and environmental
performance of the grains industry by accelerating the adoption
of research outcomes and innovations."
Investments in grains research are made
possible by levy contributions from graingrowers, with matching
funds from the Federal Government.
Professor Lovett said that in 2002/03 the
GRDC would also be targeting:
- The development of cereal germplasm
tolerant to frost and to other grain quality defects including
- Biotechnology research including that
associated with the Australian Centre for Plant Functional
Genomics, development of molecular markers for a range of
traits in various crops, and gene transfer work.
- Investments in new wheat breeding
- Continuing research into better ways to
control a range of crop pests including snails, slugs and
- A soil biology strategic initiative to
better understand interactions between crop roots and soil
microorganisms so that beneficial organisms could be used to
improve crop performance.
- Support for Farming Systems Groups
which were leading the way in making graingrowing more
profitable and sustainable.
Professor Lovett said the GRDCís
investment priorities reflected those of its graingrower
"However, in best serving these
stakeholders, and in responding to Ministerial priorities, it is
increasingly important that the GRDC position itself as part of
the broader agrifood industry while being alert to any non-food
or industrial grain product opportunities and developments," he