A recruitment drive is underway for new regional agronomists to bolster grains research as part of a major commitment by the State Government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The agronomists will deliver high quality, locally relevant research in the major cropping regions of South Australia and provide a vital link with regional grain growers and agribusinesses.
The recruitment process for four regional agronomists has started with a further two positions already filled.
The regional agronomist program is being funded as part of the major commitment between the State Government’s South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and the GRDC.
Quotes attributable to Dr Kathy Ophel-Keller, Acting Executive Director of the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)
The new regional agronomist roles will be critical in boosting research targeted to the priorities of key South Australian cropping regions.
They will be instrumental in delivering the benefits of national research initiatives, and tailoring the outcomes to the state’s cropping regions. The research will assist grain growers to reduce risk and increase profitability.
The new agronomists will work within existing SARDI regional teams, and utilise the investment by PIRSA in improved facilities at regional sites such as Clare and Loxton.
Quotes attributable to Keith Pengilley, GRDC Southern Regional Panel Chair
The appointment of new agronomists in SA is a ‘win-win’ for the state’s growers.
The new roles will not only increase research capacity within the SA grains industry, but will improve the delivery of research and development activities targeted to areas of identified priority need.
Our agreement with the SA State Government underlines the GRDC’s ongoing commitment to investing in research, development and extension to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.
SARDI has for a long time been an important research partner of the GRDC and the new agreement between the two organisations – resulting in the creation of new agronomic roles – adds another dimension to that research effort.
The commitment with SARDI enhances and complements a large portfolio of existing GRDC-funded RD&E projects being undertaken in SA, and we look forward to seeing the benefits of this collaboration flow to growers.
The grains industry generates $4.6 billion or 28 per cent of South Australia’s gross food revenue The regional agronomists will deliver research tailored to the individual grains research needs of the Eyre Peninsula, Mid North, Yorke Peninsula, the South East and the Mallee regions.
In the Mid North and Yorke Peninsula, the focus will be on weed management, and in the Upper Eyre Peninsula, they will be working with national initiatives to better manage heat and frost risks.
The focus in the Mallee will be on overcoming constraints to crop and pasture growth on sandy soils while in the South East they will be working on the integration of grazing and cropping systems.
The four regional agronomists will be based in Port Lincoln, Clare, Loxton and Waite while two agronomists are already in place at Port Lincoln/Minnipa and Naracoorte.
The major commitment between SARDI and the GRDC was sealed in February 2016.
The five year, $50 million bilateral agreement includes $25 million from the GRDC and $25 million support from the State Government.
The agreement secured funding for key research areas of regional agronomy, farming systems for low and medium rainfall environments, crop protection, the National Molecular Diagnostic Centre and crop improvement.
This co-investment is being committed to key programs of state and national priority under the Grains Industry National Research, Development and Extension Strategy.
SARDI is a leading research provider in farming systems for low to medium rainfall areas, crop protection and improvement as well as leading the National Oat Breeding Program.
The GRDC is a statutory authority under the Australian Government and is one of the world’s leading grains research organisations, responsible for investing in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers. It is supported by growers and the Australian Government.