The Importance of Investing in Research and Partnerships
Advancing Sustainable Agriculture in Australia
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)
WHO ARE THE GRDC?
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is a corporation founded in 1990 whose purpose is to invest in research and development to benefit Australian grain growers.
The GRDC invest in projects and partnerships that drive profitability and productivity within the Australian grains industry by funding, managing and promoting hundreds of world-class research and development projects each year.
THE HERBICIDE INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP (HIP)
The HIP program is a five year agreement in partnership with the GRDC that is one year down the track. Its primary goal is to provide growers with new technologies to break herbicide resistance.
Why do we need to break herbicide resistance?
Weeds cost Australian Growers about AUD 3.25 billion per year. Chairman at the GRDC, Richard Clark says, “Growers have told us that managing resistance is one of the biggest problems they face.”
The HIP program is taking place at a world-class research laboratory in Frankfurt, Germany.
Australian farmers have invested their private money into the HIP program, so that we can research herbicides targeted for Australian crops and bring this experience back.
The fundamental difference of this program is that the molecules will be tailored to Australian farms, and tested on Australian crops from the moment they are out of the lab. A major focus is to provide Australian agriculture with solutions to manage weed control problems including ryegrass, wild radish, feathertop rhodes grass and fleabane.
The program also gives post-doctoral researchers the opportunity to work in facilities unlike any we have here in Australia. This will help expand scientific know-how among Australian researchers.
Hear from some PhD researchers:
“Since the world population is growing rapidly, we have to increase crop yields. Currently, the best way to do that is to make sure that weeds do not compete with crops – so we need herbicides,” Bruno Bašić, PhD graduate.
Stephanie Bellmaine, another PhD graduate working in Frankfurt says, “I like the strong, pro-scientific, innovative feeling here. In contrast, industrial agriculture chemistry research in Australia does not have the same scale, because we are a very young country.” She explains that, “This is one of the main reasons to have partnerships like the Herbicide Innovation Partnership. Here in Germany, we benefit every day from the equipment and herbicide knowledge that has been developed over decades at the Frankfurt laboratories.”
The first molecules began process of screening on January 1, 2015. These molecules require a year before they can hit the field, so the first new discoveries will be happening in 2017, with more than 20 new molecules being tested in the field.
With 39 new staff employed, including 10 from Australia and 1 from New Zealand, 33 new post-docs will be trained to work in integrated teams and deliver new modes of action.
For more information on this partnership and the GRDC as a whole, visit https://grdc.com.au/
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
WHO ARE THE CSIRO?
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is a federal government agency for scientific research in Australia, founded in 1916.
The CSIRO use science to solve real world issues and attempt to make a difference to people, industry and the planet through a number of collaborations with leading organisations around the world.
In the past, Bayer has supported the CSIRO’s Sustainable Futures program, which aims to educate young people in primary schools of the importance of agriculture and sustainability.
UNDERGRADUATE VACATION SCHOLARSHIPS
The CSIRO offers Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships that run over the Australian summer holidays, offering high achieving undergraduate students the opportunity to collaborate with leading CSIRO scientists.
Every year around 100 opportunities are offered to eligible undergraduate students in a range of scientific areas, and the scholarships are highly sought after. Providing promising students with these kinds of opportunities is an integral step towards a more sustainable future.
To find out more information and see if you are eligible, visit www.csiro.com.au/en/Careers/Student-and-graduate-opportunities/Vacation-scholarships
The Future Farmers Network (FFN)
WHO ARE THE FUTURE FARMERS NETWORK?
The Future Farmers Network (FFN) is an organisation whose mission is to empower, support and retain young people in Australian agriculture. This means they are focused on building the engagement and network of mainly those aged 18-35 who are involved in agriculture.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
The FFN provide a support network for young people in the agriculture industry through Advocacy, Ag Events, Agricultural Information, Bursaries & Study Grants, Industry Networks & Forums, Regional Support, Scholarship Opportunities, Social Networking, Professional Development and Work Experience.
Through the Future Farmers Network, we are helping to generate enthusiasm for agriculture and the environment in the next generation of scientists and farmers.
If you’d like to get involved in the Future Farmers Network, simply visit https://www.futurefarmers.com.au/