Tamworth leads cutting edge crop research
NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson today met with Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) researchers in Tamworth to inspect the latest cutting-edge crop trials.
Minister Hodgkinson said the researchers at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute are delivering world-leading research on cereals, oilseeds and pulses that will help growers boost yield and profitability and be better prepared against future droughts.
“In partnership with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), DPI has a $140 million portfolio of research projects across NSW,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“As part of this work, Tamworth researchers are leading three major national projects – the National Crown Rot Initiative, the National Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) Chickpea Program and the Northern Pulse Agronomy research.”
Ms Hodgkinson said crown rot is a devastating disease that is estimated to cost Australian growers $97 million annually.
“The aim of the National Crown Rot Program is to provide growers and advisers with management strategies to reduce the risk of crown rot on commonly grown and newly released wheat, durum and barley varieties.
“If industry adopts some of the strategies to be developed in this project, the estimated reduction in disease losses could be as high as 10 per cent – or a massive $9.7 million across Australia,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
Ms Hodgkinson said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to research projects that will assist growers to improve crop yield potential, and the reliability of production and profitability into the future.
“These projects are part of a portfolio of over 1000 projects being undertaken right across the state worth over $100m.
These initiatives deliver on various goals of the NSW Agriculture Industry Action Plan launched last year by the NSW Government to ensure the continued growth of the State’s $12 billion primary industries sector,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
Mr Anderson said Tamworth researchers are leading efforts to develop new chickpea varieties for growers that are combining improved yield, water use efficiency, grain quality and improved disease resistance across a range of regions and climates.
“In line with NSW’s recently-announced drought strategy, this work is delivering growers with improved chickpea lines which have superior water use efficiency and improved yield – helping growers improve drought tolerance.
“The Northern Pulse Agronomy research will target both winter crops including chickpea, faba bean and field pea and summer pulses such as mungbean and soybean.
“Growers will benefit from improved management of new varieties, understanding the knock-on effects and economic value of including winter and summer pulses in their crop rotation.
“Pulse crops can improve the productivity of subsequent crops, boost farm income, reduce the impact of disease, increase soil fertility and produce a valuable protein source that is in demand by a rapidly growing world population,” said Mr Anderson.