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GGA Newswire - March 2016


Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

Across the GGA Desk

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With so much news and opportunities below, I will try keep my update short and sweet this month! 

February has provided some great opportunities to think about where the agricultural industry, particularly in RD&E, is heading in the future. The Grains Industry Group (GIG) report into future of grains RD&E in WA has been released, Sheep Industry Leadership Council (SILC) and Beef Council are undergoing reviews and I am currently involved on a panel for a national RIRDC project reviewing extension services and capacity across industries. Along with these, the GGA is also currently reviewing its future role and business structure. It seems as though a lot has been thrown up in the air and is waiting to settle.

Now is a great time to think about where your grower group fits in a new RD&E world. The GGA can help you make sense of some of these changes, so contact the office, chat to us at an upcoming event or come along to a regional meeting in the next month.

- Rebecca

GGA News

2016 GGA Regional Meeting Update

The GGA Regional Meetings are currently under way, with two meetings having been held in February and another two booked in for March. Both the Merredin and Katanning meetings have taken place, with great participation from grower groups, NRM groups and DAFWA representatives in each region. Lake King and Geraldton are still to come on 21 and 30 March respectively.

As part of the meetings this year, the GGA staff are running a "Stakeholder Mapping" workshop to enable groups to identify who their key stakeholders are. This activity is the first step in developing a stakeholder engagement plan, a document that can help groups to effectively communicate and work with the people most important to their operations.

These workshops inspired plenty of discussion between groups, and we hope that those involved were able to take home some of they key messages to share with their groups. The GGA aims to produce a resource for grower groups on stakeholder mapping following the completion of these events.
Image: Stakeholder mapping workshop under way in Katanning

Setting the strategic direction for the future of GGA

The GGA Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) met two weeks ago for their first project meeting of the year (to make sure the project is on track to meet deliverables and milestones) and to undertake strategic planning.

As part of the new funding agreement with DAFWA & Royalties for Regions, the GGA is tasked with developing a sustainable business model for the organisation post February 2019 when the funding ceases. To be proactive with this, the GGA has already started a review into alternative business structures and will be consulting with grower groups and key stakeholders about a new model soon. The SAG identified that the GGA's strengths lie in facilitating an active network and in providing capacity building support and opportunities to groups.  

If you have any ideas on what you would like the GGA to deliver or look like in the future contact the office. Watch this space for more information over the coming months.  

Image: GGA Strategic Advisory Group undertaking Strategic Planning in February. 

GRDC Research Updates

The 2016 GRDC Research Updates held at Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre last week has again been a huge success, with industry members from across the state converging to hear presentations on a range of research and industry topics from innovation, automated machinery, soil constraints, latest variety choices and much more! 

Papers from the presenters at this years event can be found here.

The GGA sponsored five growers group representatives to attend the Updates, from Mingenew Irwin Group, Liebe Group, Stirlings to Coast Farmers, Holt Rock Group and RAIN. These attendees used to opportunity to listen to the latest in grains research and network with other growers and industry representatives.

Image: (L-R) Sarah Houston (GGA), Debbie Gilliam (MIG), Ross Fitzsimons (Liebe), Rebecca Wallis (GGA), Darren Moir (Stirlings to Coast) and Tristian Cornwell (Holt Rock). 

Grower Groups receive COGGO Funding

The Council of Grain Growers Organisation (COGGO) grants, aimed at addressing research gaps in the Western Australian grains industry, provide funding to projects that may not be eligible for GRDC or other traditional sources of funding. Congratulations to the six grower groups that were successful in the 2016 COGGO R&D Fund; 
  • Mingenew Irwin Group: Innovations for on-farm grain storage 
  • SEPWA: Headless Barley - some direction for growers
  • SEPWA: Lime-laying trials for the future
  • West Midlands Group: Trialing a double break
  • Corrigin Farm Improvement Group: Rotational choices for profitable crops on medium to heavy textured soils of the Eastern Wheatbelt
  • Facey Group: Incorporating lime to depth in duplex wheatbelt soils
  • North East Farming Futures: Farm scale, low rainfall, canola plant establishment trial using commonly available seeding bars
For more information about other COGGO projects contact Chris Wilkins, T: 0427 940 925, E:

Stirlings to Coast seeks R&D Project Manager

Stirlings to Coast Farmers are seeking a full time R&D Project Manager. The position, based in Albany requires a minimum of five years experience. For more information click here.

General News

What are the barriers to adoption of fodder shrubs?

A Curtin University study is looking at the barriers to the adoption of fodder shrubs in Wheatbelt farming systems. The results will be used to understand the drivers of including fodder shrubs in the farming system, the primary utilisation of fodder shrubs and their role in the improvement of degraded land. 

To collect the information for the project they are asking farmers to complete a short survey. To complete the survey and to find out more about the project click here

Grain and Graze 2015 Trial Booklet released

The Grain and Graze 3 2015 Trial Results Booklet is hot off the press, and provides an overview and the results of all of the GG3 Trial Sites in WA and Case Studies for Grazing Crops and Pastures in the Rotation. 

Grain and Graze 3 aims to boost whole farm profitability and sustainability of mixed farming enterprises across Australia. Through a range of projects, it is assisting farmers and advisers to develop new skills; make better decisions; adopt new management practices and technologies in order to deliver more productive, adaptive and resilient mixed farming systems.

To access the trial book click here. For more information contact Danielle England, T: 0429 676 077, E:

AEGIC: New Australian climate developing

A new climate is emerging in Australia, according to new maps released by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC). AEGIC analysed data from more than 8000 Bureau of Meteorology stations around the country and discovered that traditional rainfall zones have changed significantly since 2000.

The findings were presented as part of a talk entitled “South-west Western Australia is losing its Mediterranean Climate” by AEGIC agro-meteorologist Dr David Stephens at the 2016 GRDC Perth Grains Research Updates.

Click here for more information, or contact Keir Tunbridge, T: 0438 632 463, E:

Agricultural consultant named Seed of Light winner

Congratulations Garren Knell, ConsultAg agronomist, winner of the 2016 GRDC Western Region Seed of Light award. This award is made annually to someone who makes a significant contribution to communicating the outcomes of grains research.

Garren's recent industry contributions include being a member of the GRDC National Frost Initiative steering committee; initiating successful GRDC Pre-Seeding Frost Workshops; and working alongside the DAFWA to conduct crucial oat agronomy research.

For more information on GRDC Seed of Light winners click here.

GRDC appoints new Managing Director

GRDC announced this week the appointment of new Managing Director, Dr Steve Jefferies. Dr Jefferies, currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Adelaide-based Australian Grain Technologies, will take up his appointment in July.

For more information click here

ABARE Crop Report 

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has recently released the latest ABARES Australian Crop Report.

The report is a quarterly report with a consistent and regular assessment of crop prospects for major field crops, forecasts of area, yield and production and a summary of seasonal conditions on a state by state basis. 

To go to the report click here.

Wild dog plan key to revitalising regional livestock industries 

A draft five-year plan to reduce the impact of wild dogs has been developed by the Wild Doc Action Group, and released for targeted stakeholder consultation. The draft action plan is the result of careful consideration of all options. Any individuals wanting to make comment should do so through their local organisation.

For more information click here, or contact Jodie Thomson, T: 9368 3937, E:

Management of barley crops to minimise fungal disease 

Barley growers have been urged to include strategies to minimise the impact of Spot Type Net Blotch (STNB) on their crops, as occurrences of the fungal disease continues to rise.

For more information click here, or contact Jodie Thomson, T: 9368 3937, E:


Grower Group Pre-Seeding Update Events in March

Thurs 10 RAIN Crop Updates Ravensthorpe Elisa Spengler, 9838 1018,
Facey Group Trials
Presentation Evening
Wickepin Bronwyn Dew, 9888 1223,
Fri 11 SEPWA Harvest Review Esperance Niki Curtis, 9083 1125,
WANTFA Crop Updates Cunderdin David Minkey, 0417 999 304
ASHEEP Autumn Cattle Field Day Esperance Emma James, 0457 937 774
Wed 16 Northern Agri Group
Autumn Updates
Binnu Raylene Burns, 0408 931 924,
Corrigin Farm Improvement Group Trials Update Corrigin Veronika Crouch, 0476 046 100,
Thurs 17 Stirlings to Coast Farmers 
Research Update and AGM
Kendenup Heather Adams, 0428 541 051,
ASHEEP Field Day - Sheep Nutrition and Feeding Esperance Emma James, 0457 937 774
North Mallee Farm Improvement Group Updates Salmon Gums Niki Curtis, 9083 1125,
2016 GGA Regional Meetings
The GGA will be completing the 2016 Regional Meetings in March at the following two locations:

- Lake King - Monday 21 March
- Geraldton - Wednesday 30 March
GRDC Research Updates
There are still opportunities to hear the latest research and industry knowledge at the regional GRDC Research Updates in the following locations:

Katanning - Tuesday 8 March
Merredin - Wednesday 9 March
Herbicide Resistance 101
To sustain herbicides into the future, we need to incorporate diversity into our farming systems. 

Diversity is the tools and tactics that help sustain herbicides. It recognises that the solution to herbicide resistance is not the next herbicide, and that in order to act, we need to be educated. 

Register here for a free online course to understand more about herbicide resistance and best practice weed management.

2016 GGA Annual Forum
The date has been set for the 2016 GGA Annual Forum. Mark this not to be missed event in your calendars now!!
Ag Excellence Alliance Annual Forum

Hear the latest from SA grower groups at the Ag Ex Alliance Annual Forum, Thursday 7 - Friday 8 April, Adelaide. 

Topics covered include sustainable financial modelling; volunteer reliance; remaining relevant, governance and organisation development and much more! 

Click here to view the program. For more information contact Kerry Stockman, T: 0418 841 331, E:

Funding Opportunities

COGGO Piper Grains Innovation Award

COGGO announced last week that it has committed up to $150,000 every two years to the Piper Award which aims to identify and assist the commercialisation of innovative ideas which can benefit WA grain growers.

Applicants are invited to submit ideas for consideration for a $25,000 Piper Award which can be spent on developing their innovation. Up to three Piper Awards are available every second year,

After the first year, those who have secured a Piper Award are invited to apply for the biennial Piper Prize, which offers $75,000 to help commercialise the idea.

For more information click here or contact Hugh Lennarts, E: Applications close Friday 20 May. 

GRDC Grower & Adviser Development Program

The GRDC Grower and Adviser Development Program is open to individuals and groups of grain growers and advisers seeking to arrange and undertake study and professional development.

Support will be provided on a competitive basis for arranging visits to GRDC-supported research and development projects, or other relevant research projects, centers of excellence, farming systems groups and similar; or to support the travel of an expert in a specific scientific field to a community to share their knowledge and experience.

For more information click here or contact Carolyn Pearson, T: 02 6166 4526, E: Applications close in April, for travel between July 1 and December 31 2016.

Premier's Agriculture and Food Fellowship Program

The Office of Science is now accepting applications for the Lead Fellow for the Premier’s Agriculture and Food Fellowship Program (Fellowship Program).

The Fellowship Program, the centrepiece of the Science and Agribusiness Connect (SAC) initiative, will provide a total of $1.5 million of funding to two exceptional researchers, a Lead and an Early to Mid-Career Fellow, to conduct world leading research and development in Western Australia over a period of four years. 

For more information click here, or contact Johanna Dowsett, T: 6552 6462, E:

Royalties for Regions Regional Grants Scheme (RGS)

The R4R Regional Grants Scheme (RGS) seeks to improve economic and community infrastructure and services in regional Western Australia by helping to help attract investment, increase job opportunities and assist in improving the quality of life in the regions. The RGS is a contestable funding round with grants available from $50,000 to $300,000.

Contact your local RDC to assess if your project is eligible and to obtain the guidelines and application forms. Further information and contact details for your local RDC can be found here. Applications close Thursday 17 March 2016.

Small Grants for Rural Communities (SGRC)

The Small Grants for Rural Communities (SGRC) program is offered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR). Grants of up to $5,000 are available for projects and activities that offer clear public benefit for communities in rural, regional or remote Australia. Applicants must be not-for-profit community organisations with an ABN or incorporation certificate.

For more information click here.

Grower Group Spotlight 

Staying eConnected in the Grainbelt

Fourteen grower groups across WA will soon be working closely with DAFWA as part of the eConnected Grainbelt project. The groups will host “eDemonstration” sites which will give growers and industry the opportunity to test and utilise newly developed and enhanced decision support tools.

DAFWA’s $10 million eConnected Grainbelt project, funded through Royalties for Regions, aims to connect the grains industry by enhancing and producing decision support tools and data sources that growers and agribusiness can use to increase productivity and profitability.

The project has identified that to achieve success, WA growers need to guide the process and play a key part in producing decision support tools, to ensure they meet growers’ needs and help them to make more profitable decisions.

Grower groups hosting eDemonstration sites will hold six events over the next two years to provide growers and consultants with the opportunity to test tools and technologies and to provide feedback to developers. Grower groups to host the eDemonstration sites include:
  • Corrigin Farm Improvement Group, Corrigin
  • Facey Group, Wickepin
  • Far East Agricultural Research (FEAR) Group, Moorine Rock
  • Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group, Merredin
  • Mingenew Irwin Group, Mingenew
  • South East Premium Wheat Growers' Association (SEPWA), Esperance
  • Southern DIRT, Kojonup and West Arthur Trials Group, Darkan
  • Stirlings to Coast Farmers, Mount Barker and Gillamii Centre, Cranbrook
  • West Midlands Group, Dandaragan
  • Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management, Northam
  • Yuna Farm Improvement Group, Yuna and Mullewa Dryland Farming Initiative, Mullewa.
Each site will be fully instrumented with an automatic weather station and soil moisture probes at no cost to the grower group before the start of the 2016 growing season.

Growers from all regions are encouraged to be involved in the project through attending their group’s events and having input into the technology development. Groups will also send out information between events to ensure interested growers are kept up to date.

For more information click here

Calendar of Events

To view the full GGA Calendar of Events click here, or subscribe to the fortnightly email click here.

To view the full Grower Group Alliance Calendar of Events, please go to the GGA Website

If you found this newsletter helpful, please feel free to send it on to your friends and fellow community groups in your area.

People can subscribe to Newswire or contribute by contacting the editor Rebecca Wallis, E:

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