Local link for grain growers to the GRDC

Chris Jones and Neil Fettell of Condobolin have been appointed to the southern region panel of the GRDC.

Condobolin researcher Neil Fettell and grower Chris Jones have been appointed to the southern region panel of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

The panel system is a key strength of the GRDC, with a cross-section of grain growers, scientists and people from industry to feed in regional priorities and assess funding proposals.

Dr Fettell and Mr Jones will serve a two year term providing a direct link for local growers, helping to ensure they can provide input into the organisation and get to learn about the latest research results.

Dr Fettell is recognised as an Australian authority on cropping and tillage systems, stubble and soil management and crop physiology. Currently a part time lecturer at the University of New England, Neil was instrumental in setting up the Central West Farming Systems group and led the Southern Barley Agronomy Project covering three states.

Mr Jones farms dryland wheat and turns off store lambs from up to 2000 Dohne ewes on his 4700 hectare property. He is a committee member and former chairman of Central Western Farming Systems, which promotes and oversees innovation and extension in the region, and a former executive member of Lachlan Valley Water.

Other members of the southern panel are Chairman David Shannon (Kapunda, SA), Bill Long (Ardrossan, SA), Dr Chris Blanchard (Wagga Wagga, NSW), John Minogue (Barmedman, NSW), Keith Pengilley (Conara, TAS), Peter Schwarz (Naringaningalook, VIC), Richard Konzag (Mallala, SA) and Susan Findlay Tickner (Horsham, VIC).

Chairman David Shannon said he was pleased to have Dr Fettell and Mr Jones on the panel.

“We have a good representation of growers, researchers and people from industry on the new panel, each with a fresh perspective on the task and different networks to bring to the organisation,” Mr Shannon said.

“We’re the conduit for growers, so we need to be out there talking directly to them about their issues, so we can make sure future research is directed at making the biggest impact possible for them on-farm.”

The GRDC is a statutory authority established to plan and invest in R&D for the Australian grains industry. Its primary objective is to support effective competition by Australian grain growers in global grain markets, through enhanced profitability and sustainability.

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