Dear Kate

Like many of our readers, GRDC Northern Region team members are just back from Grains Research Updates throughout Queensland and New South Wales. It was great to catch up with so many growers, agronomists and researchers at the events and even better to hear many regions had received rain. Let’s hope there is more on the horizon and everyone gets a winter crop in this season.

If you didn’t make it to an Update, you’ll find a lot of the valuable presentations from these events on our website. And if you did attend one of the Updates, you may find yourself or a colleague in social photo galleries from Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Goondiwindi Grains Research Updates.

The Updates are a well-known and successful GRDC initiative, and another key strength of the GRDC is its regional panel system. Read on in this newsletter for information about applications that have now opened for positions on the GRDC’s three regional panels. 

The GRDC has also recently published a selection of relevant and timely resources, including the Ten Tips For Early Sown Wheat, and the Ten Tips for Early Sown Canola which provide growers and agronomists with important guidelines for improved productivity and profitability. 

These are amongst the many up-to-date resources the GRDC has to help growers with pre-season planning that could minimise the impact of frost on yield and farm profits. We know frosts are difficult to predict, understand and manage so check out these additional frost resources to help guide your decision making.  

In the meantime, as we all look to the skies in the hope of good follow-up rain, you can learn more about interpreting weather forecasts in this Paddock Practices article. 

For information about new GRDC investment projects, many of which are relevant to Queensland and NSW growers, go to GRDC open tenders.

Feel free to forward this edition of GRDC Northern News to colleagues or clients. The GRDC Northern Region office can be contacted at or 07 4571 4800.



Apply now to become a panel member

If you are passionate about the grains industry and want to make a difference to grower profitability, now is your chance to help guide the industry’s research, development and extension activities. A key strength of the GRDC is its panel system, with the panels playing an important advisory and strategic role in GRDC investments.

Applications have now opened for positions on the GRDC’s three regional panels representing the principal cropping zones across Australia – northern, southern and western regions. 

Positions are effective from September 1 and applications close on April 15. More information about what is involved and how to apply is on the GRDC website.



We’re changing the way we communicate with you

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Grain Storage – Efficient
monitoring and insect ID


Sowing Spring (and Winter) wheats early on the Riverine Plains



Resilience | The art of being a farmer (Part 1)


Resilience | The art of being a farmer (Part 2)




Soil testing reaps fertiliser rewards 

With many farm budgets looking tight following the run of desperately dry seasonal conditions, grain growers will be anxious to maximise the value of fertiliser expenditure this winter.

As one of the largest single variable costs for farming operations, it’s important that fertiliser programs are well planned in terms of requirement, product and placement to ensure they deliver dividends in crop yield and grain quality.

Read more about maximising the value of fertiliser >


Vigilance key to fall armyworm management: expert podcast

Grain growers, particularly those in central and coastal Queensland, are urged to be vigilant about monitoring crops for fall armyworm following the detection of the invasive moth pest at different sites in northern Australia. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Principal Entomologist, Melina Miles, said fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) was initially detected in the Gulf of Carpentaria in January and more recently found on the Atherton Tablelands and in the Burdekin region.

Read more about fall armyworm and listen to the podcast >

Meet the team


Gillian Meppem, GRDC Senior Regional
Manager – North 

Ask Gillian the single most critical ingredient for success and regardless of industry, her answer is the same: relationships.

So, it is fitting her role as GRDC Senior Regional Manager – North revolves firmly around establishing and strengthening quality relationships with GRDC’s research partners, industry stakeholders and GRDC staff and regional panel members.

Read more about Gillian and her role at GRDC >



GRDC recognises industry excellence annually with three regional major awards

Each year the GRDC celebrates the grains industry’s most committed researchers, innovators, leaders and communicators with a series of prestigious regional awards.

The 2020 GRDC Recognising and Rewarding Excellence Award and Emerging Leader Awards were presented at the annual Grains Research Updates in Wagga Wagga, while the coveted Seed of Light  Award was presented at the Update in Goondiwindi. 


Dual-purpose cereal
lifts profit per hectare on central New South Wales farm

A switch to dual-purpose wheat has lifted profit per hectare on Stuart Tait's family farm near Mandurama in central New South Wales.

The 29-year-old, who produces beef and grain with his parents John and Jo, started growing EGA Wedgetail (PBR) wheat
for grazing and grain in

Read more about the switch on Stuart's family farm >


New knowledge of
soil-borne pulse pathogens surfaces from nationwide study

New knowledge of the soil-borne pathogens that cause root diseases in pulse crops has started to emerge from a national survey of the southern, western and northern growing regions. Research leader, Dr Tara Garrard from South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) says the study aims to overcome a knowledge gap in pulse root diseases facing Australian growers.

Read more about the study >