Crop centre opens

By Country News

A new world-leading crop research centre in South Australia will boost prosperity for farmers, according to Australian Grain Technologies.

AGT’s Southern Crop Breeding Centre, which features a state-of-the-art greenhouse and leading-edge growth rooms and evaluation services, was officially opened on September 25.

The $20million development, at Roseworthy, 60km north of Adelaide, will allow AGT to continue its vital crop research, with a focus on its wheat, barley, canola and lupin programs.

AGT chief executive officer Haydn Kuchel said the new centre was an exciting development for Australian farmers, agronomists, consultants, researchers, consumers and the wider agricultural industry.

‘‘We are absolutely committed to the success of the Australian grains industry,’’ Dr Kuchel said.

‘‘It’s that commitment to Australian agriculture that has led to us investing into this new world-class breeding centre.

‘‘The technology built into this new site will increase our capacity, expand our breeding programs and improve on our existing track record of producing market-leading field crop varieties for Australian farmers.

‘‘Growers are continually looking for better varieties with improved performance that can help them stay ahead of their international competitors.’’

The centre will house more than 30 staff and provide support services to another 35 staff located at AGT’s regionally-based breeding nodes at Narrabri in northern NSW, Wagga Wagga in southern NSW and Northam in Western Australia.