Partnership benefits Northern NSW farmers

Northern NSW growers are set to benefit from a $1.3 million investment in new, regionally-specific mungbean and sorghum research aimed at improving productivity.

The partnership between the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the University of Queensland (UQ) would ensure targeted research and development would provide long-term profitability for Australian grain and pulse growers.

And there are other benefits for growers looking to overseas markets.

NSW DPI Deputy Director General Agriculture, Kate Lorimer-Ward said two new research projects focusing on optimising yield for mungbean and sorghum crops would assist with the significant expansion of local and export markets.

“Mungbean is now established as an important spring, summer rotation crop in northern NSW and in Queensland, which over the last ten years have steadily increased production levels in response to improved varieties and high global prices,” Ms Lorimer-Ward said.

“Two new researchers have been appointed by the NSW DPI based at Narrabri, to undertake the four year research to address gaps in knowledge of the drivers of yield and crop nutrition requirements for mungbeans.

“To optimise sorghum yield potential, an understanding of the impacts from adopting advanced agronomic practices are required in order to deliver whole farm benefits.

“It is anticipated that through this five year investment, sorghum yields can be lifted by 3 per cent per annum,” she said.

In 2017-18 sorghum exports were valued at $42 million with 98 per cent of this going into China.

Demand for sorghum as a feed grain is expected to grow in line with expected demand for red meat in countries such as China where there is significant population and wage growth.

GRDC Northern Panel Chair, John Minogue said these projects will seek to identify practices which positively influence the cropping system in northern NSW through increased farm profits, cropping intensity and reduced risk for growers.

“Research results will be provided to growers and agronomists through the GRDC Updates, Grower Notes and the Groundcover publication,” Mr Minogue said.