Seasons Greetings from GrainGrowers
2016 was a bumper year for most of our growers across Australia and as we edge towards a potential record crop it’s a good time to reflect on the year that was.
Many of us did not expect such a strong finish to the year, with a late seasonal start then heavy flooding across eastern states, frost and hail curbing potential in our western states and disease hitting northern chickpeas in recent months. Such a large crop is truly a testament to each and every one of our innovative and progressive growers across the country.
While growers have been busy getting on with the job of producing this years’ crop, the GrainGrowers team have been busy continuing to deliver important industry products and services on your behalf. Some of the key highlights are provided below, and I’d just like to recognise the efforts of everyone involved in the GrainGrowers family, from full-time staff through to our new members and everyone involved in between, to help make us the strong, prosperous organisation we are today. Your support and engagement throughout the year has made it another great one for our organisation.
As we look forward to the year ahead, GrainGrowers has already started planning for a range of new and exciting initiatives. Events such as Innovation Generation Local, to be held in Moree, will bring our events closer to the growers who continue to support us.
Ensuring a strong national footprint has been a concerted effort by GrainGrowers in recent years and that is why I am delighted to inform you of a recent appointment. At the recent meeting of the GrainGrowers Board, Mr Rod Birch was elected Deputy Chair of GrainGrowers.
Rod is well known across our Western Region. As a large-scale grain farmer near Coorow, Rod has helped drive some of the Australian grain industry’s most successful industry bodies. Rod has been on GrainGrowers Board for a few years now and the position of Deputy Chair provides the organisation with the depth of talent and experience to continue to grow in 2017.
On behalf of the GrainGrowers Board, I would like to wish you and your family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2017.
A snapshot of GrainGrowers' efforts throughout 2016
1. National Policy and Innovation
As a key pillar of GrainGrowers’ strategy, Policy and Innovation has been delivered through the representative structure of our National Policy Group. Progress was made on key policy matters such as increasing preferential market access for Australian grains through trade agreements, and driving industry innovation and improved accountability of levy expenditure through our role as dual Representative Organisation for the Grains Research and Development Corporation. Some of the many other policy issues we have championed on your behalf include: enhanced telecommunications, reduced freight costs, reduced red tape, more focussed innovation systems, ongoing access to chemicals and biotechnology, balanced taxation regime, improved standard grain contracts, and the ever contentious backpacker tax.
Hopefully many of you have had the chance to have a read some of our State of the Australian Grains Industry 2016 Report, which we released at the Australian Grains Industry Conference. The report explores many of the changing dynamics of our industry in recent years, highlighting the positive progress made by growers to expand and progress their businesses, while also recognising the importance of remaining focussed on international competitiveness and market demand factors.
2. Capability Building
Through our capability building portfolio we have seen the delivery of successful events and education across the nation, including International Tours, Australian Grain Farm Leaders Program, Innovation Generation, Australian University Crops Competition, and the newly developed Grains Innovation Tour.
3. Industry Engagement
Our ever dedicated regional team has been covering the breadth of our grain growing regions to work directly with you, as our members, to ensure we continue to deliver what is important to you. It’s important that GrainGrowers continues to work closely with growers on the ground and our dedicated regional team have delivered some great initiatives.
One example worth mentioning is our partnership with NBNCo, where we delivered workshops across the nation to ensure growers are not missing out on the opportunity to leverage broadband services for their businesses and homes.
4. Commercial Services
Recognising the opportunities presented by digital agriculture, GrainGrowers has also overseen the ongoing development of the most cutting edge digital decision support tool in the Australian market - ProductionWise.
This year, the acquisition of PA Source has helped us deliver an Australian agdata breakthrough. For the first time, Australian growers will have the ability to use one online platform to access normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) imagery in combination with powerful yield forecasting, weather analysis, farm planning, record keeping and crop adviser interaction services.
If you haven’t had a look at ProductionWise for a while, I’d highly recommend it.