One of Australia’s largest research stations for grains and cropping is being established near Toowoomba.
The $11 million Grains Research Facility will be set up on a 740ha property south-west of Toowoomba.
The former farming property “Tosari” is being developed into a world-class grains applied research, development and extension facility, which will be operated by an industry trust – the Grains and Cropping R&D Trust – on behalf of Australian grain growers.
It is being funded jointly by the State Government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the co-investment highlighted Queensland’s and northern NSW’s importance to the national grains industry and the need for ongoing, grass-roots driven RD&E.
He paid tribute to former Queensland Agriculture Minister Dr John McVeigh, now the federal member for Groom, for the development of the new research facility.
“This world-class grains research facility will have high relevance to the cropping sector as it is located in one of the country’s prime agricultural areas, in close proximity to established scientific research institutions,” Mr Joyce said.
GRDC chairman John Woods said the facility would be open to both public and private organisations to undertake R&D, which would help ensure enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.
“This facility will be the key Queensland link to breeding programs as well as research into abiotic and biotic traits, soils, water, weeds and modelling,” he said.
“At 740ha it will be one of Australia’s biggest cropping research stations, which means researchers will have the capability and capacity to run efficient short and long-term trials.
“The property has significant on-farm water storage, along with bore and river irrigation options, and this water security will also broaden the scope and reliability of research options.”
Mr Woods said the centre would be administered by a trustee company, Queensland Crop Research Limited (QCR), on behalf of the Australian grains industry and only ever be used for scientific research to benefit growers.
QCR Trustees include Goondiwindi grain grower Tom Woods, Toowoomba-based wheat breeder John Sheppard, former GRDC Northern Regional Panel Chairman James Clark, and Nobby grain grower Chris Bazley.