Collaborative crop trials at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Kununurra research facility will be on show tomorrow (2 July) as part of the Northern Australia Crop Research Alliance (NACRA) field day.
Department Research, Development and Innovation managing director Mark Sweetingham said the Frank Wise Research Institute hosted more than 20 external projects with national and international universities and industry partners, including NACRA.
“The department is supporting cotton research led by NACRA on behalf of industry, along with pursuing processing and value-adding opportunities,” Dr Sweetingham said.
“At the field day, cotton trials on levee soils will be featured, including four variety trials, all variations of Bollgard 3, covering early, mid and late maturing plants, as well as water stress trials on two varieties, with harvest expected in the next week or so.
“The department is also partnering with NACRA on a quinoa trial that commenced in 2016 with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Saudi Arabia, and other collaborators based in in China, Germany, and Dubai.
“Last year, we helped grow out more than 1000 quinoa lines at the Institute for phenotyping under growing conditions, and visitors to the field day will be able to see some of the lines selected for further trialling.”
The department has revitalised and improved the research capabilities at Frank Wise.
Dr Sweetingham said the department’s efforts to rebuild its research and development capacity in the north had been affirmed by key research partners and industry, who were capitalising on potential growth opportunities through investments in science.
“More than 50 trials are underway across the Frank Wise site, including collaborative trials with NACRA, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, KAUST, and other research bodies,” he said.
The department’s research partnership with NACRA has funding support through the State Government’s Agribusiness Innovation Fund Grower Group Grants program.
Jodie Thomson / Dionne Tindale, media liaison liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937