Keeping Growers out in Front

By GRDC Southern Regional Panel member & Ag Excellence Committee member, Bill Long, Ardrossan (SA)

Productivity growth in the Australian grains industry has over recent decades plateaued. It’s not because grain growers aren’t good at what they do – quite the contrary.

Growers have been quick to take up new technology and advances but the rate of growth has slowed because we have now basically turned over every large agronomic stone available in our quest to improve yields and profitability.

And with the cost of producing crops continually increasing, the pressure is on growers to remain viable.

In my role as a member of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Southern Regional Panel, I am aware that there are opportunities available to growers to help them stay ahead.

GRDC-funded research, development and extension is continually producing outcomes to assist in promoting sustainable and profitable farming systems.

They aren’t the types of outcomes that will revolutionise the way we farm and what we produce, but they can make a difference.

And the accumulative effect of adoption of the latest recommended practices and tweaks to the farming system can be significant overall.

It’s not just out in the paddocks that we can make a difference. The way we operate our farm businesses – creating efficiencies in farm labour, being smart about financial decisions and seeking out good advice – can potentially improve the bottom line.

I am also a farmer and agricultural consultant, based at Ardrossan, so I am well versed in the difficulties associated with farming and have an intimate appreciation of the challenges specific to the Yorke Peninsula and Lower and Mid North regions here in South Australia.

As a Panel member I am particularly keen to work with growers in the local region to ensure any cropping concerns they have are brought to the attention of the GRDC.

To view a YouTube video about Bill’s role and background, please visit