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Part 1: Overview
Overview by the Chair and Managing Director
This year has been a challenging and difficult year for many of Australia's graingrowers.
The production of winter grains and oilseeds was around 31.2 million tonnes, 8.8 million tonnes or 22 percent below the 2003-04 record of 39.8 million tonnes. Although there were improved harvests in northern New South Wales, in most other winter cereal growing areas production was well down, due to dry conditions, disease, frost and warmer than usual temperatures late in the season. The summer crop forecasts for 2004-05 were just under 4.0 million tonnes, compared with 3.5 million tonnes for the previous year. In addition, lower commodity prices and a strengthening Australian dollar further impacted on graingrowers' returns.
These difficult production and market conditions further highlight the need to drive R&D efforts further, to ensure delivered outcomes enable Australian graingrowers to more effectively compete in the rapidly changing global grains industry.Top
In 2004 the GRDC conducted a review of its strategic direction and how to better implement Driving Innovation, the GRDC's Five Year Research and Development Plan for 2002 to 2007. This review also sought to align the corporation with Towards a Single Vision for the Australian Grains Industry: The Australian Grains Industry Strategy 2005-25, which was released at Grains Week in April 2004.
The GRDC's new strategic business plan, The Way Forward, includes the results of a situational analysis and articulates the organisation's response to what impacts on the GRDC's immediate business environment (for example, R&D partnerships) on a day-to-day basis, and what impacts on our broad business environment (for example, grain markets) over time.
The primary objective of the strategy is to ensure that Australian graingrowers are provided with technologies that enable them to remain competitive. The four strategies to support this objective are:
The strategy identified four principal pathways to market for R&D: better varieties faster, better farming practices adopted faster, new products, and building research capacity. The organisational structure was changed and the output groups in GRDC's next Annual Operational Plan 2005-06 reflect these paths to market.
The key initiatives that are currently being implemented include the National Variety Trials program and the National Barley Breeding Initiative, which are clear examples of the principles in action.
By implementing The Way Forward, the corporation will be a key driver in helping Australian graingrowers to remain competitive in the global grain markets.Top
The year 2005-06 will be challenging for the corporation as we work together, and with other industry members, on the development and adoption of technologies that will meet stakeholder needs and enable the Australian grains industry to remain globally competitive. The GRDC will continue to build relationships with customers and partners to enhance our performance-driven focus on outcomes.
The GRDC's achievements depend on the vision and cooperation of members of the Board, panel members, staff, our working partners and our various stakeholders, and we thank them for their significant contribution to grains industry R&D in 2004-05. We would like to especially thank those members of the GRDC panels who are retiring, for the valuable help they have provided over the past four years. We are pleased to note that our annual report was recognised for its high quality in 2003-04, and commend this year's report to the reader.
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January 3, 2006
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