Wheat Breeding Returns to TAIC

Dow AgroScience's Jean-Yves Merchez flew in from France to speak at the launch of Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre’s Crop Breeding Precinct on April 14. In the picture Mr Merchez is speaking to FarmLink Board Chair Darryl Harper.

(Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Friday, April 15, 201)

Wheat breeding is returning to Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre (TAIC), with Dow AgroSciences entering a commercial agreement with FarmLink to utilise a newly developed irrigated crop breeding precinct.

Season 2016 will see Dow AgroSciences Australia leasing irrigated paddock space which has been developed in the past month to ensure successful germination and growth of new dryland wheat varieties. Water for the project is being piped from Temora’s recycled water facility and will be distributed via a lateral irrigator.

FarmLink Chief Executive Officer Cindy Cassidy has been working closely with Dow AgroSciences and Temora Shire Council for some time to ensure the proposal for an irrigated crop breeding precinct at TAIC comes to fruition.

“This is a big development for TAIC, Temora, the Riverina and wider agricultural community,” Ms Cassidy said.

FarmLink is a not for profit farming group focussed on delivering innovation for farmers across Southern NSW.

“Partnering with Dow AgroSciences and Temora Shire Council to bring an international R&D organisation to the region is fabulous news for farmers and local communities”.

“It’s great to see TAIC strengthening its reputation as a thriving hub of agricultural research and development. The irrigation precinct will add to the already impressive swag of R, D and E that we have running here at TAIC, from the new CSIRO soil water project and MLA Satellite Flock to the ongoing GRDC projects looking at stubble, carbon, micronutrients and strategic tillage.”

The proposal has the active support of the Temora Shire Council. Local Mayor Rick Firman said, “In its previous life as a Research Station, TAIC accommodated the development of wheat and oat varieties which made a huge contribution to agriculture in Australia. Dow AgroSciences bringing wheat breeding back to Temora is a positive move for regional agriculture. Temora Shire Council has been very keen to work together with FarmLink and Dow AgroSciences to ensure this development goes ahead.”

“Dow AgroSciences is an important international player in the agricultural industry and we are over the moon to be partnering with them at TAIC.”

Plans are also being developed for beyond 2016. FarmLink and Temora Shire Council, with the support of Dow AgroSciences, have submitted a National Stronger Regions Fund application to further redevelop the site and expand the crop breeding precinct.

The larger precinct will include construction of a 100 mega litre dam to store water, sourced from overflow from the recycled water facility and an existing storm water holding dam. This water will allow development of a much larger area of land into irrigable trial area for Dow AgroSciences. Works will also be carried out at existing TAIC facilities to provide office space and seed processing capability to support new employees as a result of the jobs expected to be created by the project.

Dr Matt Cahill Dow AgroSciences R&D Leader for ANZ said “the new wheat breeding program would tap into the international genetics and technical resources of Dow AgroSciences.”

“We are targeting significant productivity gains in the wheat varieties we are developing – which is great news not just locally, but regionally too,” Dr Cahill concluded. We are keen to build the field capacity to match our global capability in advanced breeding technology.”

“This development has triple bottom line benefits for regional NSW, said Mayor Firman. “Our proposal has economic, environmental and social benefits that stretch beyond Temora and our shire. It will see new investment, jobs creation, sustainable use of recycled water, skilled people attracted to the region and delivery of innovation that improves profitability for farmers in southern NSW.”