Australasian Grains Science Conference heads to the Beef Capital

05 December 2022

The 73rd annual conference of the Australasian Grain Science Association (AGSA) will be held at CQUniversity from September 26-29 next year' focusing on the role of grains in a diversified farming economy.

Conference Chair and CQUniversity Senior Lecturer in Science' Dr Mani Naiker' said the theme 'Grain' Crops and Sustainable Food Systems' recognised the changing nature of the Australian grains industry as it has diversified beyond a focus on cereal production.

"In a region like Central Queensland' we already have a wide variety of crops grown for a range of uses – sugar' cotton' wheat' sorghum' chickpeas and mung beans to name just a few'" Dr Naiker said.

"We are also seeing the emergence of new crops such as kalonji and black sesame' which hold great potential as high-value options that are suited to the extremes of the Northern Australian environment.

"This is changing the make-up of agriculture in the north and is being embraced by beef producers looking to diversify their farm businesses."

AGSA brings together researchers' students' nutritionists and industry stakeholders to build knowledge in grain sciences and agrifood industries.

AGSA began as a cereal chemists' learned society in 1951 and met under the umbrella of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) until 2009.

AGSA National Chair Dr Sushil Dhital' of Monash University' Melbourne' said the organisation provides a forum for students' scientists and professionals to network and exchange information about sustainable agronomy' grain processing' value adding and nutritional functionality.

"We recognise science and contribution through many awards to students and young researchers' encouraging them to participate and present at the annual conference'" Dr Dhital said.

"The AGSA23 conference will undoubtedly be a great conference and not to be missed. I humbly invite colleagues to register for the conference and actively participate in AGSA activities."

Dr Naiker said it was a huge coup to host the event in Rockhampton for the first time' coinciding with a new wave of interest in crop production in the region.

The development of the Rookwood Weir west of Rockhampton will provide 30'000 megalitres of water to a corridor for irrigated' high-value and intensive agriculture.

Among the planned new developments in the corridor will be a 36'500 head feedlot proposed by Mort & Co' which will require significant quantities of feed grain and forage crops to grow cattle to higher quality standards to meet high-value export markets.

"This is a great opportunity not just for students and researchers' it will also be a great chance for farmers' agronomists and grain marketers to connect and promote the northern Australian grains industry to delegates from all over the world'" Dr Naiker said.