March 2012


Roadshows reaffirm support

During March the CRC executive of John McGrath (Research Director), Scott Glyde (Agribusiness Director) and I travelled on a Roadshow visiting our 16 Participants. The aim of the roadshow was to inform Participants of the CRC’s plans in developing a transition strategy this year, and to discuss a key component, the forthcoming Future of Pasture Research Workshop. We also took the opportunity to update representatives on some of the CRC’s other recent events.

The April workshop aims to bring major pasture research stakeholders from Australian industry and government bodies together to discuss options for future pasture research and to help develop a long-term strategic model of pasture RD&E. This may then provide a vehicle for the continued work of much of the CRC’s farming systems and technologies.

I was very encouraged by the response from our Participants, and the two clear observations from the roadshow were:
1. The workshop will be very important as it will help to define our transition strategy for post-2014
2. There is overwhelming support for the work we’re proposing around regionally based sustainable biomass production systems

Regarding the second point, it’s not entirely surprising that our Participants, as stakeholders with a direct interest in our organisation, recognise the value of the potential outcomes of a regionally based biomass production system. However, I continue to be extremely encouraged by the wider support we are receiving from industry and other agencies.

This support was confirmed earlier in the month when we took our biofuel consortium partners (GE, Airbus, Virgin Australia and ROC) and other stakeholders to see CRC mallee research at two farms near Narrogin, with very positive feedback from the. I’d like to thank all the researchers for their time demonstrating and discussing their research, as it’s your work that underpins industry confidence and commitment to drive this and other projects forward.

The following day, along with consortium members Virgin Australia and GE, I enjoyed the opportunity to present the work of the CRC at the inaugural Greenstream2Mainstream conference in Albany. In their presentations, both Ben Waters from GE and David White from Virgin Australia spoke highly of our work, and their willingness to support our efforts to help the aviation industry reduce its carbon footprint.

Finally, I’m pleased to announce that Airbus, one of the world’s largest plane manufacturers, has joined our MOU consortium. Their interest is similar to that of Virigjn Australia and GE; they’re actively working within the aviation industry to reach an ambitious target of zero increase in carbon emissions after 2020. They see the work of the CRC as one pathway to achieve this.

As we head into April, I hope you find time to enjoy a happy and safe Easter break.

Peter Zurzolo
Chief Executive Officer


Dean enriches the CRC team

Congratulations to CSIRO researcher Dr Dean Revell who has become the latest recipient of the Future Farm Industries CRC Chairman’s Award.

In presenting the award, CRC Chairman Andrew Inglis highlighted Dean’s significant contribution.


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Sheep’s wisdom helps select better saltbushes

Researchers tuned in to sheep’s nutritional wisdom to help select the best saltbushes to help graziers get more and better feed from their land and improve the productivity and welfare of their livestock.

Saltbush offers Australian producers an option to lessen the impact of drought and salinity and also has potential to improve livelihoods for small land holders worldwide, according to CSIRO researcher Dr Hayley Norman.

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Zhongnan answers the 'Perennial Questions'

This month we’ve asked Zhongnan Nie the 'Perennial Questions' to shed a more personal light on his role within the CRC.

Zhongnan is Centre Leader and Senior Research Scientist – Agronomy, based at the DPI Victoria Hamilton branch, and leads the EverGraze project for Improved Perennial Grasses, phase 2.

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In the news and online

Visit the Latest News page to read more on the visit by Virgin Australia, GE, Airbus and other stakeholders to our mallee research on two farms near Narrogin.

Did you know that the CRC is on Twitter? Look for @FFICRC and stay in touch with events, and more, as they unfold.

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