Grains industry news in brief

Grains industry news in brief


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Submissions for a new GM canola, struggles in biofuel and NAFTA fallout. All your grains news in brief.

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Steve Jefferies, GRDC managing director, is calling for applications from those interested in grain industry research.

Steve Jefferies, GRDC managing director, is calling for applications from those interested in grain industry research.

GRDC funding

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is calling for applications from post graduate students and post-doctoral researchers interested in studying or researching within the Australian grains industry.

The Grains Research Scholarships (GRS) and the GRDC Post-Doctoral Fellowship are both designed to build capacity in the grains research sector, and are awarded based on the academic excellence of the applicant, the relevance of their proposed research to GRDC priorities and evidence of industry contribution or involvement.

GRDC Managing Director Dr Steve Jefferies said the organisation was committed to building the capacity and capability of grains industry research development and extension (RD&E) to ensure the enduring profitability of Australian growers.

“Supporting and encouraging graduates and post-doctoral researchers to join our industry is part of a strategy to build our national research capacity,” Dr Jefferies said.

OGTR reviews canola

THE Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) is reviewing a line of high omega-3 oil canola for its suitability for commercial cultivation.

The OGTR will call for submissions surrounding Nuseed’s variety, jointly developed between the Nufarm subsidiary and CSIRO which has boosted omega-3 oils, normally found in high levels in fish.

Submissions to the OGTR on the variety close at the end of the month.

Cellulosic ethanol plant shut downs

MANUFACTURERS of second generation cellulosic based ethanol continue to struggle to get the numbers to add up, with Dow Industrial Biosciences shutting the doors on a cellulose-based ethanol plant in Iowa in the US.

Cellulose-based ethanol is seen as the next step in environmentally friendly fuel as it does not need to be made from food crops, rather from bio-waste, such as corn straw.

Start-up costs for cellulose manufacturing are estimated to be up to six times that of a conventional corn-based plant.

Dow hopes to onsell its Iowa facility.

NAFTA fall out

MEXICO will look elsewhere for its wheat exports in spite of the US sitting just across the other side of the Rio Grande as part of the fallout from protracted North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks.

Mexico has been the largest individual importer of US wheat over the past two years, but North American media reports say the central American nation will consider importing wheat all the way from Argentina in response to uncertainty over the terms of a revised NAFTA agreement.

Already, Mexico has purchased 30,000 tonnes of Argentine wheat in a pilot shipment to see if the wheat performs in a technical sense and whether deals can be executed economically.

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