WA’s new $5m study hub for grains

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Jenne BrammerThe West Australian
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Barnaby Joyce announces the hub at Murdoch University.
Camera IconBarnaby Joyce announces the hub at Murdoch University. Credit: The West Australian/Ian Munro

A new $5 million research centre to boost WA grain crop productivity is to be set up at Murdoch University.

The new Crop Research Hub, announced yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and WA Primary Industries Minister Alannah MacTiernan, is a collaboration between the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Murdoch University, Curtin University and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The facility is funded by a $3 million GRDC research and development infrastructure grant. Murdoch is contributing $1.5 million; Curtin and DPIRD are each kicking in $250,000.

Most of the Crop Research Hub’s facilities will be based at Murdoch University, which is targeting 18 glasshouses and 2.8ha of irrigated, netted field plots, though there would also be contained glasshouses at Curtin to enable separate studies while avoiding the risk of disease.

GRDC chairman John Woods said the collaborative hub and state-of-the-art infrastructure was expected to improve the efficiency and productivity of crop research in WA.

Murdoch University deputy vice-chancellor of research and innovation David Morrison said the project would draw in specialist research skills from each party.

To be operating late next year, the new hub research would complement grains research efforts by DPIRD, which includes the former Department of Agriculture and Food WA.

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