The Australian Vegetable Growers Federation (AUSVEG) welcomed a recent announcement that AUSVEG Leading Strategic Partner Bayer CropScience has teamed up with the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) in an effort to fight weeds and herbicide resistance.
 
Under the deal, $45 million will be invested over five years, resulting in an extra 40 chemistry and biology researchers engaged at the Bayer CropScience labs in Frankfurt, Germany. A number of Australian post-doctoral researchers are expected to be recruited from Australian universities, to travel to Frankfurt.
 
“AUSVEG welcomes the announcement of this deal between Bayer CropScience and the GRDC,” said AUSVEG National Manager – Scientific Affairs Jessica Lye, Ph.D.
 
“This partnership will ensure that Australia is on the front foot in terms of global herbicide and pesticide research, and will benefit growers of all horticulture commodities.”
 
“Weeds have the potential to fly under the radar from a biosecurity perspective. They tend to gain resistance quickly and adapt to a variety of growing conditions.”
 
“Importantly, even though weed outbreaks can have a drastic effect on crop productivity, through competition for resources and space, they are often not attributed the status of other biosecurity threats, such as plant viruses and insect pests.”
 
“The production costs carried by growers in the fight to control weeds on growing areas cannot be understated.”
 
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
 
The deal will also mean Australian weeds become are a higher research priority.
 
“It is also good to see an emphasis on using Australian researchers, who will carry out post-doctoral studies at a world class research facility, and then bring that knowledge and expertise back to Australia,” said Dr Lye.
 
“Research results arising out of this partnership will not only benefit broad acre growers, there will also be flow on benefits into other industries, such as the vegetable and potato industries.”