The FarmLink open day at Temora got off to a buoyant start after a $2.5 million infrastructure funding announcement was made.
In what will be a joint project between FarmLink, Temora Shire, and Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) the funding secures major research projects for the region.
“This is a massive investment for the local region initially but in the long term there will be ongoing jobs,” FarmLink chief executive officer Cindy Cassidy told The Rural.
“GRDC have invested in infrastructure at the Temora Innovation Centre,” she said.
GRDC chairman John Woods said it was about improving capacity and capability in the grain industry.
“We have an excellent organisation (to work with) in FarmLink and the Temora Shire, this is a true partnership,” he said.
The funds, of which $1.8 million comes from GRDC, will help to install irrigation and secure long-term trial capability at Temora.
“It will empower FarmLink as an organisation,” he said.
The Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre is a community owned research facility with soil and an environment typical of more than half the state’s grain producing area.
“There are currently 17 private and public organisations conducting RD&E at TAIC, which attracts more than 3000 visitors a year,” Mr Woods said.
“The project will see the construction of a 100 megalitre dam with the capacity to irrigate 100 hectares of trials. It will also upgrade administrative and sample processing facilities; and build a machinery shed to accommodate increased trial and farm equipment and allow for machinery, technology and other agricultural training activities.
“Our RD&E partners need good infrastructure and the right tools to help GRDC to deliver on its purpose of investing in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.
FarmLink chairman Darryl Harper said enhancing the capacity of TAIC to deliver innovation will benefit grain growers across southern NSW.
“Delivering locally relevant innovation, locally, is core to the operation of FarmLink, so making the most out of the resource at TAIC is just good sense,” Mr Harper said.
“FarmLink was established by local growers and researchers to deliver long term productivity, profitability and sustainability, through innovation. We are proud to be continuing and building on that history.”
Temora Shire Council will make a cash and in-kind investment of $444,000.
Temora Shire Mayor, Rick Firman, said the Council is proud to be custodian of the site.
“While the research benefits growers across the whole region – not just Temora Shire – the Temora Shire benefits not only through increased agricultural production but also through the significant research investment and visitor dollars that are attracted by FarmLink.
“We are very pleased to work with GRDC to develop infrastructure at TAIC that will further enhance the value and relevance of the activities at the centre.”