Global Agriculture

Northern Grower Alliance leader to call it a day, but research goes on

10 March 2023, AU: For nearly two decades the name Richard Daniel has been synonymous with farm-relevant, practical research driven by and delivered for grain growers across northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.

As the chief executive officer of the Northern Grower Alliance (NGA) he has – with investment support from GRDC – spearheaded localised, responsive research, development and extension (RD&E) for the past 17 years.

But the well-known industry specialist has now announced he will retire when the current three-year GRDC project investigating ‘the agronomic management of weeds, crop nutrition and farming practices in northern NSW and southern Queensland to maximise crop profitability’ finishes in June 2024.

Giving 18 months’ notice will, Mr Daniel explained, help to ensure that NGA has ample time to determine how it evolves into the future, as well as allowing him to be a part of the completion of the current project.

NGA was established in 2005 by a group of northern consultants and agronomists to provide regional, industry-driven, applied agronomic research into the challenges of grain production. Since its inception the organisation has worked on a series of projects addressing the agronomic challenges facing the region’s grain growers.

“NGA has been very successful in delivering high quality, applied, industry-focussed RD&E for growers across northern NSW and southern Queensland,” Mr Daniel says.

“The NGA approach has helped to ensure that key industry issues are clearly defined, the RD&E approach is rapidly developed and implemented and that the outcomes can be quickly extended and adopted across a wide range of situations.”

While GRDC Senior Regional Manager – North, Gilliam Meppem acknowledges that Mr Daniel has been a key face of NGA for close to two decades, she says it was the broad industry that had benefitted from his extensive knowledge and enduring commitment.

“Richard has given us all fair warning that it is time for him to swap protocols, trial reports and industry updates for the coast, or something equally relaxing,” she says.

“GRDC as an organisation, and on behalf of northern grain growers, is indebted to Richard for the work he has done and we will continue to invest in quality industry-driven RD&E in northern NSW and southern Queensland, because it is critical to our stakeholders.

“For those concerned about what next, please be assured that from GRDC’s perspective we are actively looking to increase investment in responsive, agile, industry-driven, applied agronomic research and we’re actively engaging with growers, agronomists and farm advisers through our National Grower Network (NGN) initiative to facilitate this happening.”

Meanwhile Mr Daniel says during the next 12 to 15 months, it would be business-as-usual for NGA with the organisation focused on delivering the current GRDC project.

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