The Australian Summer Grains Conference

Venue: RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast
PCO: YRD, Kate Murphy

The Australian Summer Grains conference is essentially a new event, which brought together those people involved in five different grains; maize, soybean, sorghum, sunflower and mungbeans. It was a terrific idea as it gave some of the major players across all grains the opportunity to meet everyone at the one event.It also provided a cross fertilisation of ideas between growers of the different grains.

Having been born and raised on a farm, albeit on that small, damp island off the coast of Europe called Ireland, I have some appreciation of life on the land and of the challenges that are faced on a daily basis. These grain growers are facing quite a bright future, according to Bernard Salt. They are in the right business at the right time given a host of factors, which he outlined in his usual engaging and informative style.

There were quite a number of presentations on weeds, a massive problem for Australia. Did you know that weeds costs the Australian economy $4-billion each year?

One of those adding his tuppence worth to the weeds issue is an acknowledged world expert, Professor Phil Stahlman from Kansas State University. Phil did a couple of concurrents as well as a keynote and added greatly to everyone’s store of knowledge on the pest that is weeds. Phil and his wife, Linda, have been married for 41 years. I spent some time with them at the GRDC sponsored conference dinner and the story of how they met all those years ago is both entertaining and romantic!

I have to say that the sponsors for this conference were outstanding. Not only did they offer the sort of support that you would expect from a sponsor, but they got stuck in and helped out in every area. Hats off to Platinum Sponsor GRDC, Gold Sponsor, Pacific Seeds and the host of other sponsors for making this conference such a success.

This was my first time working with Kate Murphy and her team from YRD. Kate is one of those unflappable people for whom the myriad of problems that crop up during the course of a conference are merely matters to be dealt with. Love to work with her again.

The committee too, was terrific and great to work with. I’m not sure that any of them got more than a couple of hours sleep each night! Yes, the social functions were very, very social!

Well done to everyone on a very successful and enjoyable conference.

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