24 August 2001

Augrainz seeks better varieties to win markets

STATE research centres in Australia and New Zealand have signed an agreement to combine their wheat research efforts.

The Ausgrainz alliance aims to expand the two countries plant breeding efforts by widening access to international germplasm, with the long-term goal of building grain markets.

"Science and technology have been one of the key drivers for the success of the Australian grains market," claims CSIRO Plant Industry chief Jim Peacock.

"Science and technology will continue to increase the value of that market by developing more premium cultivars, with additional traits like better disease resistance, performance in a greater range of conditions and quality characteristics for end products," says Dr Peacock.

Australian wheat output is valued at £1.6bn (85% of which is exported) and New Zealands at £287m. &#42