Current data from ABARES surveys provides valuable insights into the performance of grain growers at a national scale but does not allow for more localised assessments and comparisons of performance. The GRDC is working with a range of stakeholders to determine the level of support and most appropriate methodology required for the collation of more localised farm performance data. Ultimately, analysis of more localised data over multiple years would allow not only a more informed assessment of farm performance but also the identification of new investments required to create enduring profitability and the exposure of gaps in adoption of new knowledge.
Objectives will be monitored over a longer timeframe, as the cumulative impacts of KITs. The GRDC will utilise a combination of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and ABARES, information from industry and other survey data to track improvements and/or declines in achieving objectives, but will need to make assumptions to attribute effects to RD&E outputs and outcomes. Measures will make wide use of case studies to describe the links between RD&E and practice change at the farm or industry levels.
For example, it is well established that planting at the optimum time has a major impact on grain yield potential but the time of planting is constrained by the need to manage the risk of frost (in sowing earlier) and the risk of heat and terminal drought (in sowing later). RD&E investments to expand the frost and heat tolerances of crops could deliver crop varieties that can facilitate both earlier and later plantings, to manage risk and maximise yield. However, it is difficult to accurately quantify the exact improvement that investment in tolerance of extreme heat has had on yield, given that a range of other factors also influence yield. Case studies provide an important tool for inferring or estimating the impact of such RD&E and demonstrating its adoption.