The University of Adelaide was pleased to host the Future Farming Forum at the Charles Hawker Conference Centre on 22 June. Sponsored by Grain Producers SA and the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia, the half-day session was attended by 50 people, many of them farmers and growers from around the state – Eyre Peninsula, Bordertown, Yorke Peninsula and the Mallee were all represented.
The audience heard from four speakers, including A/Prof Chris Preston and Dr Heather Bray from UA, Victorian agronomist Greg Sefton and the Executive Director of Australian Oil Seeds Federation, Nick Goddard (pictured above), about the challenges, opportunities, performance to date and market potential of GM crops, with a focus on canola. Chris Preston’s presentation focussed on the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops, and the management of GM canola in the landscape. Heather Bray’s talk on consumer and community attitudes to GM products arising from her recent social science research was of great interest to the diverse audience and there was plenty of discussion and question time.
The Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia has released an official reference guide to Ag Biotech and GM crops and will be running future sessions around the country aiming to increase growers’ understanding of and engagement with agricultural biotechnology.