People across Australia are more than ready to farewell 2020. The pressures of COVID-19 and the restrictions, the home schooling, the forced isolation and the tension of waiting for the daily statistics will stay with us for a long time.
I believe that we have also learned from the experience and as the farming community knows, living with uncertainty is challenging.
Driven by this awareness, the farming community’s resilience was evident, accustomed as it is to variable climate and weather, markets, commodity prices, disease and pests.
BCG’s recent opportunity to celebrate 75 years of the Country Hour program with the ABC gave us the opportunity to reflect on this resilience and on the advancements in the grains industry. Of particular note, farmers have increased their water use efficiency through the adoption of various farming systems and genetics.
Looking back on the last 28 years since BCG’s inception reinforced our awareness that farmers must be innovative, respond to the complexities and keep up with the science. During this time, BCG has played a key role in investigating new thinking and highlighting opportunities to assist farmers to stay profitable and sustainable.
During harvest, discussions about decisions made throughout 2020 via our BCG Advisory ‘Whats App’ groups have been stimulating and practical. The information has provided inspiration for future research work. They also provided clear evidence that BCG’s work remains relevant and valuable.
Conversations about various herbicide strategies, disease management, late fungicide applications and Nitrogen management strategies with the advisory panels clearly identified gaps in knowledge that can be supported by future BCG work.
The challenge before us is securing the right partners to help support this work.
As we know, people are our most important asset. Our current staff team comes from a diverse background, many of whom have moved across Australia to work for BCG, aware that it provides an opportunity for highly professional scientific experience in a rural setting.
I could not be more proud of the output of the organisation during 2020. BCG has every intention of expanding the team; if you know of suitable candidates who wish to contribute to its work, encourage them to make contact.
On behalf of BCG, I thank Peter Myers who has been part of the Board for the last seven years. ‘Shared Solutions’ underpins our work and Peter’s input at the Board level has been part of the critical input that BCG needs to stay relevant and prosperous. His contribution is much appreciated.
I wish all our members, farmers, sponsors and collaborators a safe and happy holiday period.