Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

International Perennial Grain Crops Workshop

Wagga Wagga, Cowra and Canberra, 20-24 September 2010

Participants in the workshop

Some of the delegates enjoying picturesque Wagga Wagga.
From left: Phil Larkin, Jianjun Zhu, Fengyi Hu, Mike Ewing, Rex Oram, Lee Dehaan, David Van Tassel, Karen Hills, Len Wade, Lisa Xian, Sergio Moroni, Lindsay Bell and Clinton Revell

Thirty people, including two from China and three from the USA, attended this workshop to discuss progress in the development of perennial grain crops.

Perennials in mixed farming systems have many benefits , including stabilised production, improved ground cover for reduced erosion and improved infiltration, and likely benefits to carbon sequestration and water, nutrient and salt balance. This is especially important in Australia, where fragile soils of low fertility include the threat of rising water tables and salinity. As wheat dominates the arable cropping zone, development of perennial wheat offers the prospect of economic advantages from grazing and grain, together with the system stabilisation offered by perenniality. At the same time, the perennial may provide a green bridge for disease, and the genetics may prove complex. Nevertheless, interest is increasing worldwide in developing perennial grain crops. This by-invitation workshop was held to review progress in the Perennial Wheat Feasibility Study conducted by the Cooperative Research Centre for Future Farm Industries (CRC-FFI), in the context of related efforts in the USA and China with perennial wheat, rice and other crops.