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About us

Our purpose is to invest in research, development and extension (RD&E) to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.

We invest in RD&E projects to deliver new and improved varieties, farming practices, technologies and capability to the Australian grains industry. These investments drive the discovery, development and delivery of world-class innovation


Figure 1 shows our organisational structure at 30 June 2020.

Figure 1: Structure at 30 June 2020

GRDC organisational structure at 30 June 2020

Board and executive

Our Board is responsible for the stewardship of the corporation and oversees corporate governance. Its functions include setting strategic direction and monitoring the ongoing performance of the business and the Managing Director. More information on the Board is provided in Part 3 of this report.

The Executive Committee is composed of the Managing Director and the heads of GRDC’s business groups. The committee leads our business activities, advises the Board and implements the Board’s decisions. It meets regularly to ensure that our operations are monitored and managed efficiently and effectively.

Business groups

At 30 June 2020, there were six business groups with subgroups as follows:

  • Managing Director’s Office—Legal and Governance, and Human Resources
  • Genetics and Enabling Technologies—Genetic Technologies, National Variety Trials and Enabling Technologies
  • Applied Research, Development and Extension—Agronomy, Farming Systems, Soils, Nutrition, Extension and Communication
  • Crop Protection, Biosecurity and Regulation—Pests, Diseases, Weeds, Crop Protection, Biosecurity and Chemical Regulation
  • Business Development and Economics—Business Development, Intellectual Property, and Licensing and Economics
  • Operations—Finance, Regional Management, IT, Digital and Communications, Corporate Affairs, Industry and Government Relations, and Business Support.

Cross-functional teams with input from relevant units perform planning and assessment, while individual investment contracts are negotiated and monitored by managers within relevant units

Advisory panels

Four advisory panels provide input on priorities and proposals for RD&E investment.

The National Panel:

  • assesses national RD&E priorities across our investment portfolio and makes recommendations on investment priorities to the Managing Director
  • assists the Managing Director to maintain links with grain growers, advisers and research partners.

Three regional advisory panels are composed of grain growers, agribusiness representatives and researchers representing each of Australia’s major grain-growing regions. and provide advice and input to the National Panel.

More information on the advisory panels is provided on our website, at grdc.com.au/about/what-we-do/regional-panels.


Our funding principally comes from levies paid by grain growers and contributions paid by the Australian Government.

The levies are collected at the first point of sale and based on the net farm gate value of 25 crops:

  • wheat
  • coarse grains—barley, oats, sorghum, maize, triticale, millets/panicums, cereal rye and canary seed
  • pulses—lupins, field peas, chickpeas, faba beans, vetch, peanuts, mungbeans, navy beans, pigeon peas, soybeans, cowpeas and lentils
  • oilseeds—canola, sunflower, safflower and linseed.

The Australian Government matches the levy contributions up to a limit of 0.5 per cent of the three-year rolling average of the gross value of production of the 25 leviable crops.

Other sources, including interest, royalties and grants, contribute a smaller proportion of our income.

Collaboration and partnerships

Effective partnerships with co-investors enable us to leverage resources and research capability; share market knowledge, technologies and intellectual property; and reduce the risk associated with individual investments.

Most of our co-investors are also research collaborators. They include state government departments, CSIRO, universities, cooperative research centres and private sector bodies. The number of effective linkages we have with agribusiness participants, including farm advisers and agronomists, is also increasing. Partnerships with agribusiness have tended to focus on the identification of R&D priorities and facilitation of the adoption of R&D outputs by grain growers.

We co-invest with other rural R&D corporations (RDCs), particularly in addressing cross-sectoral issues defined under the Primary Industries Ministerial Council’s National Primary Industries Research, Development and Extension Framework. This includes three current collaborations funded under the Australian Government’s Rural R&D for Profit program, and the establishment of a separate cross-sectoral investment vehicle in 2020.

We build strong relationships with international partners, both to broaden the resources available to the Australian grains industry and to access international RD&E expertise and/or capacity not available in Australia. A list of all our 2019–20 investments, including details of partners, is provided on our website.

Planning and reporting

We are strongly committed to being accountable for our performance. More information on our accountability to grain growers, and to the Australian Government and the broader community, is provided in Part 3 of this report.

Figure 2 outlines the core elements of our annual cycle of planning and reporting against planned objectives and statutory requirements. The documents are available for download from our website.

Figure 2: Planning and reporting framework

Diagram that represents the key elements of the GRDC reporting and planning framework that are consistent with both the PGPA Act and the PIRD Act.


Australian grains production occurs across three regions—comprising 13 different agroecological zones—with distinct climate, cropping and market characteristics, as described in Figure 3.

We manage RD&E investments and deliver services to meet the needs of each region and the industry through a network of three regional offices, Adelaide, Perth and Toowoomba; two satellite offices in Horsham and Wagga Wagga ; and the national office in Canberra.

This network enhances our ability to deliver tailored benefits to growers in regional locations. Regional staff have a focus on short- and medium-term projects that address priority issues relating to farming systems, agronomy, soils, weeds, pests and diseases.

Contact details are listed inside the back cover of this report.

Figure 3: Grain-growing region characteristics

A map of Australia overlaid with the GRDC grain growing regions and locations of GRDC regional offices. Characteristics of each region is provided below the map diagram.