Grains Innovation Park Horsham was established in the 1960s to breed wheat varieties for Victoria. By the 1980s, the breeding programs had expanded to include wheat, barley, canola, field peas, lentils and chick peas as well as associated agronomy, plant pathology and grains chemistry.
Today, there is a national approach to research, development and extension. Horsham has become a national centre for breeding pulses and also carries out pre-breeding research in cereals and oilseeds.
DEDJTR Horsham houses more than 200 people and includes laboratories, 15 glasshouses and two plastic igloos.
A new state of the art glasshouse is being constructed to carry out high throughput phenotyping of crop plants. In the near future it will house multiple imaging stations to observe plants as they move along on a conveyor belt. This process will replace time consuming and manual observations and reduce the time for some processes by up to 10 fold.
Horsham also hosts one of Australia's largest plant pathology regional groups and agronomy research in the areas of climate variability and remote sensing.
Horsham is home to a major pulse breeding program which includes the development of agronomic packages to accompany the new varieties. Research activities include genetic improvements such as new genetic variation, improved adaptation, improved grain quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerances.
There is also research investigating management practices for biotic and abiotic constraints, efficient farming systems and climate change.
Just outside of Horsham is the DEDJTR Plant Breeding Centre Farm, where breeding and pathology plots are grown. Researchers are also working on the Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment (FACE) project which investigates the potential impacts of higher carbon dioxide levels on cereal and legume crops, insects and soil.
Contact DEDJTR Horsham
DEDJTR Horsham Centre
110 Natimuk Rd
Horsham VIC 3400
Phone: (03) 5362 2111
Fax: (03) 5362 2187
Securing seeds for a bountiful future
Construction has begun on the Australian Grains Genebank (AGG). This facility will hold up to 180,000 samples from Australia and around the world.
AGG will consolidate the existing Horsham Australian Temperate Fieldcrops Collection with tropical and temperate cereal collections from NSW and Queensland, into a single, dedicated facility.
These collections are designed to acquire, conserve, characterise and distribute grain crop genetic resources to scientists, breeders and other users in Australia and worldwide for plant breeding and research.
The future of Australian agriculture depends on the genetic resources in the nation's seed banks.
This new genebank will allow Australia to cooperate in the global system of gene banks in accordance with international agreements that control the conservation, distribution and use of the genetic resources.
It will benefit grain producers, processors, marketers, breeders and regional Victorians.
Australian plant breeders will be able to access the genetic material and associated international knowledge necessary to produce superior varieties for our grain growers
It has been made possible through a partnership between the Victorian Government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation
DEDJTR and GRDC are each investing $3 million into new Genebank facilities, glass houses and infrastructure upgrades at Horsham.
GRDC and DEDJTR will also each commit up to $600,000 in the annual operating costs for five years to expand the Horsham Grains Innovation Park into a contemporary world-class National Plant Genetic Resource Centre.