Saturday, December 2, 2023

FAR gets the green light from growers

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Strong support for foundation from the 31% who turned out to vote in referendum.
FAR chief executive Alison Stewart questions how to tell the arable farm story without a formal accreditation programme to back it up.
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Cropping farmers have ticked the Yes box, giving the green light for the continuation of the Foundation for Arable Research.

The results show strong support for continued investment in research and extension for the arable industry.

The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) received the declaration of result on Monday August 28, following its sixth referendum of growers.

The levy-funded organisation will now make an application to the government for these levy orders to be put in place. was contracted to administer the referendum, which, over the past month, has given arable, maize and cereal silage growers the opportunity to have their say on whether or not they wish to continue investing in industry-good research through FAR.

The FAR referendum covered three separate levy orders and support for each of them is equal to the strong result achieved in the 2011 referendum. 

The voter return percentage was 31.2% of eligible voters.

Results were arable crops, 88% support; maize, 79% support and cereal silage, 69% support.

FAR chief executive Alison Stewart said the results are a really pleasing endorsement of the hard work and commitment of growers, FAR staff and industry colleagues.

“We work hard to develop research programmes that meet the needs of our growers. 

“Through feedback from our regional Arable Research Groups and Research and Development Advisory Committee, we identify areas of importance and develop a balanced portfolio of research projects that address both short- and long-term needs of the industry.”  

Over the past six years FAR has increased its overall revenue by leveraging grower levy money with other external funds.

This has enabled FAR to deliver a much broader suite of research and development activities that includes biosecurity, agronomy, pest management, environmental research and the establishment of a new knowledge exchange platform called Growers Leading Change.

“This investment continues to safeguard the future of the arable industry by maintaining productivity and profitability with a lower environmental footprint and securing our social licence to operate,” Stewart said.

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