Partner Profile: SAGIT

| Posted Oct 07,2021

SAGIT representatives Dr Andy Barr, Malcolm Buckby, Dr Jenny Davidson and Brian Dzoma (SARDI)

The South Australian Grain Industry Trust (SAGIT) was established in 1991 to administer the voluntary research levy contributed by SA grain growers. As such, it is unique as no other state has its own research fund supported by growers and dedicated to supporting projects with direct benefits for the local grain industry.

SAGIT is a major partner in the Soil CRC. They are a charitable trust, and unlike our other major partners, do not provide research capability to the CRC, but they do contribute cash.

On average, SAGIT invests $2.0 million a year in a range of organisations to support research crucial to advancing South Australia’s $4.6 billion grain industry. These projects deliver real improvements in countless areas of grain growing, farming systems, soil management, harvesting, storage, processing and marketing, and providing technical information to growers. Preference is given to projects that provide benefit to South Australian growers, but investment is not limited to South Australian organisations.

SAGIT also looks for projects that will provide more immediate outcomes for growers through development and adaptation of research. Project applications are assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Significance to the grain industry
  • Value for money
  • Validation and adoption
  • Path to market
  • Scientific merit
  • Probability of success
  • Innovation
  • Other benefits

Since its inception, SAGIT has funded many successful research projects. Developments in soil DNA diagnostics that resulted in the Predicta B test, and the practical elimination of cereal cyst nematode and take-all soil diseases. They provided foundational support of organisations such as the South Australian No-Till Farmers Association and the Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (another Soil CRC participant), enabling them to become self-sufficient and grow.

Being a grower-run organisation, they are focused on the needs of growers. They know that what works in the Mallee will not necessarily work on the Eyre Peninsula. They understand the importance of researchers and extension specialists working directly with growers to achieve the best outcome for all.

Being a major partner in the Soil CRC is important for SAGIT because it enables South Australian grain growers to have access to national soil research. They benefit from the collaboration that occurs between universities, departments of agriculture and grower groups. SAGIT’s participation in the Soil CRC gives them a broader view on the issues and solutions occurring in soil health in different regions that can then be applied back to South Australian farmers.

While SAGIT does not provide research expertise to the Soil CRC, their input is valuable. SAGIT’s Project Manager, Malcolm Buckby is a representative of the major partners on the Soil CRC board. Malcolm was a key player in the success of the Soil CRC bid five years ago and he brings strong agricultural knowledge and local experience to this role.