Australian Export Grains Innovation Center

Australian, Australia

Australian Export Grains Innovation Center

Australian, Australia

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Kingwell R.,University of Western Australia | Kingwell R.,Australian Export Grains Innovation Center
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2014

The south-west of Australia is being affected by a warming, drying trend in its climate. In response to these changing climatic conditions, as well as changes in farm commodity price relativities, farmers have adjusted their mix of enterprises to favour cereal production. As a result, an increasing potential source of cereal straw for bioenergy production has emerged. This paper examines how temporal and spatial costs of cereal straw accumulation may affect the establishment of a bioenergy plant in the region, with climate change impacts being highlighted. Logistics models based on mathematical programming are constructed for a range of plant sizes. Modelling results identify the cost structures of cereal straw accumulation for these plant sizes. Plant sizes are characterised by different cost structures and levels of volatility in their costs of grain accumulation. The profitability of bioenergy production based on cereal straw in this region of Australia is particularly exposed to climate variability, especially for larger plant sizes. The projected change in climate supports a relatively small reduction in the costs of cereal straw accumulation. These findings will affect decision-making over investment in a long-lived specific asset such as a bioenergy processing plant. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Browne N.,University of Melbourne | Kingwell R.,University of Western Australia | Kingwell R.,Bentley Delivery Center | Kingwell R.,Australian Export Grains Innovation Center | And 2 more authors.
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2013

Dryland farming and its profitability is directly affected by the amount and timing of rainfall that influence and consequently impacts on pasture and crop yields. Yet rainfall is not the sole determinant of farm enterprise profitability; prices of farm inputs and commodities produced also affect farm profits. This study draws on farm commodity prices and input prices from the past 9 years to form correlated price and cost datasets that are then used in examining the profitability of a range of farm enterprises in south eastern Australia under low, average and high rainfall scenarios. Fourteen representative farm enterprises were examined that included the production of Merino fine wool, prime lamb, beef cattle, milk, wheat and canola. The spread of profitability of these farm enterprises against the backdrop of price variability and rainfall scenarios was compared. The results show that profitability of the enterprises studied is currently affected more by changes in rainfall than by commodity prices and that dairy enterprises are the most profitable on a $/ha basis but that the profitability of wheat, steer and prime lamb enterprises are least affected by low rainfall scenarios. The self-replacing cow-calf beef systems, canola and dairy enterprises are the most vulnerable to reduced rainfall and may benefit by reducing profit risk through changes such as expanding the enterprise or diversifying across other types of enterprises. Farm diversification involving combinations of enterprises with negatively correlated profits will enable the variance in farm profits to be reduced. Such actions could form part of farms' adaptation strategies to climate and price variability. © 2013.


Browne N.A.,University of Melbourne | Behrendt R.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Kingwell R.S.,University of Western Australia | Kingwell R.S.,Australian Export Grains Innovation Center | Eckard R.J.,University of Melbourne
Animal Production Science | Year: 2015

Australian agriculture generated 15% of national greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) in 2011, with CH4 and N2O accounting for 12 and 3% of national emissions, respectively. In 2011, the Australian government introduced a voluntary carbon offset scheme called the Carbon Farming Initiative, which enables farmers to earn carbon credits by lowering GHGE or sequestering carbon. One way of reducing emissions is to decrease the number of replacement animals required on-farm and increase the amount of product that animals produce across their lifetime. This study explores two options for reducing GHGE over an animal's lifetime: (1) changing from an annual calving system to extended lactation system on dairy farms; and (2) increasing the longevity of ewes on wool enterprises to produce an extra year of wool and offspring. The biophysical models DairyMod and GrassGro were used to simulate the dairy and wool enterprises, respectively, and GHGE were calculated using the Australian National Inventory methodology. Extended lactation produced lower total emissions and emissions intensity (t CO2e/t milk fat plus protein) than annual calving and also resulted in higher operating profits. The GHGE from increasing longevity on sheep enterprises was similar to the baseline scenario, largely as a result of similar stocking rates. Extended lactation had greater potential of reducing emissions than increasing longevity on wool enterprises because there was a larger increase in the production of milk fat plus protein across cows' lifetimes, as well as greater reductions in the number of replacement animals required on the enterprise. This research demonstrated that the profitability of farm enterprises would be driven more by productivity than claiming carbon offsets from these management changes. © CSIRO 2015.


Doran-Browne N.A.,University of Melbourne | Eckard R.J.,University of Melbourne | Behrendt R.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Kingwell R.S.,University of Western Australia | Kingwell R.S.,Australian Export Grains Innovation Center
Climatic Change | Year: 2015

Dietary Guidelines for many countries recommend that people should eat ‘nutrient dense’ foods, which are foods with a high nutrient to energy ratio; and that people should limit their intake of saturated fat, added salt or added sugar. In addition, consumers and environmentalists increasingly want their food to be produced with a low impact on the environment, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE), yet agriculture is a major source of CH4 and N2O emissions, as well as producing CO2 emissions. Current research on GHGE from agriculture does not incorporate the nutritional value of the foods studied. However, the nutritional content of food is important, given the prevalence of malnutrition, including obesity (due to over-consumption of foods high in energy yet low nutritional density), and the negative health impacts they produce. This paper introduces the metric, emissions/unit nutrient density, and compares the results with three other metrics: emissions intensity (t CO2e/t product), emissions/t protein and emissions/GJ. The food products examined are wheat flour, milk, canola oil, lean lamb, lean beef, untrimmed lamb and untrimmed beef. The metric t CO2e/unit nutrient density was the preferred metric to use when examining GHGE from food production because it compares different types of products based on their nutritional value, rather than according to singular nutrients such as protein, or specific attributes such as product weight or energy content. Emissions/unit nutrient density has the potential to inform consumer choices regarding foods that have a higher nutritional content relative to the GHGE generated. Further analysis would be useful to develop and expand the use of this metric further. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Cao H.,Capital Normal University | Yan X.,Capital Normal University | Chen G.,Capital Normal University | Zhou J.,Capital Normal University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Proteomics | Year: 2015

Starch is the main component in the wheat endosperm and exists in two forms including A- and B-type granules. A bread wheat line CB037A and an Aegilops line Aegilops crassa were studied for the underlying starch biosynthesis mechanism in relation to granule types. The wheat line contains both types of starch granules while the Aegilops line only has the A-type. Differential starch granule development patterns of these two species were observed at the morphological level. A total of 190 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were detected between the two lines based on 2-D electrophoresis, among which 119 DEPs were identified, representing 13 unique proteins. Gene ontology annotation analysis indicated that both molecular functions and biological processes of the identified proteins are highly conserved. Different phosphorylation modification levels between the A- and B-type starch granules were found. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR analysis revealed that a number of key genes including starch synthase I-1, pullulanase, isoamylase and starch branching enzyme IIa were differentially expressed between the two species. Our results demonstrated that the large granule size is associated with higher activities of multiple starch biosynthesis enzymes. The phosphorylation of starch biosynthesis enzymes is related with the formation of B-type starch granules. Biological significance: Analyzed the proteome, transcriptome and phosphorylation of core starch granule biosynthesis enzymes and provided new insights into the differential mechanisms underlying the A- and B-type starch granule biosyntheses. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Baron Hay Court, Murdoch University, Australian Export Grains Innovation Center and CSIRO
Type: | Journal: Journal of plant physiology | Year: 2016

Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) seed germination initiates many important biological processes such as DNA, membrane and mitochondrial repairs. However, little is known on cell wall modifications in germinating embryos. We have investigated cell wall polysaccharide composition change, gene transcription and alternative splicing events in four barley varieties at 24h and 48 h germination. Cell wall components in germinating barley embryos changed rapidly, with increases in cellulose and (1,3)(1,4)--D-glucan (20-100%) within 24h, but decreases in heteroxylan and arabinan (3-50%). There were also significant changes in the levels of type I arabinogalactans and heteromannans. Alternative splicing played very important roles in cell wall modifications. At least 22 cell wall transcripts were detected to undergo either alternative 3 splicing, alternative 5 splicing or intron retention type of alternative splicing. These genes coded enzymes catalyzing synthesis and degradation of cellulose, heteroxylan, (1,3)(1,4)--D-glucan and other cell wall polymers. Furthermore, transcriptional regulation also played very important roles in cell wall modifications. Transcript levels of primary wall cellulase synthase, heteroxylan synthesizing and nucleotide sugar inter-conversion genes were very high in germinating embryos. At least 50 cell wall genes changed transcript levels significantly. Expression patterns of many cell wall genes coincided with changes in polysaccharide composition. Our data showed that cell wall polysaccharide metabolism was very active in germinating barley embryos, which was regulated at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels.


Finlayson J.,University of Western Australia | Real D.,University of Western Australia | Nordblom T.,University of Western Australia | Nordblom T.,University of New South Wales | And 4 more authors.
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2012

Tedera (Bituminaria bituminosa C.H. Stirt var. albomarginata) is a drought tolerant perennial legume originating in the Canary Islands. This study evaluates the potential role and value of tedera in dryland mixed crop and sheep production systems in southern Australia. Regional variants of the bio-economic model MIDAS are used to assess tedera in farming systems at two locations. The analysis considers the quantity and quality of feed produced by tedera, the ability of other forages to complement or substitute for tedera and its impact on meat versus wool-producing sheep flocks. The results indicate that tedera offers the potential to increase farm profits by up to 26% and be grown on ∼28% of a low rainfall mixed enterprise farm. On a high rainfall mixed enterprise farm tedera may boost profit by up to 58% and be grown on ∼75% of the farm. The modelled increases in farm profit were large and relate to savings in supplementary feed and higher stocking rates. The results of our analysis suggest additional experimental and breeding work is required but the current state of knowledge is consistent with tedera becoming an important forage in southern Australian farming systems. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Jacobs A.,University of Western Australia | Kingwell R.,University of Western Australia | Kingwell R.,Australian Export Grains Innovation Center
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2016

Herbicide-resistant weeds are an increasing global problem in crop production systems. To lessen the incidence of herbicide resistance and to prevent the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds many farmers in Australia have adopted weed seed control measures at grain harvest. One new option is known as the Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD). It is a machine that intercepts crop residue from the harvester and then mechanically destroys embedded weed seeds. In this study, the RIM (Ryegrass Integrated Management) model was used to investigate the economic worth of the HSD within integrated weed management strategies applicable to different weed environments, rotations, sizes of cropping programmes and crop yields. Use of the HSD generated increased returns compared to many other weed management strategies in several scenarios, but especially when non-selective herbicide resistance occurred and large areas of high-yielding crops were grown. Emerging trends in grain farming that include larger areas sown to crops, a greater incidence of herbicide-resistant weeds and higher crop yields, when combined with further manufacturing improvement of the HSD, will only further favour the use of the HSD as a key component of integrated weed management. © 2015.


Kingwell R.,University of Western Australia | Kingwell R.,Australian Export Grains Innovation Center | Squibb L.,University of Western Australia
Crop and Pasture Science | Year: 2015

In Mediterranean-type environments, livestock productivity in mixed livestock and cropping enterprises often is limited by a period of feed scarcity that extends from late autumn, when dry residues of crops and pastures from the previous growing season are being exhausted, through to early winter when green feed is just commencing. Dual-purpose crops have been developed as a source of winter green feed, while still being a source of grain at harvest. These crops increase feed availability and boost livestock productivity. This study evaluates the role and value of dual-purpose wheat and canola crops, in combination with lucerne, in mixed-enterprise farming systems that experience a Mediterranean-type climate. Using bioeconomic modelling, the value of dual-purpose crops is assessed under a range of yield, price and technical assumptions. For an Australian study region, the robust finding is that the joint inclusion of dual-purpose crops and lucerne greatly increases the farming-system profits. Under standard assumptions when the farming system is operated to maximise profit, farm profit increases by AU$68000 (or 88% over the base case) following the inclusion of both dual-purpose wheat and canola. The increase in profit is attributable to wool and sheep sales rising by 261%, yet the proportions of crop and pasture remain similar with or without the dual-purpose crops. Importantly, the proportion of the pasture area that is lucerne greatly increases to complement the increase in feed availability generated by the dual-purpose crops. The resultant large increase in feed availability in winter and summer allows the stocking rate to increase so sheep numbers and sheep turn-off become the main source of the increase in profit. Sensitivity analysis shows that even with significant commodity price fluctuations and further reduction in grain yield caused by grazing, and exclusion of lucerne, inclusion of dual-purpose crops in these farming systems still increases farm profit. © 2015 CSIRO.


Yousif A.M.,Deakin University | Yousif A.M.,Australian Export Grains Innovation Center
Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops and Foods | Year: 2016

Trials were carried out to assess the effect of white sorghum (WS) and red sorghum (RS) supplementation on the physical attributes of traditional wheat flour (WF) flat bread. Flat breads were prepared with varying amounts of refined WF and (30, 40 and 50% of) commercial wholegrain WS or RS flours and measurements were taken of the physical attributes (weight, volume, colour and texture) of the resulting combinations. Addition of WS and RS flour reduced the weight of the flat bread by 7.42 and 6.72%, respectively, and volume by 21.31 and 16.60%, respectively, compared with the 100% WF flat bread. The addition of WS flour resulted in a significantly harder (0.58%) flat bread compared with the 100% WF flatbread, with 'noticeable' and 'appreciable' ΔE*ab colour differences compared with the 100% WF flat bread. Adding RS flour resulted in comparable flat bread texture, however it produced a 'discernibly' ΔE*ab darker flat bread when compared to the 100% WF flat bread. This work indicates that supplementing WS and RS flour results in lower quality physical attributes in relation to the 100% WF flat bread. © 2015 Wageningen Academic Publishers.

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