Source: ABC Rural, 29 October 2014.

A South Australian farming group has moved its field day over the border into Victoria, so producers can legally trial genetically modified (GM) crop varieties.

A moratorium on GM crops in South Australia has some grain producers concerned they are being left behind in tackling weeds and improving yields.

Mackillop Farm Management Group last year held its annual field day at a trial site at Frances.

This year it was moved a few kilometres east, still in the border town of Frances, where GM canola could legally be trialled.

Research and operations manager Felicity Turner says most SA farmers are focussed on weed prevention, but long-term concerns surround great opportunities opening up to GM farmers.

“It’s not just the herbicide technologies. It’s a lot of other disease resistances and pod-shattering and things like that,” she said.

“Unfortunately [seed companies’ breeding programs] are only heading in that direction with regards to [GM] Roundup Ready.

“As a state, potentially we’re going to be left behind with regards to other options not just with regard to herbicide technologies.”

National canola manager of Pacific Seeds, Justin Kudnig, told the group: “If we don’t go down this path, nature’s going to beat us”.

“The bottom line to us is dollars per acre and we can see a greater return per acre if we can get this technology.”

“You need to stay ahead of pests, you need to stay ahead of diseases, you need to stay ahead of all the negatives that are out there in the environment,” he said…