Everything to Know About the Grains Research Development Corporation

The Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) was founded in 1990 under what at the time was the Primary Industries and Energy Research and Development Act 1989 and is now known as the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (PIRD Act).

The purpose of this research and development corporation is to invest in research, development and extension to ensure enduring profitability for Australian grain growing. The activities of the GRDC, are supported by the Australian government and grain growers across the country. These activities are administered under a Statutory Funding Agreement between organisation and the Commonwealth of Australia.

Key points

  • The Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) was founded in 1990 as part of the Primary Industries and Energy
  • Research and Development Act 1989.
  • The activities of the GRDC are funded by the government and Australian grain growers.
  • The purpose of the GRDC is to invest in research, development, and extension to ensure the profitability of the grain industry.
  • A GRDC Research Scholarship and several awards are available to promote future industry talent.

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The work and objectives of the GRDC

The GRDC is accountable to the Australian Parliament, working directly with the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The organisation works to support the Australian grains industry and create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.

The purpose of the GRDC in more detail is as follows:

  • To invest in research development and extension (rd&e) and ensure any rd&e plan delivers a return on investment for grain growers.
  • Assist with grains research and development to create innovative ways of dealing with constraints and opportunities.
  • Drive long-term sustainability for grain growing businesses that enhances profitability.
  • Focus on grower profits as well as productivity.

Not every grower benefits from GRDC investment, but the organisation aims to have an impact on all growers and the future of the grain industry in Australia.

GRDC scholarships and awards

Students can obtain a GRDC Research Scholarship (GRS). This is a top-up scholarship for people who already have an RTP scholarship or equivalent. It’s worth approximately $35,000 per year for a maximum of three years.

The aim of the scholarship is to support Ph.D. candidates as they strive to deliver innovation in research. The ultimate aim of this support is to improve sustainability and profitability for growers in the grain industry.

The GRDC also has a series of awards that are handed out to recognise excellence and achievement. These awards are:

  • The Seed of Light Award
  • The Seed of Gold Award
  • The Emerging Leader and Recognising and Rewarding Excellence awards

Each of these awards recognises that the recipient has a passion and commitment that benefits the grain industry in Australia today and in the future.

Funding for the GRDC

Significant GRDC investment is needed to help the organisation invest in rd&e in the grain industry. Funding for this investment comes from two main sources. The Australian government makes contributions to the GRDC, as do grain growers.



The growers’ contributions come in the form of levies that are collected at the first point of sale. The levies are based on the net farm gate value of 25 crops, including wheat, various coarse grains, different pulses, and a selection of oilseeds.

The levies that are raised in this way are matched by the government up to a limit of 0.5% of a three-year rolling average of the gross production value across the 25 crops.

In addition to these two main funding sources, money also comes from royalties, grants, and interest.

The total funding available to the GRDC helps it to protect the long-term performance, sustainability, and profitability of farming systems and the grain growers that operate them.


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