6 September 2011

About The Narrabri Plant Breeding Institute

The I.A. Watson Grains Research Centre is the located on the Newell Highway just north of Narrabri and is owned by the grain growers of NSW who administer the site through a board of trustees. The University of Sydney leases the site and conducts plant breeding and affiliated research here. Most of the site of 430 ha is irrigable and is ideally suited to large scale field experimentation. We do not attempt to duplicate the excellent greenhouse and laboratory faculties at the PBI Cobbitty. However, with excellent transport links to Sydney the two nodes of the PBI complement each other and staff and students move between the sites as needed.

The University's wheat breeding program was commercialized in 2001 and the germplasm absorbed by Australian Grain Technologies (AGT). AGT continue to use the site for their northern wheat breeding program as do other wheat breeding companies. In addition, plant breeding programs managed by the University include Indian mustard for biodiesel, faba beans and field peas for animal feed. Research and pre-breeding foci include drought tolerance, adaptation to conservation agriculture, resistance to crown rot and specialty quality traits in wheat, triticale for grain and forage and heat and drought tolerance in chickpea. 

Our aim is to provide the essential research that underpins grain production in the northern Australian grains region. In the process we are training the next generation of plant breeders, pathologists and agronomists who in turn will work to maintain the viability of the grains industry here and internationally.

For more information about the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources please see:


Professor Richard Trethowan, Professor of Plant Breeding, and Director, IA Watson Grains Research Centre, Narrabri warmly welcomes all visitors especially grain growers, farmers, industry supporters and the local community to celebrate 50 Golden Years of Wheat. Central to Narrabri's story of research achievements are former staff and students, and we invite them to 'return home' for two days of reflection across the decades, as well as an update of exciting new research. Lastly we look forward to reconnecting with our graduates and friends!

Please join us to honour our past, and share our vision for the future

Professor Richard Trethowan
Professor Richard Trethowan


5 October 2011

The Plant Breeding Institute at the University of Sydney has a long history of successful wheat breeding.

We will showcase the significant impact of our crop breeding and research on agriculture in Australia at our annual Field Day and Forum.

The Forum and Field Day at Narrabri will showcase the latest in commercial plant breeding and provide a forum to discuss emerging research activities.University bred cultivars helped establish the wheat industry in northern NSW and have underpinned the industry ever since. The Plant Breeding Institute at Narrabri is the main field-testing site for crops being developed by the University of Sydney. The breeding program at the Institute has produced a large number of rust-resistant wheat varieties in the Prime Hard and Australian Hard marketing classes.

Guided Tour, 9.30am - 12.30pm

Please join us as our special guests on a guided tour - 9.30am to 12.30pm - of the latest developments in plant breeding at the University of Sydney's main field-testing site for crops. During your visit you will hear from commercial breeding companies and internationally-recognised, as well as emerging, researchers on their achievements, initiatives and challenges.

BBQ Lunch, 12.30pm - 2pm

Forum, 2pm - 3.30pm

The theme of the Forum is 'Have We Reached Peak Yield?'

Details of the program and speakers will be posted shortly.

Afternoon Tea and Close, 3.30pm - 4pm


Please contact Ruth or Bill at PBI Narrabri for details of the Field Day and Forum,

Phone: +61 2 6799 2200


4 October 2011

Join us to celebrate 50 Golden Years Of Wheat in The Crossing Theatre, Narrabri!

The cost is $40pp (three-course meal) with additional charges for drinks.

Complimentary pre-dinner drinks will be served from 6.30pm.


Please contact Ms Skaidy Gulbis, Alumni Relations Officer for Dinner details

Phone: +61 2 8627 1006


Please click here to ACCEPT for both events.

Contact: Bill Wall (field day) or Skaidy Gulbis (dinner)

Phone: 61 2 6799 2200 or 8627 1006

Email: 230826011b532b3f183b145135000d2038292a6622251c59323c576d