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On behalf of the Society and the Conference Committee, it is a pleasure to say Welcome to the 13th Australian Agronomy Conference in Perth 2006.

Our intent is to thoroughly explore our theme, Groundbreaking Stuff, a term that draws upon our foundations in the soil, implies a strong relevance to practical agriculture and, at the same time, provides an image of scientific breakthroughs and applications. This theme captures the excitement we feel in developing this timely and lively conference.

The committee has worked tirelessly to prepare an excellent programme. There are six plenary sessions, each with papers and posters.

There are five special events: Two invited addresses provide an international context in agronomy: “Can science and technology feed the world” and “Science and achieving the UN Millennium Goals”. The conference also features a Young Agronomists and Farmers Forum, a new initiative to recognize a young agronomist, and the prestigious Donald Medal, which recognizes an eminent Australian agriculturalist close to retirement with a long and distinguished career. These awards will be presented during the conference.

I wish to thank the organising committee; it has been a pleasure to have such excellent support in developing our ideas. The conference was possible with the confidence of our sponsors, especially ARWA, LWA Healthy Soils and GRDC. The committee received excellent support from Esther Price Promotions as conference organiser and The Regional Institute for web-based registration and publication. Selected plenary papers are being published in a special issue of Field Crops Research.

The success of the conference is dependent on participation of members of the Society. I thank you for your confidence in allowing me the honour of chairing the Society. I hope you enjoy the conference, and it leads you to achieve Groundbreaking Stuff in future.

Professor Len Wade
President, Australian Society of Agronomy, 2006

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