A new approach to fertiliser management that investigates how different wheat and canola genotypes respond to fertilisers will help graingrowers develop better nutrient management practices and reduce the financial and environmental costs of wasted fertiliser.
Recognising that fertiliser is a graingrower’s greatest single expense, with annual farm input cost at 16 percent, the Crop Nutrition group at The University of Western Australia (UWA), led by Professor Zed Rengel, is examining the optimal management of potassium (K), nitrogen (N), sulphur (S) and phosphorus (P) for wheat, barley and canola.
International collaboration can help combat climate change and WA and Chinese researchers are joining forces to improve climate adaptation strategies and pass on the subsequent benefits to growers.
As part of a A$1.9 million project, the University of Western Australia (UWA) Institute of Agriculture is collaborating with China’s Lanzhou University on a sustainability initiative for dry and cold ecosystems, using west China as a model.
When the current moratorium on genetically modified (GM) crops is lifted, The University of Western Australia (UWA) has GM lupin lines with superior seed quality and yield readily available for wider testing and evaluation in the WA grainbelt.
According to UWA Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis Director, Professor Craig Atkins, sustaining cereal production through rotating legumes drove the UWA GM lupin breeding program, which commenced in 1992.
Collaborating with leading Chinese and Indian canola scientists in rapeseed breeding, pathology and agronomy could greatly benefit Australia’s oilseed industry.
In particular, WA growers may profit from India’s shatter-resistant pod research and China’s successful Sclerotinia resistance research.
Wallace Cowling, Associate Professor at The University of Western Australia (UWA) Institute of Agriculture and School of Plant Biology, said international collaboration could improve varieties and also canola biotechnology.
Combining no tillage farming and integrated weed management (IWM) strategies can reduce graingrower reliance on herbicides and help create long term sustainable and profitable cropping practices.
The University of Western Australia (UWA) Institute of Agriculture graduate, Frank D’Emden, won the 2006 Australian Agriculture and Resource Economics Society (AARES) masters thesis prize for a study on southern Australian grain growers’ adoption of conservation tillage.
It smells like red wine and feels like sludge when wet, but the cotton-like cellulose dress ‘grown’ at the Institute of Agriculture, University of Western Australia (UWA), fits snugly as a second skin.
The unique bacterial fermented dress, made from wine, could mark the start of fabrics fermented by living microbes entering the $229.5 billion per annum Australian fabric manufacturing industry.
With an abundance of tertiary disciplines available, students can find it hard to choose an undergraduate degree that will set them up with exciting, fulfilling careers.
Tarnya Fowler and Natalie Maguire made the right choice studying at the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Western Australia (UWA), securing good jobs before graduating and now working in WA’s $2 billion grain industry.
It may seem odd that the best way for newborns to survive is for their mothers to eat their way out of house and home, but for Australia’s sheep this may help boost their flock beyond 100 million.
A revolutionary grazing technique trialled by scientists at the Institute of Agriculture, University of Western Australia (UWA), could help Australia’s sheep flock meet the growing demand for prime lamb by increasing the 381,839 tonnes (05/06) it annually produces.
Innovation in legume science and technology remains the focus of the Centre for Legumes In Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA) as it moves into its third phase as a research centre within the University of Western Australia (UWA).
CLIMA has been headquartered at UWA’s Crawley campus since commencing in 1992 as a Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) and transforming in 2000, after its CRC phase ended, into a research alliance between the WA Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA), UWA, CSIRO and Murdoch University.
The current memorandum of understanding between CLIMA and the four partners concludes June 30.
A newly developed pesticide risk assessment method could determine whether climate change will increase or decrease the risk of pesticides leaching through the soil profile and contaminating ground water and the environment.
Rainstorms could be washing pesticides out the farm gate and across the countryside, contaminating water bodies in their wake.
This is a concern, considering that about 31,000 tonnes of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides are applied annually across Australia.
Love is in the air at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and it is the good
‘old-fashioned’ kind that hasn’t been chemically induced and, best of all, it will keep the hormones away from the dinner table.
And it isn’t in the student body, but in the sheep at the UWA Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences School of Animal Biology.
Associate lecturer Dr Penny Hawken is exploring the possibility of controlling sheep reproductive cycles using pheromones (the smell of a ram) instead of hormone treatments, which will help increase the 382,000 tonnes of lamb and 244,000 tonnes of mutton Australia produces, which equates to seven per cent of the world’s supply.
While growing grain in WA is always a risky business, especially so this year, with the drought cutting yields and locusts threatening to cut a swathe through crops, growers also remain unsure of how best to maximise returns.
This year, perhaps more so than most, every dollar counts and due to the current volatile grain trading environment, growers are exploring non-traditional grain trading mediums.
Australia’s 6.6 million tonne barley industry would not be where it is today without a key project in WA that has more than 11,000 lines, comprising wild types, landraces, varieties and breeding lines, in its general barley collection.
The 30 year old barley germplasm enhancement project is located at the University of WA (UWA) Research Station in Shenton Park and has contributed to the development of several successful barely varieties in WA and nationally.
Science and technology based agriculture will play a major role in meeting the world’s increasing demand for food, but who will become the next generation of Australian scientists?
The University of Western Australia (UWA) Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (FNAS) believes the best way to encourage more students into science is to give them a practical arena for their studies, and, with this in mind, set up a viticulture project with secondary schools.
As part of this collaborate project, FNAS this week showcased a small vineyard, at the UWA Shenton Park field station, where students from various secondary schools can utilise the science they learn in the classroom to grow grapes and produce wine.