While world supplies of natural sandalwood may be dwindling, women can still buy perfumes, such as Obsession by Calvin Klein and Opium by Yves St Laurent, which contain the essential oil, thanks to researchers such as Chris Jones, a PhD candidate in the School of Plant Biology at The University of Western Australia (UWA).
Once widespread throughout southern WA, but almost wiped out in the grainbelt due to clearing for farmland, sandalwood, Santalum spicatum and it’s northern relative, S. album, are making a comeback as plantation trees.
“In WA’s Kununurra area close to 2000 hectares of Santalum album have been planted and more than 4000 hectares of S. spicatum have been planted in the wheatbelt area of southern WA,” Mr Jones said.
Researchers at Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia (UWA), are supporting WA wheat breeders and ultimately growers by characterising the genetic and physiological traits of wheat that enable it to tolerate high concentrations of aluminium, manganese and iron.
With funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA), Dr Hossein Saberi and Professor Zed Rengel of the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences and Institute of Agriculture, UWA, have developed screening techniques for assessing the tolerance of different wheat varieties to ion toxicity.
Researchers from the School of Plant Biology at The University of Western Australia (UWA) and Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) have identified useful sources of resistance to white rust in Brassica juncea mustard germplasm sourced from Australia, China and India.
White rust affects cruciferous plants, which include the cabbage family, and the infection can be local, appearing as white pustules on leaves, stems and floral parts, or systemic, as abnormal distorted growth of stems, pods and flowers, which is commonly referred to as stagheads. Flowers displaying staghead formation are sterile.
Eight PhD students from four schools within the Institute of Agriculture at the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (FNAS) at the University of Western Australia (UWA) recently presented their research to an audience of 60 in a post-graduate showcase, ‘Frontiers in Agriculture and Resource Management’.
Focussing on innovative land management and animal production systems, as well as plant production for the future, the sessions were an opportunity to showcase high quality research and for students to interact with the industry and potential employers.
Growers and people working in agribusiness who have ever yearned for computer access to Green Manure or Lime Calculators or just a down-to-earth look at soil properties in their region of WA need look no further.
Dr Daniel Murphy from the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences and Institute of Agriculture at the University of Western Australia (UWA) has launched a free interactive website designed with such clients in mind.
Consumers want clean, green and ethical meat products and maintaining the integrity of the sheepmeat industry is a challenge the Institute of Agriculture at The University of Western Australian (UWA) is successfully addressing.
Growers, researchers and industry representatives recently attended a clean, green and ethical industry forum at UWA to discuss innovations in animal production to meet consumer expectations, with a strong focus on the sheep industry.
UWA Institute of Agriculture Director, Professor Kadambot Siddique said consumers no longer wanted only nutritious and quality meat products, but those from animals raised in sustainable, animal friendly environments and not fed antibiotics or artificial hormones.
Juggling work commitments and study has paid off for three University of Western Australia (UWA) post-graduate students who recently completed their theses with the Western Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (WAHRI).
David Minkey, Catherine Borger and David Ferris were granted study leave from the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) to complete their PhDs with WAHRI.
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.