More efficient, more productive and more sustainable
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AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program staff and researchers

More efficient, more productive and more sustainable 

We're always looking for ways our rural industries can be more efficient, more productive and more sustainable. This month we shine a spotlight on our AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program and a new research project which will develop a more efficient and sustainable harvesting approach for Australian subterranean clover and annual medic growers. This national project (led by Dr Phil Nichols and Dr William Erskine pictured above) involves collaboration with producers and highlights our commitment to connecting with farmers to ensure our work has a meaningful and targeted impact. 

Whilst on research, we welcome John Smith to the role of General Manager, Research where he will lead the organisation's focus on strong stakeholder relations with our levied industries. John is currently the Senior Manager, Research with AgriFutures Australia looking after the
Rice, Export Fodder and Ginger Programs. Before joining our organisation last year, he had a 25 year career in public and private RD&E within broadacre irrigated cropping systems in Southern NSW and Southern QLD.
 
Our former General Manager, Research Michael Beer will take on the new role of General Manager, Business Development. Michael will oversee our
National Rural Issues and Emerging Industries Programs, and new business development opportunities and collaborations.

Make sure you check out our key dates section at the end of this newsletter. There are plenty of new research open calls and opportunities to join our Advisory Panels to make a positive impact on our rural industries and communities.  

 
Rice growers at a field day
Rice growers urged to shout achievements from the rooftops
The rice industry are on the hunt for the 2019 SunRice Grower of the Year, with nominations for the inaugural award closing Sunday, 31 March 2019. The Awards aim to recognise advancements in the rice industry and celebrate individuals at the forefront of best practice. 
Chicks in a shed
Straw, wood shavings or something else? A review of litter materials 
Sourcing and the cost of quality bedding materials will continue to be a key consideration for the growing chicken meat industry. This report explores issues associated with the supply, management, disposal and use of litter and a review of alternative bedding materials.
Crocodile skin
Possible chinks in the crocodile armour: defining skin microflora
This study identifies the risk pathogens pose to skin quality and recommends an assessment of cleaning and husbandry regimes so Australia can continue to produce the best quality crocodilian skins in the world.
 
Latest news and events
Pasture Seeds project researchers: Dr Phil Nichols, Dr Kevin Foster, Dr Andrew Guzzomi and pHD candidate Wesley Moss
Phase one underway to find a 60-year-old harvester replacement 
It takes patience and persistence to grow and harvest subterrean clover and annual medic. The painstakingly-slow process relies on an Australian machine, invented in the 1960s, that travels at just a few kilometres per hour.

Rising to the harvesting challenge, Dr Phil Nichols and Dr William Erskine from the University of Western Australia have brought together a diverse research team with expertise in agricultural engineering, pasture agronomy and breeding.
GRDC staff and AgriFutures Horizon Scholars at evokeAG 2019
‘Refreshing and inspiring’ – AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholars share their evokeAG. insights
Last month, as part of the AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship program, four Scholars attended Australia’s largest agrifood tech event of the year, evokeAG.

The event gave this next generation of rural leaders a peak into the world of start-ups, emerging ag technologies and the future of food and farming.

Stay tuned, we will soon welcome a new cohort of AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholars with the successful applicants scheduled to be announced in May 2019.
The AgriFutures Chicken Meat Program Advisory Panel and Program Managers
Chicken meat RD&E off to a flying start for 2019
New research projects, a new Chair on the AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program Advisory Panel, a new Gary Sansom Scholar ... the AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program is off to a flying start for 2019.

Our RD&E program is going from strength to strength and with the backing of our research community and industry supporters we’re excited about what the future holds for this growing, dynamic industry. Catch up on all our Program updates. 
Speakers at evokeAG 2019
Program recap - we uncover the three most popular break-out sessions at evokeAG. 2019. 
Crunching the numbers from the sell-out event, we look back at three break-out sessions which drew some of the biggest crowds.

It’s no surprise that technology and its place in the production of food was a key theme, piquing the interest of more than 1,000 foodies, farmers and agtech attendees. With an emphasis on a swelling global population – tipped to be 9 billion people by 2050 – panellists probed deeply into cutting edge technologies helping producers work smarter.