Students lead the way in R&D
Story Added : 25th April 2011
The Western Australian winners, Ashton Gray and David Turner, will work with grower groups and research organisations to undertake cutting-edge research relevant to farmers.
With weeds disadvantaging the establishment of perennial pastures in medium to low rainfall areas, Mr Gray aims to establish appropriate herbicide recommendations for weed free establishment of perennial pasture tedera at the beginning of the growing season. He will link in with the newly formed LIFT group in Lake Grace.
“My research will focus on identifying the extent of herbicide tolerance within tedera that will allow effective weed control during the critical seedling establishment phase,” he said.
“With effective weed control, tedera can give farmers the ability to utilise out-of-season rainfall events, produce cost effective fodder in the autumn feed gap and address salinity issues.”
Mr Turner will be looking at the potential impact of the salinity-waterlogging interaction on the nodulation of messina, investigating the role of root phellem in ion accumulation and oxygen transport to nodules under waterlogged and saline conditions.
“Glasshouse and field experiments have identified messina as the most promising salt and waterlogging tolerant annual pasture legume for southern Australia,” he said.
“I have chosen to base my research on messina as through my studies I have developed the view that in our WA farming systems, no area of land should be unproductive, and messina is a vital value-adding component to saltland pasture grazing and cropping potential.”
The GGA awards two $2000 scholarships annually, including $1000 for the student and $1000 to cover research expenses, for students to work in conjunction with one of the 43 grower groups in the GGA network.