September 2016

Update: Deakin University, Centre for Regional and Rural Futures

It has been a busy first 12 months for the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CeRRF) in Griffith. New projects, staff and students are all adding to a vibrant environment, with lots of great progress being made on delivering great R&D outcomes to growers and industry.

The Griffith hub has welcomed two new PhD students, Anika Molesworth and Oliver Delves. It is exciting to see young researchers in irrigated agriculture being based in the region, working with growers on real issues and technology, which will make a difference on-farm.

Anika’s PhD, ‘Soil amelioration using amendments in precision landformed systems: A comparison of Australia and Cambodia is funded through Deakin University and Oliver’s PhD, ‘Integrated (ground, drone, satellite) sensing platforms for nutrient and water management in irrigated agriculture for practical management outcomes’, is funded by Goanna Telemetry.

The wider team in Griffith has been busy on a range projects, from investigating the use of manures in cotton to continuing the development of our irrigation water management products like IrriSAT, which is seeing widespread use.

During the coming 12 months, CeRRF is committed to continue to seek opportunities for growing the RD&E capacity in irrigated agriculture and will be working closely with a range of partners to make this a reality. On this front, we are excited to be involved with the Irrigation Centre of Excellence bid, currently being developed by Griffith City Council and partners. If you would like regular updates, follow us on Twitter @Griffith_CeRRF

Horticulture Options Tour

As part of the recent Horticulture Alternative Options Tour (made possible by funding from Riverina LLS), local horticulture growers were given the opportunity to learn all about two exciting alternative industries – hazelnuts and pomegranates.

The tour started with a visit to the newly-established hazelnut orchard. We were treated to some delicious Ferrero products, as well as an introduction to the Ferrero business, followed by a tour of the farm and the nursery/propagation facility.

Following this was a visit to the PomLife pomegranate orchard on the outskirts of Shepparton. Here, we saw the various trellising options for pomegranates and propagation nursery. The tour of the processing plant was not only very impressive, but also gave us the opportunity to taste some of the produce.

A second, two-day tour to Mildura region is planned for November. This tour will expose growers to a pistachio farm and processing plant and look at new citrus rootstocks, as well as learn about quinoa and dried fruit industries. Stay tuned for more information.

A more in-depth report on part one of the Horticulture Alternative Options Tour will be in the upcoming Spring Edition of the IREC Farmers’ Newsletter, due out in October.

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