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Beyond the Bale : December 2015
Jack England, from Kingston in the south- east of South Australia has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Nuffield Scholarship supported by AWI. The 2014 Young Farmer of the Year will use his scholarship to investigate the benefits and costs of using variable rate technology (VRT) for fertiliser and trace element prescription use in livestock systems. Jack manages his family’s 3,200 hectare mixed sheep, beef and cropping property, which supports 8,000 head of Merino ewes for wool and prime lamb production, 450 head of Murray Grey and Angus cows, and 200 to 400 hectares of barley and pasture. With a background in agronomy, he brings a scientific focus to the livestock, pasture and financial management of the farm business and sees potential for innovative technologies, such as zoning paddocks for VRT fertiliser application, to be used more widely in livestock systems. “Being able to actively measure yearly grazing days, minus supplementary feed quantities, at a paddock or zone scale allows you to economically assess various trials, the need for fertiliser at maintenance or higher levels using meaningful data, such as stock weight gains, wool growth, quality and quantity, and carrying capacity,” he says. “Many grain growers are adopting variable input rates; why not let livestock systems begin the process based on objective decision making given many of our soils lock up vast quantities of phosphorus in the unavailable inorganic fraction? “I am interested in seeing what technology is available in our sector to achieve and monitor capital inputs versus outputs.” Jack aims to travel through parts of Canada, New Zealand, England and the United States to complete his studies “AWI is proud to continue its involvement with Nuffield by offering a specific wool- focused scholarship,” said Dr Paul Swan, AWI General Manager of Research. “It is a unique opportunity for a woolgrower to study a particular subject of interest, and increase practical farming knowledge, By sponsoring a Nuffield Scholarship, AWI is increasing practical farming knowledge and management skills in the Australian wool industry. AWI Nuffield woolgrower scholars and their study areas or report titles are: APPLICATION IN LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS PRESCRIPTION/ VARIABLE RATE FERTILISER Nuffield Scholarship recipient Jack England from Kingston, South Australia. PHOTO: Liz Harfull, The Furrow 2016 Jack England, Kingston, SA Jack will study variable rate fertiliser application in livestock systems. 2015 Robert Webb, Tarana, NSW Robert is studying the use of fire as a native pasture management tool. 2014 Tim Gubbins, Moyston, Vic Tim is studying the Merino breed with a specific focus on the period from conception through to weaning. 2013 Matthew Ipsen, Wareek, Vic Report: World’s best practice in lamb survival, in particular the first three days of life. 2012 James Walker, Longreach, Qld James has been studying if the multiple reproductive cycle trait of ewes can be capitalised to speed up the lamb-to- lamb interval using real-time, remote weight and health management. 2011 James Robertson, Renmark, SA Report: Improving sheep efficiency through weaning nutrition. 2009 David Cussons, Kojunup, WA Report: Talking agriculture - a study of communication techniques and approaches to crisis communication. 2008 Ben Ranford, Cleve, SA Report: The role of farmer collaboration in creating supply solutions. 2007 James Walker, Carrick, Tas Report: Wool and sheep production in the global market. 2007 Andrew Bouffler, Lockhart, NSW Report: How to fully utilise and rapidly improve the Australian maternal ewe flock (including Merinos) to ensure continuity of supply into our valuable meat and wool markets. 2006 Robert Kelly, Guyra, NSW Report: Production versus marketing: where should Australian wool producers focus? MORE INFORMATION www.wool.com/nuffield RECENT AWI NUFFIELD WOOLGROWER SCHOLARS management skills and techniques in the Australian wool industry. Previous Nuffield Scholars have contributed significantly to our knowledge of our industry.” Nuffield Australia is an organisation which provides an opportunity to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. 46 ON FARM
In the Shops - March 2016