Science award recognises world-class Wimmera research
16 October 2018
Agriculture Victoria’s plant phenomics team won the Excellence in Science and Innovation Award at the 2018 Wimmera Business Awards on Friday 12 October.
The awards, run by the Wimmera Development Association, recognises local groups excelling in their field. It also generates exposure and helps them build stronger networks in the community.
The Agriculture Victoria plant phenomics team was recognised for its dedication, innovation and collaborative efforts in developing world-class, in-field high-throughput phenotyping capabilities with unparalleled precision, repeatability, time and cost efficiency compared to conventional phenotyping methods.
The team is supporting productivity outcomes for Australia’s broadacre cropping industry through the improvement of crop traits such as yield, quality and drought tolerance.
Agriculture Victoria Research scientist Dr Surya Kant leads the plant phenomics team at Grains Innovation Park in Horsham.
“It’s a great pleasure and an honour to receive recognition for the team’s efforts. We have developed several novel research methods, tools and platforms that set us apart from other plant research facilities.
“Our primary goal is to help produce better crop varieties faster for Australian farmers. That is, crops that can cope with various soil, climate and nutrient constraints.
“Our aim is to also develop ready-to-use diagnostic platforms for growers, enabling them to make timely and informed decisions in the field for best return of their input cost.
“The high-throughput plant phenotyping platforms developed by the team have significantly reduced the time and cost for breeders to release new crop varieties,” Surya said.
Dr Kant said through our innovation and capabilities, we are helping achieve better outcomes for Australian farmers and the sector.
Some of the team’s innovations include a state-of-the-art automated glasshouse facility, automated solar-powered and rain-sensor rainout shelters for in-field drought tolerance research, and unmanned aerial platforms with multiple sensors and cameras to conduct high-value research across the range of crops grown in the Wimmera region.
Wheat, canola, safflower, lentil, field pea and chickpea are among the grain crops analysed under glasshouse and in-field conditions using the latest digital technology.
On average, 25 tour groups visit the world-class plant phenomics facility each year including scientists, farmers, international visitors, stakeholders, companies, students and local community groups. wda.org.au/business-awards
Categorised under: Agriculture