Co-location equals opportunity to share knowledge
More than one hundred people visited the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation's field site this spring, showing the value of a new initiative between the Centre and agricultural company Syngenta.
In 2017, Syngenta established a Learning Centre on part of the Graham Centre's field site to trial and demonstrate the company's cropping treatments.
Graham Centre Director, Professor Michael Friend said "The Graham Centre is a leader in research into integrated weed management, allelopathy and strategies to combat herbicide resistance.
"The establishment of the Syngenta Learning Centre on our field site provides an opportunity to share knowledge and to leverage contacts so that the results of our research can be communicated to a much wider audience.
"We're seeing that already with significant numbers of agronomists, farmers and other industry stakeholders attending the Syngenta Learning Centre field days in September.
"Alongside their demonstrations this was a great opportunity for the Graham Centre to showcase its own research into long term cropping rotations for weed management."
The Graham Centre's 15 hectare field site was established in 2010 and one of the core areas of research is multi-year experiments examining new ways to manage weeds in the cropping rotation.
Syngenta Solutions Development Manager, Mr Garth Wickson said the location at the Graham Centre provides a number of advantages.
"Partnerships are fundamentally important in agriculture. Part of the appeal of being located at the field site is that we can leverage the contacts that the Graham Centre has so that we have a bigger draw card and we can show a greater diversity of trials which creates a high degree of interest," Mr Wickson said.
"When you look at some of the challenges of grain production, whether that's herbicide resistance or crop selections, growers will look at a 'tool kit' of management options.
"Syngenta is focused on the crop protection or the chemistry side of things but you are also going to need things like weed suppressive and competitive crops, sound farming rotations and herbicide tolerant crops.
"So it's taking in research, like the projects carried out through the Graham Centre, and putting it all together to provide a solution.
"Rather than just saying 'we've got herbicide that controls x' we can say 'If you match that herbicide with a particular variety in a
herbicide tolerant cropping system you achieve a much greater result.'
"The next point is that anyone that comes into Syngenta will have come from somewhere like Charles Sturt University at some point and by providing exposure to our portfolio it means they can build a deeper understanding of what Syngenta is doing and how it fits in the sector."
The Graham Centre is a research alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
For further information contact the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.
Photo: Syngenta Solutions Development Manager, Mr Garth Wickson, Graham Centre researcher Dr William Brown and Syngenta territory sales manager for the Namoi Ms Katie Slade inspect a trial at the Graham Centre Field site.