Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Where in the world

Sharing our research locally

Graham Centre PhD student Ms Forough Ataollahi has presented her research into the impact of calcium and magnesium supplements on the health and immunity of ewes and their lambs at the Merinolink annual conference in Goulburn. She was one of four Charles Sturt university (CSU) students who presented research at the event.

Photo of Dr Remy DehaanAll eyes were on the sky when Graham Centre member Dr Remy Dehaan from Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) School of Environmental Sciences demonstrated drone technology at the Lockhart and District Ag Bureau’s mid-year rally.

Acid soil focus in Malaysia

Once every three years an international symposium puts the focus on acid soils. Graham Centre PhD student Mr Hoang Han Nguyen was amongst the 200 delegates at the 10th International Symposium on Plant-Soil Interactions at Low pH held in June in Malaysia.

Mr Nguyen presented his research into increasing the subsoil pH by adding lucerne pellets to the surface layer of an acid soil.

“This was a great opportunity for me to share my PhD research to a number of soil and plant scientists,” Mr Nguyen said.

“As most amelioration strategies aim to increase soil pH at the incorporation. My research showed that organic matter can increase soil pH at the layers below placement layer. Interestingly, organic matter in combination with lime increase subsoil pH greater than its application alone.”

The third day of the symposium was a field tour to a palm oil plantation to observe the soil profile up to 130 cm.

“This tour helped me understand and compare soil profile of different countries such as Australia, Malaysia and Vietnam,” Mr Nguyen said.

“I found the whole symposium beneficial and it was interesting to hear the latest research, not only in soil amelioration but also in plant breeding for adapting crops to low pH soils.”

More than 40 speakers presented their research including four plenaries, seven keynote presentations and 33 oral presentations. There were 67 posters displayed during the conference.

Meat science in Kansas

Kansas City in Missouri was the destination for Charles Sturt University (CSU) Master of Philosophy student Ashleigh Kilgannon to attend the 71st Reciprocal Meat Conference and present some preliminary findings from her research.

Ms Kilgannon is based at the Centre for Red Meat and Sheep Development at the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in Cowra.

Ashleigh Kilgannon and traditional BBQShe is studying the effects of temperature manipulation during the ageing of beef on its quality as part of an AMPC funded project.

Her poster ‘The effect of controlled temperature-time variation during the chilled storage of beef on tenderness characteristics’ detailed findings which indicate that the application of this temperature manipulation had no effect on the shear force or particle size of beef.

The research involved 72 different combinations and found that the application of the temperature-time combinations used, resulted in beef that was of equal tenderness to control samples.

Ms Kilgannon said, “The conference provided an opportunity to network with other students, as well as professionals and company representatives in the US meat science industry.

“This year, RMC had a heavy focus on the sustainability of meat production within the US domestic market as well as globally.

“There was also much discussion about the production and classification of cultured meat, amongst other discussions surrounding animal health and human nutrition.”

Ms Kilgannon’s travel was supported by the Graham Centre.

Sunita Pandey in ItalyEntomology in Italy: Graham Centre PhD candidate Ms Sunita Pandey presented her research into ecosystem services for agriculture from native Australian plants at the XI European Congress of Entomology Conference, held in Italy in July.

“The conference saw around 1000 delegates from more than 65 countries with both oral and poster presentations,” Ms Pandey said.

“My oral presentation presented the results from my studies of Australian native plants for beneficial effects on natural enemies. The research also measured the strength of different ecosystem services.

“The conference was a great opportunity to enhance my knowledge of research in Agricultural entomology, network with other students and researchers working in the area of conservation biological control and to experience Italian culture.”

European study tour broadens view of agriculture

A European study tour has allowed Graham Centre PhD student Mrs Jane Kelly to develop her research and tap into international expertise at an international symposium.

The first stop for Mrs Kelly was Harper Adams University (HAU) in the United Kingdom. Ms Kelly was able to work with her supervisor, Professor Karl Behrendt on a seed contamination model as part of her research into the impact of weed seeds, such as barley grass, on sheep production.

From there Mrs Kelly attended the 18th European Weed Research Society Symposium in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Mrs Kelly said the focus of the conference was ‘New approaches for smarter weed management’ and most of Europe, Africa, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand were represented.

“Topics for discussion included crop diversity and mixture effects on weed suppression, chemical weed management, and new technology such as image analysis, computational technologies and the use of mobiles for weed identification,” said Mrs Kelly.

Mrs Kelly said that another keynote presentation focused on artificial intelligence (AI) in weed management.

“Technology is  available in the United States is being used to identify weeds from crops and specifically spray individual weeds, reducing the cost and usage of herbicides,” Mrs Kelly said.

“Farmers are now looking at ways to incorporate this technology into their farming systems, although the cost and the limitations of the technology were not discussed during the presentation.

“This experience has opened my eyes significantly to the weed control strategies and challenges faced across Europe and has provided wonderful opportunities for me to develop some great networks with other researchers across the world.

“I have not only achieved a pivotal step in my PhD whilst working in the UK, but have also been able to view my research with a new perspective and consider the future post-doctoral work in Australia and collaboration with others in European countries.”

Mrs Kelly’s travel was supported by the AW Howard Memorial Trust and the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.


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