Grains Research and Development

Date: 02.09.2013

Industry achievers recognised

Author: Nicole Baxter

Photo of former principal sorghum breeder at Pacific Seeds, Neil Muller

Former principal sorghum breeder at Pacific
Seeds, Neil Muller.

PHOTO: Nicole Baxter

Eight people were recognised for their contributions to the summer grains industry at the Australian Summer Grains Conference gala dinner and awards night in June.

Neil Muller, who developed 37 commercial sorghum varieties, including MR-Buster, during his career at Pacific Seeds, was presented with a sorghum industry award.

Mr Muller retired as the principal sorghum breeder at Pacific Seeds in December 2012 after almost 38 years developing commercial sorghum hybrids.

Also recognised with a sorghum industry award was Francis Coe, who started in the sorghum seeds business in the early 1960s.

Since then, Mr Coe has been committed to delivering better grain and forage sorghum varieties to growers. The business his family started, now known as HSR Seeds, has grown to employ more than 25 staff members.

Tony Cogswell, from the grain merchant business Lachlan Commodities, was honoured for his long and distinguished career in the maize industry.

Photo of Farmer and HSR Seeds director Francis Coe

Farmer and HSR Seeds director, Francis Coe.

PHOTO: Nicole Baxter 

 
Photo of Sunflower researcher Sue Thompson, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland

Sunflower researcher Sue Thompson,
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry Queensland

PHOTO: Nicole Baxter 

From farming maize as a grower to marketing the crop as a grain trader, he has freely given his time for more than two decades to grow and develop the industry.

Sunflower researcher Sue Thompson, of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Queensland, was recognised for her contribution to plant pathology, extension and diagnostics over 20 years.

Photo of Pulse Australian senior industry development manager Gordon Cumming

Pulse Australia senior industry development
manager Gordon Cumming.

PHOTO: Nicole Baxter 

Photo of Principal of consultancy Blue Dog Agribusiness Liz Alexander

Principal of consultancy Blue Dog
Agribusiness Liz Alexander.

 

In 2012, Ms Thompson was the only Australian researcher invited to speak at the 18th International Sunflower Conference held in Argentina, reporting on her team’s discovery of at least three previously undescribed Diaporthe (Phomopsis) species on Australian sunflowers – a finding of national and international significance.

Gordon Cumming, senior industry development manager with Pulse Australia, received the mungbean industry award. He was recognised for his passion, drive and dedication in helping to grow the mungbean industry in the northern grains region.

Queensland grain grower Glen Elsden, who farms a range of broadacre crops near Brookstead, was the recipient of the soybean industry award.

Mr Elsden was recognised for his positive attitude, willingness to try new ideas, different fertilisers and for his machinery innovations. He has organised trials and regularly produces soybean yields of more than four tonnes per hectare, with second-to-none quality.

Liz Alexander, principal of consultancy Blue Dog Agribusiness, was the winner of the GRDC’s inaugural Women in Agriculture Award.

Photo of Ian Carter

Quirindi grower Ian Carter

PHOTO: Robert Freebairn

Ms Alexander coordinates the Better Sunflowers Program, an initiative of the GRDC, the Australian Sunflower Association and the Australian Oilseeds Federation.

She has developed and delivered training courses to growers and advisers across three states. This has included assisting in the development and delivery of The Big Yellow Sunflower Pack and the Better Sunflowers website. 

Ian Carter of ‘Pine Ridge’ was named the GRDC’s Summer Grain Grower of the Year. Mr Carter, along with his wife Marilyn and son Harry, farms 2500 hectares on the Liverpool Plains west of Quirindi, New South Wales.

Mr Carter adopted zero-till in the late 1980s and was one of the first growers in his district to collect yield data and use variable fertiliser application and WeedSeeker® selective spraying technologies.

Photo of Lachlan Commodities managing director Tony Cogswell

Lachlan Commodities managing director
Tony Cogswell

PHOTO: Nicole Baxter 

 
Photo of grain grower Glen Elsden, from Brookstead, Queensland

Grain grower Glen Elsden, Brookstead,
Queensland

More information:

www.australiansummergrains.com.au

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GRDC Project Code GCS10574

Region National, North, Overseas, South, West