Mallee Sustainable Farming Project committee members Tony Robbins and Ian Hastings have been awarded the Hugh McKay innovators award for Victorian farmers and country residents.
The Mallee project, which has received considerable support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Natural Heritage Trust, is a farmer-driven research project running across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
Both farmers have initiated research into dryland farming systems that consider both production and environmental outcomes in the fragile, arid Mallee environment.
Mr Robbins and Mr Hastings both have 'focus paddocks' on their farms which help translate the results from the project's three core sites to a paddock scale. They introduced the unique concept of focus paddocks to the project.