Peter Kuhlmann farms at Mudamuckla near Ceduna on South Australia's Western Eyre Peninsula.
In this marginal cropping region, Peter uses liquid fertiliser, no-till and variable rate technology to assist in the challenge of dealing with low rainfall and subsoil constraints.
He has been a board member of and has chaired the Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation and the South Australian Grain Industry Trust.
In 2012 Peter was awarded the ABC/Kondinin "Australian Farmer of the Year" title.
Peter studied farm management at Roseworthy Agricultural College and spent a year farming in Queensland before returning to the family farm at Mudamuckla where his father offered him the opportunity to run the farm. Peter completed the Australian Rural Leadership Program which was supported by GRDC.
Peter joined the GRDC Southern Regional Panel in 2015 to enable him to make a greater contribution to farming’s profitability and sustainability.
“That’s very important in the area that I live because we’ve got serious challenges with our low rainfall, subsoil constraints, rhizoctonia, our soil locking up phosphorous...and I want to find the solutions to those issues for myself and other farmers,” Peter says.
“I have always been interested in grains research and improving profitability. From on-farm trials to being involved with Minnipa Agriculture Centre and then being involved with the South Australian Grain Industry Trust Fund – they have all been part of my interest in grains research and promoting what’s best for the Australian grains industry.”
Peter has had a long-standing interest in the GRDC: “I’ve known about the GRDC before it was operational, as my father was on the selection panel for the first Southern Panel and I’ve been watching and being involved with what GRDC’s been doing for the last 20 years.”
Peter says issues of most concern to him and other growers in his region include herbicide resistance and how to best manage nitrogen. Lack of reliable break crops and a low and variable rainfall add to the challenges.
An early adopter of modern technology, Peter says innovation is essential for farm viability on the West Coast and he is keen to promote advances in GRDC-funded research and development in his new role as a Panel member.
Peter says he is looking forward to assisting in identification of and prioritising the issues – be they local, regional or national – for GRDC funding attention.
“I want to make sure that we’re investing growers’ dollars in the best areas we possibly can for a good return on that investment”.
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