GRDC commends Dalby grower on Nuffield scholarship
Author: Sarah Jeffrey | Date: 29 Sep 2014
Dalby farmer Adam McVeigh personifies the `skills and capacity building’ drive within the Australian grain industry.
As one of the newest Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) sponsored 2015 Nuffield Scholars, Mr McVeigh will play an important role in furthering the industry’s depth of knowledge about global farming systems.
GRDC capacity building program manager Kathleen Allan congratulated Mr McVeigh on his Nuffield scholarship and said the GRDC’s sponsorship of four Grains Nuffield scholarships this year recognised the importance of capacity building within the national industry.
“Nuffield scholarships support young, innovative growers to become future leaders of our industry,” Ms Allan said.
“The GRDC invests in a range of skill and capacity building activities that are aimed at supporting current and potential members of the Australian grains industry to improve their capacity to lead, learn, change, innovate and advance the industry.
“To build capacity across the Australian grains industry, the GRDC invests in activities directly or through partnerships with other organisations.”
Experience with the heartbreaking extremes of droughts and floods over the past 12 years formed the inspiration behind Mr McVeigh’s decision to apply for a Nuffield scholarship.
His study will focus on achieving sustainable high yields from continuous double cropping with overhead irrigation.
“Irrigated cropping can be very profitable however in dry years when water is very limited or simply not available, the cost of maintaining infrastructure and servicing debt can be financially crippling,” Mr McVeigh said.
“When water is plentiful it becomes necessary to extract maximum value out of the irrigation infrastructure.”
Mr McVeigh runs an irrigated and dryland farming operation on properties near Dalby and Murgon growing cotton, maize, sorghum, barley, wheat and occasionally mungbeans and chickpeas, as well as doing some contract cotton picking.
Across his and his family’s farms, he recently grew 425 hectares cotton, 105ha barley, 115ha wheat, 65ha sorghum and 65ha maize.
His Murgon district property Mondure Homestead has been completely flooded twice in the past four seasons prompting him to rethink his reliance on a sole annual irrigated summer crop.
More recently Mr McVeigh has been growing a winter grain (wheat or barley) and double cropping with a late planted summer grain (sorghum or maize) around Christmas time into the same centre-pivot irrigated paddock.
As part of his Nuffield scholarship, Mr McVeigh will travel to France, the United States of America, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, China and India to research nutrition, irrigation scheduling, water infiltration, machinery configuration, trash management and seasonal timing to improve his crop rotation.
As well as Mr McVeigh, other recipients of GRDC-sponsored 2015 Grains Nuffield scholarships include Andrew Freeth (Collie, NSW), Jock Graham (Coolac, NSW) and Reece Curwen (South Stirling, WA).
Kathleen Allan, GRDC Capacity Building Program Manager
02 6166 4500
Sarah Jeffrey, Senior Consultant Cox Inall Communications
GRDC Project Code NUF010