Category Archives: News

Agriculture, Food, Water and Energy Nexus

On Thursday Thursday 27 March 2014, AusBiotech is presenting a discussion about the role of biotechnology in addressing a growing global population and the need for food, water and energy security. With presentations from a range of industry experts and a lively panel discussion, this event will inform on global issues within a local context.

Moderator: Leigh Radford – National Editor – ABC Rural Australia
Speakers & Panelists:
Matthew Cossey – Chief Executive Officer, CropLife
Andrew Johnson – Group Executive Director, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)
Dr Dan Johnson – Managing Director, Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)
Robert Kerin – Consultant, Executive Chair – Primary Producers SA, Chairman – Regional Developement SA
Professor Rob Lewis – Manager Strategic Projects, University of Adelaide
David Topping PhD, FTSE, FNSA, MAIFST – Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO
Meera Verma, PhD, FTSE, FAICD – Director, Headland Vision

Time: 2:30pm arrival for a 3:00pm start. Formal proceedings will be followed by networking drinks and canapés
Where: Plant Genomics Centre (ACPFG)
Building 22, Hartley Grove
Waite Campus – University of Adelaide
Cost: Members: FREE to attend but registration is required. Non-Members: $49.00 (incl. GST)
To register go to the AusBiotech website

New Industry Opportunity for Ag Students

Untitled

Interested in a career in Research and Development?
Have you recently completed your undergraduate degree and don’t know what to do next?
Do you have a secret passion for grains?

If yes, then this is the perfect opportunity for you!

A new partnership between the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC), South Australian Grains Industry Trust (SAGIT), SARDI and the University of Adelaide are introducing a 12-month research traineeship in applied grains R&D.

But what does that mean exactly? Well its an opportunity for you to develop skills and contribute to research areas that include:
Grains pathology, Grains entomology, Weed management, Agronomy and Farming systems.

The research may be tailored to your specific interest, and may include being involved in trails across regional South Australia. You will also attend GRDC and SAGIT industry events such as field days and GRDC updates. You will also receive mentoring and professional development from SA’s leading research scientists!

But am I eligible for such an amazing opportunity? Well, if you’ve completed a Bachelors of Agricultural Science (or equivalent such as Bachelor of Sciences or Honours graduates) then YES YOU ARE!

Successful applicants will start work in February 2014, with an annual salary of $68,000

Applications are Due on November 30th, 2013

To Apply Send:
1. Current CV
2. Names of 2 Academic and/or Work related referees
3. Your Academic Transcript
4. A brief letter (maximum 2 pages) addressing these questions
a. How would you like to make a contribution to Australian Agriculture?
b. How does this opportunity fit with your career goals?

To: Pauline Bowden, SARDI
pauline.bowden@sa.gov.au

For any further information contact:
Dr. Kathy Ophel Keller
Research Chief, Sustainable Systems
SARDI
Phone: 08 8303 9368
Email: kathy.ophelkeller@sa.gov.au

Almond breeding is featured in the lastest e-Science magazine

almond eScience

Almond breeding is a focus of the lastest edition of e-Science magazine. The article, written by almond breeder Dr Michelle Wirthensohn describes the genetics of sefl-fertility and self-incompatibility.

Produced by the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Adelaide, e-Science is a free magazine that offers interactive feature articles written by our researchers and complimented by resources specifically designed for teachers.

More information and links to download e-Science can be found on the e-Science magazine web page.

Debate: Grape and wine quality doesn’t matter – it’s marketing that sells wine!

Green Vines

The Australian wine industry has made huge gains based on investment in research and development during the past 30-50 years, giving us the edge in a competitive global market. Industry levy and government-funded research has led to knowledge and applications that have enabled significant improvements in grape and wine quality, as well as productivity and yield increases.

In an era of more costly inputs and diminishing returns, and with Australian wine no longer the ‘flavour of the month’ internationally, is it time to shift investment to support marketing efforts that increase the future growth and profitability of the industry? Many winemakers feel the challenging global economic and market forces they now face are more immediate and grave than longer-term environmental threats such as soil salinity and climate change.

On the other hand, the fruit of much labour in R&D is slow to reveal itself – a 20-year time lag between discovery in the lab and application in the field is commonly cited in agricultural science. In some areas this has dropped to as little as six years to meet industry imperatives. An exciting period lies ahead, with many more possibilities evident on the knowledge horizon, but the rising costs of research, funding cuts and a diminution in the perceived value and importance of R&D to the industry are real threats.

Why bother making better wine if we can’t sell it? Can consumers tell the difference between average wine and great wine anyway? Is increasing the marketing spend (especially if it’s at the expense of R&D) a sound investment strategy, or a sign of desperation from an industry under pressure in a world that has become short-sighted, shallow and dollar-driven?

In this exciting and important debate, moderated by Dr Paul Willis, Director RiAus, six experts in two teams will argue for your vote.

For the affirmative team …

  • Professor Pascale Quester Deputy Vice Chancellor & Vice-President (Academic), The University of Adelaide
  • Professor Larry Lockshin Pro-Vice Chancellor, Strategic Coordination, Professor of Wine Marketing and Head of the School of Marketing, University of SA
  • Dr Roberta Veale Program Director – Wine Business The Business School, Marketing, Faculty of the Professions, The University of Adelaide

For the negative team …

Will you be for or against?

Date: Thursday 17 October 2013 Time: 6.00pm (for a 6.30pm start) to 8.30pm
Place: Lirra Lirra Café, McLeod House, Waite Road, Waite Campus, Urrbrae Finger food and cash bar provided
Event is free. Please register at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/wri/events/debate/

Easy way to keep track of favourite wines

This story was orginally posted in News from the University of Adelaide, Tuesday, 17 September 2013.

wineapp

University of Adelaide wine staff and students have developed a free iPad app that will help consumers learn more about the wines they are drinking and keep track of their favourites.

‘My Wine World’ guides users through the assessment of wine appearance, smell, flavour, taste and the feel of the wine in the mouth. Users can record tasting notes and their own ratings in a searchable archive.

“We needed an educational tool to help our winemaking and wine business students develop their sensory skills,” says Senior Lecturer of Oenology Dr Kerry Wilkinson. “This promises to be really successful as an e-learning tool, but then we thought, why should students have all the fun?”

The app was developed by Dr Wilkinson and fellow Oenology Senior Lecturer at the Waite Campus, Dr Paul Grbin, together with Viticulture and Oenology student Matthew Roussy. It is available to the general public through the Apple app store.

My Wine World starts with a wine tasting tutorial and uses touch tools with colour displays, sliders and input screens where wine drinkers can enter the sensory attributes of the wines they are drinking. They can add a photo of the label, and easily refer back and cross-reference at a later date.

“Traditionally, technical wine assessment involves recording detailed observations and perceptions of the sensory properties of wine with tasting notes usually recorded in a diary or journal. But these can be cumbersome, messy and easily lost or damaged,” says Dr Wilkinson.

“This is an ideal tool for anyone who has a serious interest in developing their wine sensory skills, but also for those who just love wine but don’t have much technical knowledge. And then there are plenty of people who simply like to drink nice wines but can never remember the ones they liked, or what they like about them.

“My Wine World makes it very easy to build up a searchable archive of your favourite wines, with star ratings and even photos of the wine labels.”

Viticulture and Oenology student Matthew Roussy said he could have done with this app during his 10-year career as a sommelier.

“I knew that the need existed for a tasting note recorder and, now as a viticulture and oenology student, I realised I could help make My Wine World a very handy educational tool,” says Matt.

My Wine World won second place in last year’s Australian eChallenge, the annual entrepreneurial business planning competition run by the University’s Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre. The app was developed with a small grant from the University of Adelaide’s Wine2030 research network.

 

Bold new era for Australian barley breeding

This story was orginally posted in News from the University of Adelaide, Monday, 19 August, 2013

The University of Adelaide will invest more than $10 million over the next five years in its barley breeding program, promising long-term benefit for farmers with better and faster new varieties. Over time, the University will be looking to strengthen and expand sections of the program with investments from other parties.

The investment – including barley breeding royalties – is the result of constructive negotiations between the University and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) to ensure that the end of the GRDC’s long-term investment in the University’s barley breeding program carries positive benefits to grains growers and to the grains industry more broadly.

“The University’s barley breeding program is the largest and most successful in Australia, and this agreement will help ensure continued delivery of high-performing barley varieties that offer even greater benefits for Australia’s barley growers,” says Waite Research Institute Director and Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Professor Mike Wilkinson.

“This investment will help us build on current research strengths to bring the latest cutting-edge science into our barley breeding efforts. Our fundamental aim is to achieve step changes in barley variety improvement.”

“Our new barley breeding centre will be more closely linked with our teaching programs with more emphasis on educating the plant breeders and agricultural scientists of the future.”

Since the launch in 1968 of the hugely successful barley Clipper, University of Adelaide-bred varieties have accounted for more than 50% of national barley production.

Barley breeding targets have included each major production and market segment including notable feed varieties Galleon, Barque, Maritime, Fleet and Fathom, as well as leading malting varieties Schooner, Sloop, SloopSA, Flagship, Commander and this year’s new commercial variety Navigator.

Hulless varieties for use in food manufacturing and specialist animal feed applications include Torrens, Macumba and Finniss.

“The University of Adelaide’s barley breeding program is recognised internationally,” says Professor Wilkinson. “With improved breeding technologies and more research, both barley growers and the barley-consuming industry will be winners.”

This week on Harvest: grapevines, nitrogen and food security

This week on Harvest , we’ll be talking to Associate Professor Brent Kaiser from the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine about his research on nitrogen uptake and utilisation in plants as well as the Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology program in the lead-up to the University’s Open Day

We’ll be continuing our ‘Grape to Glass’ segment by heading a little further up the plant with a look at grapevine physiology, and we’ll also be continuing our look at Food Security when we talk to Dr Andrew Jacobs from the ACPFG about the role that science plays.

We’ll also be having our regular look at some of the agriculture, food and wine stories in the news. Join us from 3.00pm to 4.00pm SA time on 101.5 FM in Adelaide, on digital radio or online at https://radio.adelaide.edu.au/

Podcasts of the interviews will be available after 5.00pm SA time at https://radio.adelaide.edu.au/program/harvest/