Tag Archives: South Australia

New Industry Opportunity for Ag Students


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

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

New SA investment in Waite-based research to improve Australian diets

Professor Bob Gibson and his FOODplus team, in collaboration with the University of Manitoba in Canada, have been awarded $300,000 over three years to investigate more efficient and environmentally sustainable ways to increase levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the eggs and meat of chickens for better human nutrition.

The grant has been awarded through the State Government’s Premiers International Research Grant Program to improve collaborations between international partners and leading researchers in South Australia and was announced yesterday by the Minister for Science and Information Economy, Grace Portolesi.

As Professor Gibson explains “Dietary omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal development and healthy living, but most Australians do not meet the recommended daily intakes from seafood or fish oil and increasing the amount from marine sources is not sustainable. The average Australian now eats more chicken than any other meat, so increasing the omega-3 fatty acid content of chicken meat and eggs provides a way for people to increase the intake of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids sustainably without requiring consumers to change their current purchasing or dietary practices”.

A previous project, funded by the Constellation SA scheme and aligned with the Manitoba Funding Initiative, showed that it’s possible to increase the omega-3 content of chicken meat and eggs, without affecting the sensory properties of these products, by modulating the chickens’ dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from sustainable plant sources. Importantly, this work also showed that birds fed a diet with an increased ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats (through addition of flaxseed oil, rich in ALA) had better growth rates and improved feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared to the birds fed a control commercial diet.

The new initiative project will examine the best ways to reduce the cost of providing the flaxseed diet, while still sustaining growth and feed efficiency benefits and retaining the increased nutritional attributes of the chicken products. It will build on industry interest in the preliminary work, translating this research into industry practice and has direct applications to flaxseed growers, chicken feed producers and chicken production industries, and is squarely aligned with the South Australian Government’s Strategic Priority for premium food and wine from a clean environment.

Recent research: Herbicide-resistant ryegrass in southeastern Australia

Herbicide resistance in annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) is a growing problem in grain-cropping fields of southeastern Australia because of increased herbicide use as the main weed control method in minimum tillage systems. With thousands of fields infested with herbicide-resistant annual ryegrass, it is the most important weed species of winter grain crops in Australia. This study focused on identifying the scale of the problem in South Australia and Victoria, using annual ryegrass collected during weed surveys between 1998 and 2009.

Outdoor pot studies were conducted during the normal winter growing season for annual ryegrass with PRE-applied trifluralin and POST-applied diclofop-methyl, chlorsulfuron, tralkoxydim, pinoxaden, and clethodim.
•    Trifluralin-resistant annual ryegrass was found in one-third of the fields surveyed from South Australia and in less than 5% of fields in Victoria.
•    Chlorsulfuron-resistance was detected in at least half of the cropped fields across southeastern Australia.
•    Resistance to the cereal-selective aryloxyphenoxypropionate-inhibiting herbicides diclofop-methyl, tralkoxydim, and pinoxaden ranged between 30 and 60% in most regions, but in marginal cropping areas it was less than 12%.
•    Resistance to clethodim varied between 0 and 61%. Higher levels of resistance to clethodim were found in the more intensively cropped, higher-rainfall districts where pulse and canola crops are common.

Fields in the survey fell into 2 groups: those with ryegrass resistant to 0-1 herbicides, which tended to be more common in areas where a lot of pasture was still grown, and those with resistance to 4-6 herbicides, which tended to be in areas of continuous cropping. These weed surveys demonstrate that a high incidence of resistance to most tested herbicides is present in annual ryegrass from cropped fields in southeastern Australia and presents a major challenge for crop producers.

Corresponding author: Dr Peter Boutsalis
Organisations: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide
Publication: Boutsalis, P., Gill, G.S. and Preston, C. (2012) Incidence of herbicide resistance in rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) across southeastern Australia. Weed Technology, 26(3): 391-398.
Link: doi: 10.1614/WT-D-11-00150.1

“Recent research” is a series of short, regular posts highlighting recent research papers from the Waite Campus.

Adelaide joins with Italy to develop ‘super spaghetti’


University of Adelaide researchers are working with colleagues in Italy to produce better quality pasta that also adds greater value to human health.

Two research projects – being conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls at the University’s Waite Campus – will start next month in collaboration with researchers from the Italian universities of Bari and Molise.

The aim of the ARC Centre of Excellence is to look at the fundamental role of cell walls (biomass) in plants and discover how they can be better utilised. Both of these new projects will investigate key aspects of the cell walls in
durum wheat, which is commonly used for making pasta.

The first project, in conjunction with the University of Bari, will investigate how the growth of durum wheat affects
the levels of starch and dietary fibre within it, and how the fibre levels in pasta can be improved. The second
project, in conjunction with the University of Molise, will investigate the important roles played by two major
components of dietary fibre – arabinoxylans and beta-glucans – in the quality of pasta and bread dough.

“The term ‘super spaghetti’ is beginning to excite scientists, nutritionists and food manufacturers around the world,” says Associate Professor Rachel Burton, Program Leader with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls and chief investigator on both projects.

“In simple terms, ‘super spaghetti’ means that it contains a range of potential health benefits for the consumer, such as reducing the risk of heart disease or colorectal cancer. Our research – in collaboration with our Italian colleagues – is aimed at achieving that, but we’re also looking to improve the quality of pasta as well as its health properties,” Associate Professor Burton says.

The centre’s Director, Professor Geoff Fincher, says: “These new projects highlight one of the great strengths of our Centre of Excellence, which is the ability to bring together complementary expertise and resources from across the globe to work towards a common goal. Our centre has the opportunity to address key scientific issues and produce results that are meaningful to industries and communities worldwide.”

Professor Fincher says these new projects could help pasta manufacturers in South Australia and Italy to carve a niche by supplying domestic markets with specialist pasta products that will benefit the health of consumers.

“Being able to sell high-quality South Australian durum wheat within a competitive market like Italy could bring economic benefits. Approximately 27kg of pasta is consumed per year per person in Italy, compared with just 4kg per person in Australia,” he says.

Both of these projects have received funding and support from the South Australian Government, local
governments in Italy, the University of Adelaide and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls.

This article was originally posted on the University of Adelaide news website