GRDC continues their investing into the furute

The previous winner of the GRDC-sponsored Science and Innovation Award grant, Murdoch University atmospheric scientist Jatin Kala, has used his funding to study the link between frost and topography at the farm scale.

The previous winner of the GRDC-sponsored Science and Innovation Award grant, Murdoch University atmospheric scientist Jatin Kala, has used his funding to study the link between frost and topography at the farm scale.

Young agricultural scientists, innovators and researchers are encouraged to enter the 2017 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

These awards encourage 18 to 35-year-old innovators to undertake new and creative research to benefit Australia’s agricultural industries.

It’s a chance to receive funding for a project addressing an innovative or emerging scientific issue that will benefit Australia’s grains industry.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) – one of the world’s leading investors in grains research, development and extension – sponsors the grains category of the 2017 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The Science and Innovation Award grants are designed to support early career researchers, scientists and other innovators in developing new approaches to industry issues and, in turn, making Australia’s agricultural industries more productive and more competitive.

They also support the career pathways of the award recipients and highlight the opportunities, innovation and technologies in modern agriculture.

The recipient of last year’s GRDC-sponsored award, Murdoch University atmospheric scientist Jatin Kala, has used his funding to study the link between frost and topography at the farm scale, starting with a single research farm.

If it works, his data could be overlaid onto the entire West Australian grainbelt, providing grain growers with a custom map of their property identifying areas most likely to be hit by frost.

Dr Kala said that although Australia's south-west was becoming warmer and drier, many farms in the grainbelt were actually experiencing an increase in frost.

"It's something we don't fully understand," he said.

"The idea is that under a warming and drying climate with fewer clouds and calmer conditions, one actually gets very cold conditions at night.”

Frost, along with rainfall and heat stress, is one of the biggest challenges faced by the grains industry.

If growers know which parts of their properties are most susceptible, they might be able to mitigate the risk by adopting management practices to minimise frost damage in these areas.

Dr Kala said he was excited by the opportunity to work on a project in the field that would have a real impact in the community.

Eleven industry award categories are available in the 2017 round of the Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Each winner will receive a grant of up to $22,000 (including GST). One recipient of an industry category award will also receive the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Award, with additional project funding.

Applications close on Friday, October 14, 2016. The recipients of the awards will be presented publicly as part of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Outlook 2017 conference in Canberra.

For further information on the awards, and on how to apply, visit agriculture.gov.au/scienceawards​, email scienceawards@agriculture.gov.au or phone 02 6272 2260 or 02 6272 2303.

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