From Lectures to Liebe Lab!
Over the mid semester university break I had the opportunity to gain practical work experience with the Liebe Group. Growing up on a farm west of Dalwallinu, the Liebe Group is an organisation that has always been deeply connected and active within the community to encourage growers to be innovative with practical research and development support relevant to the region.
The ongoing research projects of Liebe validated the university laboratory sessions undertaken through my degree in Agribusiness at Curtin University. The practical experience enabled a deeper understanding to form surrounding information I have learnt from textbooks and classes in optimising growing environments. The research and development projects enabled an insight into regional production challenges of soil fertility, new pests, and herbicide resistance. The dedication of growers to research and development through experimental trials is tribute to the future of agriculture.
My week began with travelling north of Wubin to two different growers trial sites involved in the MLA producer demonstration sites to conduct plant counts around the pasture paddocks.
Traveling around the area continued, to place moth traps for diamondback moths, fall armyworm and budworm. This is a GRDC funded project being undertaken with DPIRD in canola crops, with data collected each fortnight, which will indicate the extent of these pest threats, new and existing.
I also attended a soil probe workshop out in paddock and in office with discussion on the structure of the soil probe and connected weather station, with reference to the data output.
Kieran Coupe, Managing Director of Wildeye, who have supplied and serviced the soil probe and weather station, explained the app and graphs used to communicate the raw data. This was followed up by Caroline Peek, Senior Research Scientist from DPIRD who provided a session on soil parameters and results produced by the soil probe, which enables growers to interpret the results.
Undertaking plant counts for the wind erosion and imidazolinone herbicide residues trials also extended prior knowledge from pot trials at university to a grower scale, which introduced weeds that aren’t a factor in the laboratories.
I was also able to attend several meetings during the week discussing the current and future Liebe Group plans, partaking in general administrative roles between events.
An AgChats event was held on 22nd of June with three speakers, Jackie Bucat a Research Scientist at DPIRD, Sales Support Agronomist Angus McAlpine from CSBP and Elders local Agronomist Tristan Clarke. They discussed the nutrient requirements of canola and emerging pests of particular concern this year, tied with agronomic advice about germination and phenotype performance.
Many thanks to Katrina, Judy, Lisa-May and Danielle for providing the range of opportunities throughout a remarkably busy week. It has been a privilege to see the passionate and knowledgeable team behind Liebe and all the growers involved working towards an innovative, inclusive future of production in the agricultural industry. I am proud to be connected to a region that is committed to the continued research and development improving the quality and outputs of production.