Farming systems research, improving no-till systems, carbon sequestration through no-till, crop rotations, herbicide efficacy in no-till systems, cover crops, crop residue management, crop nutrition.
I am currently managing a long term no-till farming systems project along with the West Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA). The aim of this Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded project is to improve the quality of no-tillage through the development of a high residue, diverse rotation farming system. This system includes controlled traffic to minimise the effects of compaction and increase cropping efficiencies. The project has two 20 ha sites, one on yellow sand at Mingenew with the Mingenew Irwin Grower Group and the other on red sandy clay loam at the College of Agriculture Cunderdin. Measurements include soil biological, chemical and physical parameters as well as the water balance (done by CSIRO). The effects of the different systems on weeds, insects, diseases and nematodes are being measured by our collaborators, including the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Curtin University and CSIRO.
I am also assessing the long term effects of different stubble management techniques (Stubble - retain standing, retain mow, rake and remove (hay), burn and incorporate) on the soil and yield and quality of different rotation crops.
Cover crops can be used to increase soil cover in the rotation. Other uses for cover crops are, depending on the plant species, nitrogen fixation, weed control and as a break crop. I am working with WANTFA in screening different cover crops and assessing the effect on subsequent cash crops.
Currently teach third year course: Rainfed Cropping Systems SCIE3312)
Production Agronomy and Farming Systems
• Conservation farming/no-till systems
• Agronomy and cropping systems
• Precision agriculture
• Water use efficiency
• Weed control
• Crop and livestock integration
• Agricultural decision support systems