Australian herbicide resistance initiative (Ahri) celebrates its 20th anniversary

Hugh J. Beckie, Stephen B. Powles

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On February 24, 2019, the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) hosted a dinner function with 100 invited stakeholders in Perth, Western Australia to celebrate its 20th anniversary. AHRI is a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) initiative, which was inaugurated in 1998. Prof. Stephen Powles was AHRI Director for 20 years until June 30, 2018 when Prof. Hugh Beckie assumed the role. Originally called the Western Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (WAHRI), it was renamed AHRI in 2009 following a review that recommended a national role. Last year, AHRI marked 20 years of GRDC funding, operating as a research and communications group out of the School of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Western Australia (UWA) (web site: Http:// UWA funds Prof. Beckie and Powles as well as providing infrastructure support for the AHRI team. The current 5-year GRDC AHRI grant ends in June, 2020. AHRI also receives substantial funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC), China Scholarship Council (in support of two PhD and two post-doctoral positions), as well as various industry partners. The core mission of AHRI is strategic and applied research to minimise the adverse impact of herbicide resistance and crop weeds on Australian cropping. AHRI is a global leader in research (over 10 highly-cited articles), development, and extension/ communications (RDE) of herbicide resistance and its management for profitable and sustainable cropping systems in the Australian grains industry. The AHRI mantris "more crop, less weeds - sustainably!" AHRI comprises a multi-disciplinary team of about 20 fulltime equivalent (FTE) personnel. Activities range from fundamental research at the biochemical, physiological, and molecular level, to the biology and population ecology of major crop weed species, through to the development of agronomic and herbicide management strategies, tactics, and practices. AHRI has five main programs: (1) resistance mechanisms, led by Dr. Qin Yu; (2) resistance surveillance, led by Ms. Mechelle Owen; (3) resistance evolution, led by Dr. Roberto Busi; (4) resistance management, led by Dr. Mike Ashworth; and (5) resistance communications, led by Ms. Jessica Strauss. Ms. Lisa Mayer is the AHRI Centre Manager (also Project Manager of WeedSmart, an industry-sponsored initiative to promote herbicide sustainability). Four Extension Agronomists based in the Western (Peter Newman), Southern (Greg and Kirrily Condon), and Northern GRDC regions (Paul McIntosh) are critical to effective, continual targeted communications with AHRI stakeholders across multiple platforms, from social media to regular RDE publications such as 'AHRI Insight'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-121
Number of pages2
JournalOutlooks on Pest Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


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