QUEENSLAND agronomist Tessa Dimond has been awarded a Nuffield Australia Scholarship to further her studies on how agricultural chemicals’ Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) can affect Australian grain prices and access to international markets.
Working with Nuffield sponsor GrainCorp, Ms Dimond aims to gain a global perspective on the role of MRLs in the international market and to share best-management practices, global trends and leading-edge technology with Australian growers.
A broadacre and irrigation agronomist from St George, Ms Dimond will travel to the United Kingdom, the US, Canada, China, Indonesia and Europe during the 12-month program.
“Label directions, spray quality and drift are cornerstones of protecting access to chemicals, but the same attention is not paid to chemical residues, including MRLs,” Ms Dimond said.
“There is an opportunity to better understand international MRL requirements, which are part of the final commodity and market requirements, and how these have reformed chemical application and stewardship globally.”
Ms Dimond said the Nuffield Scholarship, the first supported by GrainCorp, will assist her professional goal of helping the agriculture industry strive for greater sustainability.
“I believe opportunity lies in building awareness of how grower application of chemicals not only impacts commodity pricing and access to international markets, but also the international reputation of Australian grain and the future sustainability of our grains industry.
“I’m also passionate about continuing to bridge the gap between the agricultural industry and our metro consumers, or risk losing our social licence to operate.”
Ms Dimond was one of 19 recipients named yesterday as 2023 Nuffield Scholars.
The scholarships are awarded annually to study topics related to agriculture.
Other recipients, named with their supporting organisations, whose research topics link to broadacre farming include:
Aimee Snowden, AgriFutures Australia: Agriculture education;
Tim Houston, Cotton Australia and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation: Sustainably transitioning land from grazing to cropping;
Daniel Dempster, Grains Research and Development Corporation: Economic implications of adopting practices focused on total soil cover, minimal soil disturbance, high plant species diversity and livestock incorporation;
Rebecca Kelly, CBH Group: Helping farmers negotiate with energy companies, for example those wishing to explore or extract resources;
Iain Field, University of Tasmania and JM Roberts Charitable Trust: Increasing ecological literacy and biodiversity on farms for sustainability;
Sarah Crosthwaite, Gardiner Foundation: Studying how different agricultural sectors across the world support producers’ mental health, especially in a changing climate;
Dr Vivien Rolland, CSIRO: Ongoing promotion of understanding between Australian scientific research and agricultural industries.
Source: GrainCorp, Nuffield Australia