GRDC is one of the world’s leading grains research organisations responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing research, development and extension to deliver improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry.
2023 Nuffield Scholar
WA crop, sheep farmer to investigate economic implications of implementing soil conservation practices
Western Australian farmer Daniel Dempster is set to travel the world to explore the economic implications of adopting the agricultural farming practices focused on total soil cover, minimal soil disturbance, high plant species diversity and livestock incorporation.
The crop and sheep farmer from the Wheatbelt region has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship, supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), to investigate this topic.
Having completed his PhD in Soil Science at The University of Western Australia, Daniel now farms at Goomalling. Across the 2500 ha of arable land, about 80% is sown to crops and sheep graze the remaining 20%.
Through his Nuffield Scholarship, Daniel seeks to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of farming enterprises.
He says increasing pesticide resistance, increasing energy prices, forecast peak phosphorous production and declining terms of trade are challenging the long-term sustainability of conventional broadacre agriculture. He hopes to investigate whether implementing conservative soil management principles may help farmers address these issues.
“For farmers to adopt these practices they need to be certain their financial position shall not worsen, and preferably improve,” Daniel says.
With his Nuffield Scholarship, Daniel plans to travel to the US, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, France, Spain, China, Argentina, Chile and Brazil.
The area of study supports the strategic plan of GRDC, particularly in the key tenets of optimising input costs and improving yield and its stability.
Ph: 0429 433 070