Newsletter Autumn 2005

Welcome to the Autumn Update from Serve-Ag Research

Our business is about people…
Serve-Ag Research meeting, Brisbane.

Serve-Ag Research meeting.

Continual up-skilling of our staff is an underpinning principle in our continued success. This was reinforced at a recent series of company meetings in Brisbane, where strategic planning was a key focus. We want our staff to be exemplary professionals with the knowledge and expertise to provide our clients with quality research. We believe that investing in training for our staff is a priority, particularly given the outsourcing of technical expertise across so many corporate organisations.

We are pleased to welcome the following new staff members, and believe they are bringing valuable skills to the Serve-Ag Research Team.

Ian Macleod, General Manager


The team is growing!

Andrew Woodcock (Business Manager, Devonport) has spent the past 10 years in a business management role in the mining communication equipment industry. Andrew will be providing leadership to the administration team, and refining project administration systems.

Paul Florissen, Project Officer.

Paul Florissen (Project Officer, Brisbane) joins us after ten years working in the citrus industry, where he was recognised as an expert in the areas of citrus varieties, propagation and nursery management. Immediately prior to joining Serve-Ag Research, Paul was the Sales and Development Manager for Henderson Seeds in Queensland.

Kate Williams’ (Research Officer, Devonport) background as an agronomist gives her an excellent understanding of practical field issues and communicating with farmers. Kate has also worked with Pipers Brook Vineyard as a Production Co-ordinator, and has particular expertise in practical viticulture.

Linda Bailey (Research Officer, Goondiwindi) comes to us with specialist expertise in cotton production. Linda is originally from Zimbabwe, and she moved with her family under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme to work in Narrabri, NSW.

Jon Beck (Field Technician, Perth) comes from a broadacre farming property in WA. He has studied horticulture and turf science and worked in turf maintenance. During his first three months, he has been involved in grapes, turf and vegetable trials. He is looking forward to his first broadacre season.

Evan Brown, Research Officer.

Evan Brown (Research Officer, Melbourne) worked as a Cotton Industry Development Officer at NSW Agriculture in Griffith. He has expertise in running cotton trials in plant compensation, growth regulators, fertilisers, herbicides, integrated pest management, cotton varieties and irrigation management. Evan was also responsible for

We have also had great help from casuals Gina Timms, Sarah Flynn and Robin Dunstan. Gina is assisting with project management administration. She is well known locally as a country music singer. Sarah is working with Phil Frost on a range of horticulture trials. She has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (First Class Honours). Robin has worked on a number of agricultural enterprises and has some great practical skills for paddock trials.


The network is expanding!

The appointment of Evan Brown to work out of Melbourne extends Serve-Ag Research’ capability in Victoria into cropping regions such as Werribee and Bairnsdale. The Melbourne office provides Serve-Ag Research with the ability to work with a number of agricultural industries including vegetables, orchards and vineyards, hydroponics, and flowers along with the broad acre grains and pastures.

Richard Porter (Manager, South Australia) has recently purchased new premises in Adelaide to facilitate field operations. He now has a new office and storage facility for trial equipment. Richard has been particularly busy this season with trial work and moving premises, but he somehow found time to organise a very successful ‘Sportsman’s Night’ fundraising event for SA Farmers Federation Eyre Peninsula Fires Appeal. $30,000 was raised and a great night was had by all.

Mark Sumner (Manager, Western Australia) is very proud of his refurbished facilities at Welshpool, which include freezers for residue samples, seed storage facility, three new offices and warehouse space with ample storage for motorbikes and spray gear. Mark loves his gear and he has recently finished modifying a new spray bike (his third!) equipped with boom and airblast spraying equipment.


General news

Serve-Ag Research now offers a Technical Service for the agricultural chemical (ag-chem) industry. Traditionally, ag-chem suppliers had in-house resources to help with technical issues, but increasingly companies are downsizing and outsourcing this service. The Technical Service Team at Serve-Ag Research comprises members with a total of over 100 years of experience in agricultural research, product development and technical service. For further information, please see our technical service page .

Dr Hoong Pung and Susan Cross assessing beans.

Dr Hoong Pung has been at the Werribee Vegetable Expo to give a talk on Sclerotinia management to lettuce growers. Hoong has been working on an integrated approach to management of this disease. Her research has included trials of alternative crop protection products (particularly relevant since procymidone has been taken off the market), use of gypsum and brassica green manures/biofumigants. Please contact Hoong if you have any questions about her Sclerotinia research.

The Devonport team hosted their annual grower’s spitroast in April. This night is traditionally held at the end of the season to thank all the growers who have provided trial sites and participated in trials. We are very fortunate to be working with some great farmers and appreciate how they go out of their way to accommodate research trials on their farms.

As June 30th approaches, the team is taking stock of just how many trials have been completed in the last financial year. Serve-Ag Research has conducted literally hundreds of trials in crops across the country. We have evaluated scores of management strategies and products for efficacy against an incredible range of weeds, pests and diseases – and in the process studied the life cycles and biology of these organisms in great detail. The hundreds of hours spent counting lettuce aphids to identify control options for this quarantine nightmare is testament to the dedication of our researchers to get the data correct. For reasons of confidentiality, we cannot publicise a lot of the work we do, but our researchers get enormous pride out of knowing that they’ve helped change the way farmers are doing things in the paddock, improving farm sustainability and profitability.