Adviser, Crop Circle Consulting, GERALDTON WA
A passion for finding the best solution for his growers characterises the work carried out by agronomist Grant Thompson.
Based in the Midwest region of Western Australia, in a climate which sometimes doesn’t deliver enough rain, Grant helps his growers to make the most of what the season has brought. That could be encouraging growers to include a chemical fallow for the year to boost soil moisture for the following year’s crop, or limiting inputs if the season looks like the crops won’t finish.
One of Grant’s key initiatives has been to encourage his growers to install soil moisture probes in paddocks, so it is possible to determine the plant’s available moisture and have decisions made on fact rather than assumption based on an above-ground water gauge.
Grant is also heavily involved in research and has partnered with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) for a number of years on various projects. His latest work, just completed, has been to look at seasonal variability and the role of chemical fallow, a project that ran for three years and in which Grant took the lead role.
Adopting new technology, managing climate variability, improving the farming environment and the industry’s carbon footprint will be, Grant believes, the key to making agriculture sustainable and profitable into the future. To do this, Grant thinks that the industry must work together as a whole to keep each other informed and to constantly evolve with the challenges that agriculture, the human race and Mother Nature provide us with on a daily basis.