Adviser, University of Sydney, SYDNEY NSW
Dr Michael Walsh has been working with weed seed management for the past two decades and his systems of ensuring a low seed bank have increased the longevity of some herbicides.
He has been an integral part of developing the Harvest Weed Seed Control System which is aimed at the collection and destruction of weed seeds during harvest and has levels of accuracy of weed seeds killed of up to 90%. Michael is constantly assessing all the different methods and machinery to come up with a way of helping growers to have as many options in their toolbox as possible for weed control and effective herbicides to use in their programs each year.
He is humble though about his work and says the real heroes are the early adopters who decided to road test his research findings in the paddock. Those farmers, he says, were the ones that ensured that weed seed management is now accepted and used by 43 per cent of growers across Australia, compared to about 15 per cent less than 10 years ago.
Michael’s love of research has taken him across Australia and the world, and the impacts of his Harvest Weed Seed Control systems means they are now being assessed in the United States.
His spot as a finalist in the Sustainability category recognises Michael’s drive to discover solutions to some of the large agricultural issues in Australia.