Driving crop productivity through insights
Boosting his growers’ productivity is the end goal for Luke Marquis, principal of South East Agronomy Services (SEAS), who has a thirst for knowledge and a passion for sharing it.
In fact, in 2015, Luke and his wife Lisa extended their business to include a research arm - South East Agronomy Research (SEAR) – so they can conduct their own research to better assist clients.
“While time consuming, it’s been a good decision. I can now prove to myself and clients the value of certain products and techniques that can improve yield and quality,” Mr Marquis said.
SEAR trials chemical and management techniques and carries these trials out on-site at clients’ farms.
This ties in with his focus on client education and information sharing.
“This is very important to my agronomy advice – it lets me work with clients so we can be proactive and flexible enough in our decisions throughout the season.
"We look at issues that may limit production and trial various techniques to see if the issues can be solved and returns boosted,” he said.
Luke is one of 25 Regional Winners in the 2017 Syngenta Growth Awards, nominated in the Productivity category.
The Awards recognise leading agricultural professionals across three categories: Productivity, Sustainability and Community & People.
The Regional Winners have been selected from a pool of 50 nominees to continue to the final round of judging, which will determine the seven overall winners of this year’s Growth Awards across Australia and New Zealand.
The Australasian Winners will be selected by an independent judging panel and announced at the Growth Awards gala dinner in Sydney on November 30th.
On top of providing one-on-one advice on-farm, Mr Marquis has also been known to take his clients on field-trips across the country to see how a particular region is trouble-shooting a relevant issue.
“Water logging is a major issue at the moment,” Mr Marquis said.
“In early August, I took 14 clients to visit south-western Victoria and Tasmania to see how they're managing this issue and lessen the impact of water logging,” he says.
This proactive approach has a retrospective handle too, with Luke following up post-harvest to run debrief sessions to prevent mistakes repeating ensuring nothing is missed.
“I want my growers to be ahead of the pack,” he said.