Prince’s water work crowned
WA horticultural officer Rohan Prince received the vegetable sector’s Industry Impact Award at the national awards for excellence last month and was a finalist for the Researcher of the Year Award.
For the past six years, the Department of Agriculture and Food development officer has been working with vegetable growers to boost profitability and environmental outcomes by improving irrigation and nutrition scheduling to increase efficiency.
Rohan is currently leading a two-year project to research and extend good practices for drip irrigation of field-grown tomatoes, which is supported by VegetablesWA through the APC Committee and Horticulture Australia.
This research will be moved on to growers’ properties in spring, after the first year of trials at Medina Research Station last growing season.
Rohan said it was great to receive positive feedback on work he and the horticultural group were doing.
He said it reflected well on the team of people at the department for an individual staff member to receive a national award.
Rohan joined the department soon after graduating from Curtin University and said extending the results of good research was equally important to the research itself.
“I enjoy interacting with growers and hope I can make a difference, ” he said.
“When a farmer makes improvements that lead to better environmental and financial outcomes, I feel I have helped to achieve something worthwhile.”
Looking ahead, Rohan said there were major challenges in water security for future production, delivering top quality produce with less reliance on water and fertiliser and using chemicals without impacting on the environment.
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