Newsletter: WA State Report
By Cameron Tubby, 2009 Scholar and Chair
Nuffield WA has had a busy six months. On 17th June, Scholars, partners and investors had the opportunity to meet new CEO Jodie Dean and have a chance to say farewell to Jim Geltch. An evening dinner was held in Perth where we were introduced to new investors, met Jodie and presented a gift to Jim in appreciation of his work. The event was a great success with 50 guests showing mixed emotions throughout the evening as we saw in the new and fare-welled the old.
Nuffield WA had a very successful application period and we are delighted to welcome three new 2017 Scholars: Katrina Sasse from Morawa in the northern wheatbelt, Bao Duy Nguyen a horticulturalist from Geraldton and Lara Ladyman from Katanning (photos below). All three are quality Scholars that come from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences and who will contribute some great outcomes from their scholarships.
Seasonally WA has experienced a little (or a lot) of everything, from the top to the bottom of the state. Most of the Kimberly and Pilbara regions have continued to be dry following a poor previous wet season so feed is now at a bit of a premium. Some areas around Exmouth in the Gascoyne received good winter rain, whereas most of the remaining southern rangelands received just enough to generate feed to carry them through the summer.
The wheatbelt and southwest region of WA has been on a roller coaster ride all winter. All bar the northern wheatbelt received excellent early rains that got the cropping and pastures off to a great start. The winter rains were bountiful for all regions which set us up for a normal season. Some areas along the south coast received too much rain with large areas of water logging. Unfortunately, the threat of frost that hung over the head of a big area of the state – due to the early start – hit with a vengeance in August and September. The eastern and central region of the wheatbelt has been the hardest hit, although it appears the effects vary across regions. The finish to the season was generally wet and cool in the south, tending to dry in the north. Fortunately for the northern wheatbelt, they have done a Bradbury and fallen across the line with excellent yields due to an unusually cool finish.
It appears the dairy industry in WA has taken a big hit due to a depressed market, yet the season was an excellent one for pasture growth. The cold, wet winter has helped the horticulturalists in the south. We look forward to a good wet season in the north, a mild summer in the south with late summer rains to lead into next winter. Not asking for much!
Our next event will be our state sponsors lunch on Friday, 10th February 2017, where we will meet our 2017 Scholars, hear from our returning 2016 Scholars and welcome additional guest speakers.
All the best to the 2017 Scholars heading off on adventures in March. Hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. Bring on 2017!