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Robin Tait – 2018 Nuffield Scholar

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Robin Tait from Devonport, Tasmania, receives a Nuffield Scholarship supported by Blundstone, Robert Gatenby Memorial Trust and Tasmanian Alkaloids. She will investigate how regeneration agriculture principles can be integrated into cropping systems with the aim to reduce reliance on synthetic inputs for crop production.

Robin currently manages in excess of 400 hectares of a mixed cropping operation for Botanical Resources Australia (BRA). In this position, she provides agronomic advice for BRA commercial and their farm crops and coordinates harvesting and planting of pyrethrum, wheat and pulse crops.

Additionally, Robin is personally researching and preparing to establish a Tasmanian Mountain Pepper orchard to supply peppers to local and overseas markets.

Robin’s Scholarship research will be particularly pertinent to her work at BRA through establishing and implementing practices in BRA’s cropping enterprise that are aligned with regeneration agricultural principles.

“The majority of crops established in Tasmania are from very small seed and require a fine tilthed seed bed for consistent establishment,” Robin said.

“The system used and recommended by processing and seed companies involves substantial soil cultivation and extended periods of time with no plant cover. This makes it very difficult to incorporate the philosophies of regeneration farming to build a thriving ecosystem allowing plants to form natural resistance.

Through her study, Robin hopes to further research cover cropping, reduced tillage methods, companion planting, biological inputs and methods of crop monitoring, which can be used to increase plant health as a means to reduce reliance on synthetic inputs.

Robin will travel to the USA, Canada, Europe and New Zealand.

Supporter Information: 

Blundstone Australia Pty Ltd is a 100 per cent Tasmanian private company founded in 1870. Today Blundstone has become one of the world’s most recognisable boot brands. The company retains its family values and heritage and is proud to support Australian communities and industry.

Website:  Facebook: @BlundstoneAU   Twitter: @BlundstoneAU





Robert Gatenby was an innovative Tasmanian farmer and horticulturalist before his early death in 1992. Robert Gatenby’s estate, along with friends and associates, determined that a trust should be established to fund the development of talent in the Tasmanian agricultural sector.

Tasmanian Alkaloids is a fully-integrated manufacturer of controlled substances providing medicinal opiates from patented poppy varieties grown on Tasmanian farms. The business is committed to the highest quality standards, good manufacturing practice and reliable supply of products.


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