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Media profile. Nigel Corish. 2014 Scholarship winner

Media profile. Nigel Corish. 2014 Scholarship winner

Nigel Corish, from Goondiwindi in Queensland, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, supported by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation and Cotton Australia. Nigel will study Fertiliser Use Efficiency (FUE) in irrigated cotton crops. He received the award at the organisationʼs prestigious National Conference dinner last night (Thursday) at Crown Perth.

The family business consists of four mixed farming properties on the NSW-QLD border, with irrigated cotton the main production crop, with about 4000 hectares grown annually. They also grow about 4000 hectares of dry land cultivated crops, including wheat, chickpeas and sorghum, as well as operating a lamb feedlot and running 130 head of Angus breeder cows.

Nigelʼs role in the business is to manage and operate one of the properties, Yambocully, and is also part of the Corish Farms management group, which manages the financial decisions across our businesses.

With fertiliser, and in particular nitrogen, being one of the biggest farm input costs Nigel is keen to study how to improve both FUE and Nitrogen Uptake Efficiency (NUE) on both his own farm and across the industry.

“On our farms we are spending between $500 and $700 per hectare on fertiliser per year – the amount of nitrogen applied per hectare has increased to maintain and increase the high yields on the farms, budgeting on getting 12 bales to the hectare. There are a number of different forms of nitrogen and a number of different crop application methods – the studies will allow me to find the most efficient type and way to apply nitrogen to the crop, and study the critical application levels that are recommended to growers,” he explains.

With farm management and crop rotation also determining what fertiliser inputs are required, Nigelʼs studies will also examine different rotations to improve NUE. In addition he will investigate what soil constraints are resulting in poor NUE.

Nigel hopes to visit USA, Brazil, China and Europe to complete his studies. Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay says “Nigel Corish will be a tremendous ambassador for Australia’s cotton industry overseas, and we congratulate him on his success in achieving a Nuffield Scholarship.”

He says the Australian cotton industry’s strong commitment to innovation, research and development has been the cornerstone of its success, and the Nuffield scholarship programs play an important part in that process. “Cottonʼs commitment to research has achieved enormous progress in crucial areas for the industry, such as water and chemical efficiency, on-farm management and environmental outcomes,” Mr Kay says.

“The Cotton Research and Development Corporation and Cotton Australia are proud to support Nuffield’s scholarship program, which helps Australian cotton growers learn from advanced farming techniques from around the world.”

Nuffield Australia is an organisation providing opportunities to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. In March 2014 we will have one group travelling through Canada, United States (California and Washington DC), Mexico, Europe, Brazil and New Zealand, while a second group will tour South Africa, Kenya, Eastern Europe, Europe and USA.

Nigel is available for interviews to talk about his planned study.  Mobile: 0409 904 500

A high-resolution photo of Nigel is available for download online in the 2014 Nuffield Scholar gallery

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