Pages Navigation Menu

James Hawkins – 2018 Nuffield Scholar

James Hawkins from Neuarpurr in Victoria, receives a Nuffield Scholarship supported by Rural Bank.

He will investigate the amelioration of hostile/sodic clay soils to overcome soil productivity limitations through deep placement of organic material as a means of increasing biomass production, yield and improving water use efficiency in dryland and irrigation systems.

James is the owner and managing director of P.I.G.S, an operation managing pigs for a Victorian outdoor bred pork producer and processor, The Pastoral Pork Company. Together with the family property, ‘Brippick’, the enterprise produces 2000 tonnes of compost annually, which helps to manage soil health and promote sustainable farming practices.

He also manages a contract baling business and will complete a Master of Agribusiness with Marcus Oldham College by the end of 2017.

James plans to investigate how Sub-Soil Manuring (SSM) can increase the soil’s ‘bucket size’ through soil chemical, physical and biological changes so as to provide gains that will create an increase in profitability for producers, which could last over ten years.

“I wish to further expand on current research through investigating global soil amelioration options as well as farming system changes which can help overcome the sodic soil constraints” James said.

“This work will also examine the lack of machinery available for SSM, which is limiting producer uptake, along with the possibility of high concentrate, ameliorant alternatives”.

“SSM presents a massive opportunity for productivity gains per hectare that could last for more than a decade after treatment. I intend to develop a greater breadth of knowledge, both internationally and locally, and to translate this knowledge into a format that is accessible to farmers in order to benefit their businesses.”

James plans to travel to the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany and the USA.

Phone: 0419 446 058

Supporter Information: 

Website:  Facebook: @RuralBankAU   Twitter: @ruralbank

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This