Optimising sorghum yield through agronomic management

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Professor Daniel Rodriguezd.rodriguez@uq.edu.au

In the Northern Grains Region, managing heat and moisture stress at critical growth stages remains the highest research priority for increasing yields and reducing the likelihood of un-economical crops. The main adaptation strategy for farmers to manage these stresses is to avoid the overlap between heat stress events and flowering. This can be achieved by targeting optimum flowering windows and selecting more than one hybrid to hopefully spread the risk of all of their crops flowering in the same window. Initial results from previous project show that to fit the flowering of sorghum around low risk windows for heat and water stresses, farmers could sow the crop into soil moisture, at soil temperatures lower than the recommended 16°C. Under these conditions, farmers would need to achieve rapid and uniform establishments, and balance the decision on the likely benefits of reduced stresses around flowering, with the higher risk of early frost damage and greater establishment losses. The overall aim of this project is to develop the knowledge and tools to inform early sowing decisions across eastern Australia.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of agronomy and crop physiology climate risk management in broad acre cropping predictive modelling of crops climate prediction would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of crop sciences (excluding molecular studies) and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of statistics, crop physiology and computer programming is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 3, 2021. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

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