With the grains industry suffering a skills shortage, a SAGIT-funded internship is encouraging graduates to take up a career in the agriculture sector.
Grains research intern Danielle Allen says she wants a career in grains research when her internship at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) finishes in February.
“This internship has been an invaluable experience and a great way to begin a career in agricultural research,” she said.
“When I started I had limited knowledge of agricultural processes but due to the wide variety of experiences including laboratory work, computer work and field work in a variety of groups, I now have a much greater understanding of agricultural systems,”
Having graduated in botany and soil science, Danielle could have chosen another field of work, but says the internship has given her a passion for grains research.
Danielle has spent most of her internship at the Waite Research Precinct, with some time at Port Lincoln, working on her major project and assisting researchers with field work.
“I have worked with the Pulse and Oilseed Pathology group, the Cereal Pathology group, the New Variety Agronomy group, Climate Applications and the Biometry hub,” she said.
“With these groups I’ve learned a great deal including understanding diseases, trial work, statistics, crop modelling, and the opportunity to work directly with growers on the Eyre Peninsula.”
Danielle has been able to bring her previous experience with infrared spectrometers to SARDI, and as part of her major project has been using the new technology to monitor crop performance, with the aim of combining spectrometer data with soil moisture probes and Yield Prophet to improve growers’ ability to predict yield.
“I feel like I’ve been able to contribute through my project and my work helping each of the SARDI groups,” Danielle said.
“I have obtained some good results using new technology such as an infrared spectroradiometer, and when my internship ends in February, SARDI have asked me to stay on an extra month to analyse crop disease data by applying the new statistical analysis skills I have obtained.”
SAGIT is funding a SARDI intern each year until 2019, along with a regional internship with Hart Field Site Group.