Russell Ison is the Farm Manager and Field Biologist at BASF’s Tamworth CropSolutions Farm.
“After working as an agronomist for twenty five years, I can confidently say that Australia’s growers are great innovators. They need to be, to succeed in one of the world’s most varied and unpredictable climates.
Farming in this country is about controlling what you can, extracting productivity gains, managing costs and overcoming hurdles through a season. Sustainability is central to any successful operation.
Recognising this, our team began developing the BASF CropSolutions farm eight years ago in Tamworth, NSW.
Our trials are conducted in real world conditions and the farm is managed as a farmer would. It’s not only about trialling new crop protection products in Australian conditions, but ensuring they are effective within the requirements of a real working farm, understanding rotation limitations, scientific and agronomic principles, profitability and environmental constraints.
We’re also conducting trials in conjunction with our global colleagues. If BASF products can stand up to the rigors of Australian agriculture, they’ve passed a high bar and are fit for farming anywhere around the globe.
In the past eight years of operation, our research team has conducted hundreds of trials, not only in Tamworth but all over Australia and helped in the development of focussed, innovative crop protection solutions for Aussie growers, faster.
Every trial we conduct helps us to know our enemy, whether its disease, pests, weeds or anything else that farmers come up against. It gives farmers back one element of control in their volatile environment.
The BASF Development team has dug into a broad array of initiatives that form a long-term view of the value our products can give to farmers. Conducting our research at the CropSolutions Farm gives us the ability to monitor trials long-term. This has resulted in a number of innovative discoveries and extensive knowledge of our products, all of which adds value to our customers and enables us to provide solutions that will stand the test of time.
Our explorations into cover cropping as rotations have shown that this process can maintain biodiversity over the long term, providing us with understanding of sustainable agriculture systems and in turn, promoting soil fertility, encouraging populations of bees and beneficial insects, allowing us to adopt Integrated Pest Management principles.
The use of crop protection products is about restoring balance, a principle we understand well.
The CropSolutions Farm is integral in the way BASF drives productivity benefits in Australian agriculture, building local knowledge and helping Aussie farmers to gain control in their ever-changing environment. ”