Anika Molesworth

PhD Candidate, Deakin University

Anika Molesworth

PhD Candidate, Deakin University

Anika splits her life between her family’s arid outback sheep station in Far Western NSW, cotton trials in Griffith, and maize trials in Southeast Asia. She is an agricultural researcher with Deakin University’s Centre for Regional and Rural Futures, undertaking an PhD in soil amelioration using organic amendments in precision landformed systems. Anika explores ways to better use our natural resources with irrigation design, water management, and revaluing agricultural by-products.

She was awarded the 2015 Young Farmer of the Year, 2017 NSW Finalist for Young Australian of the Year, and most recently the NSW Young Achiever Award for Environment and Sustainability. Anika is a passionate advocate for sustainable farming, environmental conservation and climate change action. She helped founding Farmers for Climate Action, and connects landmanagers to researchers through her platform Climate Wise Agriculture in order to build resilience into farming communities.

Where: International Convention Centre, Sydney – Room E5.10

When: Day 3 – Friday, 15 June 2018, 10.30 – 10.40

Abstract Outline: Lowland soil in Cambodia (Prateah Lang) is largely infertile, structurally unstable, and coupled with fluctuating soil water regimes of wet and dry seasons, the cultivation of crops is challenging farmers who seek to diversity and intensify their production systems.

This presentation will report findings of maize trials conducted at the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) – a project supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACAIR, SMCN 2012/071). It will cover the project objectives and methodologies, results and challenges encountered. It will also report on changes to next season experiments, which include assessing three different irrigation treatments (furrow, over-bed and sprinkler).

A highlight of this presentation is in the methodology of data collection. The field site utilised EnviroPro Probes (Entelechy Pty Ltd, SA, Australia) which continuously monitored soil moisture; Watermark sensors (Watermark 200SS, Irrometer Company Inc., California, USA) measured soil water tension (compensated for soil temperature by temperature sensors). Weather sensors facilitated the calculation of reference evapotranspiration. The sensors were wired to WiField data loggers (Brinkhoff et al., 2017) to enable the real time monitoring of the readings online (from offices both in Cambodia and Australia) via a WiFi network covering the field. This equipment provided local researchers with low-cost technologies to help manage trials and monitor fields without the need to visit them to manually download data from the sensors.

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