Elders Advisor wins top agriculture productivity award
Elders Albury senior agronomist Chris (Desi) Toohey, has taken out a top agriculture award from Syngenta Australia for his extensive work in tackling herbicide resistance.
The Syngenta Growth Awards recognises growers, farm advisors and industry innovators from different regions across Australia and New Zealand. They showcase their contributions in one of four main categories – Productivity, Sustainability, Community and People and Innovator.
National winners were selected by an independent judging panel from more than 40 nominees and aim to recognise growers and advisors who are making a difference to the industry through leadership, best practice and innovation.
Chris was one of those award winners in the Productivity category after being nominated by a territory sales manager from Syngenta; the only one of around 140 potential candidates, to be nominated in the region.
According to Chris, this initial nomination itself was a “huge honour”.
After an extensive process including video submission and a written application to qualify him as a finalist, Chris was asked to answer another series of questions based around sustainability and productivity in agriculture, two of his strengths and passions.
The winners were announced on a virtual ceremony that was livestreamed on Wednesday 11 August.
His successful submission within the productivity category focused on his work within the area of herbicide resistance. Chris says herbicide resistance has been increasing dramatically and can wreak havoc on yields if not managed correctly. He’s been seeing an increase in Glyphosate resistance in his local area that has sparked concern.
He notes that it’s important for growers to be aware of the potential for resistance by rotating the chemical groups they’re using each year, ensuring they stick to the recommended usage guidelines on labels and by keeping up to date with the newer chemicals emerging which could assist.
Another achievement he’s very proud of was being able to establish fully replicable trials to test out varieties and nutrition on crops – giving growers in his region valuable information and insights. These trials were completed with reportable independent data to the equivalent level of which gets reported in scientific journals.
Chris puts his success in these awards down to his willingness to go the extra mile in assisting his region’s growers.
Every year he participates in grower groups, is invited to speak at industry events, attends pre-season meetings, and takes grower groups to view research and development trial sites – as a way of keeping them informed and up to date with the latest data.
He also shares his knowledge and insights freely on social media, having embraced Twitter in recent years.
“For me, it’s about striving to do my best and I’m incredibly passionate about what I do,” says Chris.
“I’m very honoured – and pretty chuffed at gaining the recognition as being among the elite in the industry. It certainly makes putting in so much extra effort, worthwhile.”
On behalf of the entire team at Elders, we congratulate Chris on this fantastic and well-deserved achievement.
For agronomy advice from Elders experts such as Desi contact your local branch.