Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Award hat trick for AgResearch scientists

Award hat trick for AgResearch scientists

An AgResearch scientist has become the third at the institute to win a prestigious pastoral science award.

Emeritus Professor Syd Easton, who is based at the AgResearch Grasslands campus in Palmerston North, was awarded the Ray Brougham Trophy for his significant contribution to grassland farming.

The award was presented by the NZ Grassland Trust at the recent NZ Grassland Association conference. Trust chair, Gavin Sheath, made the presentation saying the award acknowledges 40 years of leadership in forage breeding and endophyte technology.

“Syd has made an important contribution in the understanding of endophyte and ryegrass interaction, through innovation and leadership, ” he says.
After graduating from Massey University, Dr Easton joined DSIR in 1970 as a researcher. He then won an NRAC fellowship to work in France and completed his PhD in plant quantitative genetics at the University of Paris.

Dr Easton’s plant breeding achievement is marked by a succession of successful cultivars, some of them breaking new ground. He bred the first late-flowering New Zealand adapted perennial ryegrass cultivar that improved forage quality in late spring.

He also bred the first New Zealand lucerne cultivar that combined grazing tolerance and resistance to blue-green aphid and bacterial wilt; and tall fescue cultivars that have improved palatability and seedling vigor.

Dr Easton led a multi-disciplined endophyte research programme until his retirement in 2011. Within this programme, he made a key contribution to understanding the genetic interaction between the host plant and endophyte. He considers this work as the highlight of his career.

“Over a period of five years in the early 1980s everything changed in our field of work as we realised how important endophyte was,” he says.
He also looks back at a career full of support and collaboration from stakeholders and farmers.

“This has been another highlight for me. I’ve been to other countries where very few people care about the work agricultural scientists do. In New Zealand we are blessed with highly supportive farmers and agricultural professionals who critique but also value and use our science.

“It is great to see our work at work on New Zealand farms.”
Dr Easton also acknowledged the work of the NZ Grassland Association.

“They deserve a plug for the work they do bringing researchers, industry and farmers together in one forum. It is an important role in our industry,” he says.

“I worked with Ray Brougham early in my career. I really value the memory of Ray, the man and his science. I am greatly honoured to receive this award in his name.”

As in past years the Trust will be inviting Dr Easton to do a seminar series in mid-2014.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Shocking Dairy Footage: MPI Failing Our Animals And Damaging Our Reputation

Greens “Nathan Guy needs to urgently look into how his ministry is enforcing animal welfare standards, how these appalling incidents happened under its watch and what it’s going to do prevent similar incidents happening again in the future." More>>


Land & Water Forum: Fourth Report On Water Management

The Land and Water Forum (LWF) today published its fourth report, outlining 60 new consensus recommendations for how New Zealand should improve its management of fresh water and calling on the Government to urgently adopt all of its recommendations from earlier reports. More>>



Welcome Home: Record High Migration Stokes 41-Year High Population Growth

New Zealand annual net migration hit a new high in October as more people arrived from than departed for Australia for the first time in more than 20 years. More>>


Citizens' Advice Bureau: Report Shows Desperate Housing Situation Throughout NZ

CAB's in-depth analysis of over 2000 client enquiries about emergency accommodation shows vulnerable families, pregnant women and children living in cars and garages, even after seeking assistance from the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news