APPLIED AG SCIENCE, TRULY TOLD - A COMMUNITY DAY WITH CLOUT

13 SEPTEMBER 2013, WALPEUP, VICTORIA
Summary
Regional professional financial and agronomy services consultant Dodgshun Medlin have renewed their commitment to continued independent research and development at Walpeup’s Mallee Research Station (MRS). The business are inviting the community and interested farmers alike to the site to see first hand progress of a number of trials in a bid to keep the much loved community asset open.

Regional professional financial and agronomy services consultant Dodgshun Medlin has renewed its commitment to continued independent research and development at Walpeup’s Mallee Research Station (MRS). The company’s agricultural R&D team is currently conducting more than 70 trials and demonstrations at Walpeup and other Mallee sites. These include National Variety Testing, agronomic management, crop rotational practices, weed management, herbicide evaluation, crop nutrition, seeder evaluations and more.


In celebration of the continued use of MRS, Dodgshun Medlin is inviting farmers and the community at large to an open day at the facility, on Tuesday September 17th, to see first hand the progress of a broad variety of current trials. Results based around the continued advancement of dryland agriculture in the Mallee will be interpreted and discussed for those attending on the day.


‘In terms of research, this station would be pretty much defunct without Dodgshun Medlin’s dedication to R&D,’ says former MRS employee Ivan Mock – now a research scientist with the Swan Hill-based company. ‘When the government bailed out, the future of independent research in the Mallee was in jeopardy. It was not only the research and development jobs that were lost but the progress being made in improving farming in this part of the world was also wound back. Then Dodgshun Medlin stepped in and is still the only company using this facility for its stated purpose.’


Mock says the nub is ‘independence and regional relevance’: ‘There is plenty of research going on in Australia. The problem is that much of it is linked with selling one product or another. It’s pure economics. You are not going to see outcomes that say, “Hey! In certain sets of conditions the product we have been testing at huge expense is actually a waste of time.” I am concerned when I see the words “science” and “vested interest” even remotely associated. Dodgshun Medlin has no vested interest in any of the products we evaluate so no one is paying us to be nice.’


So who does pay for it? Rent of the land, staffing, equipment and other resources? The answer is Dodgshun Medlin. The business underwrites the extensive financial cost of their R&D, which on occasion can be offset by research grants from federal and state government sources, the GRDC and others.


‘Someone had to take up the slack,’ says the businesses’ agriculture chief Danny Conlan, ‘We can’t give confident, useful advice to our Ag clients and the farming community in general by passing on supplier publicity. We have to know, as in for sure. Call it a “community cause”. R&D has become a significant cost to the business but it’s also significant to the future of farming in the Mallee and for that matter, all it’s dependent communities.’


‘The experimentation being done at Walpeup is extraordinary,’ says Dodgshun Medlin’s GM Mark Dodgshun, ‘We [the Dodgshun family] have been on the land a fair time but the R&D people are in an altogether different league. As far as our own farm is concerned, whatever they say goes. It means we rarely put a foot wrong.’

‘There’s sure to be something in it for every farmer,’ says Danny Conlan about the Open Day, ‘Tip here, emerging outcome there. And all hugely interesting for anyone with a love of the land. But you know, we would also love to see the whole community take an interest and come out to say hi and see what we’re doing and maybe even say “well done”. Science is one thing but feeling that the community is behind you and have an appreciation of what you are doing and the investment you are making is important to the guys and girls doing the hard yards out there. There could be nothing more encouraging than a good turnout on the day. It would also provide a strong statement to DEPI to continue to make the research station available to support community interests’.

About Dodgshun Medlin

Dodgshun Medlin is a generations-deep provider of holistic business management, wealth creation, agronomy services and accountancy guidance to the Victorian & South Australian Mallee & Wimmera Regions.