July 10, 2012
The Farrer Memorial Medal recipient for 2012, Professor Graeme Hammer, will focus on the future challenges facing Australian crop improvement, when he delivers the annual Farrer Memorial Oration today. Professor Hammer is currently employed as Professor in Crop Science and Director, Centre for Plant Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Farrer Memorial Trust Chairman, Dr Richard Sheldrake, said Professor Hammer will be presented with the 2012 Farrer Memorial medal during the ceremony at the QAAFI Annual Research meeting in Queensland. “Professor Hammer has been recognised internationally for his pioneering work in using crop modelling to support plant breeding and crop improvement in Australia,” Dr Sheldrake said. “In his presentation Professor Hammer will cover in detail how integrating advanced technologies is needed to enhance Australia’s capabilities to improve crop yield,” he said. “Professor Hammer said, enhanced rates of crop improvement via genetic alteration of plants and improved crop management are needed to satisfy the projected global food needs and to meet the pressures of climate change. “The new technologies becoming available increase our powers to break down biological complexity so that we can predict consequences of genetic and management changes. “These advances underpin the new era of crop improvement needed to generate the innovations driving future yield of field crops,” Professor Hammer said. “Professor Hammer will also provide specific examples in his oration for improving effective use of available water in sorghum, Dr Sheldrake said. “His innovative methods have advanced plant breeding and agricultural practice in a way that has benefited farmers and enhanced Australian crop production,” he said. The medal is awarded annually to a person who has provided distinguished service in agriculture science in the areas of research, education, extension or administration. The Farrer Memorial Medal was established in 1911 in memory of William James Farrer 1845 – 1906 who is known as the ‘father’ of Australian wheat industry due to his breeding of the variety of wheat Federation that advanced the wheat industry.