Local farmer Stuart McDonald from “Belmont” Canowindra has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship for 2018. Stuart operates a 1,363 hectare sheep, cattle and cropping enterprise, north of Canowindra. The property comprises 1,050 hectares of cropping made up of mainly wheat and canola as well as lupins, chickpeas and oats. He also runs a selfreplacing flock of 1,400 merino ewes and 50 stud Illawarra dairy cows.
Stuart will research how continuous grain cropping with the aid of livestock can be sustained in a high rainfall environment and chose this topic as there has been little research done on continuous cropping in the local area. He believes utilising winter grazing crops for livestock feed can enhance soil mineral and nitrogen uptake in subsequent crops.
When asked about his Nuffield Scholarship win he said “I am looking forward to the challenge of it all, it is a bit daunting but also exciting at the same time.” Stuart plans on visiting Singapore, Qatar, India, Europe and America for a six week period during June
and July next year.
“Continuous cropping is not commonly practiced in our mixed farming environment where high rainfall and good soils equally
lend themselves to producing crops or high quality pastures,” Stuart said. Stuart said “The Nuffield Scholarship is an opportunity to address the current knowledge gaps around continuous cropping in high rainfall areas with the aid of livestock, and to apply these learnings onfarm, so as to grow a more profitable and sustainable business.”