BCG honours expert Nick Poole

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Nick Poole has been honoured by BCG with the prestigious Harm van Rees Award for his expertise and commitment to extending best practice in canopy and fungicide management to farmers across the Wimmera and Mallee region. 

The award, which has only been bestowed five times since its inception in 2007, was presented at BCG’s Trials Review Day on Friday to a surprised Nick who thought he was there to deliver a disease management presentation. 

During the presentation, BCG CEO Fiona Best said: “Nick has been instrumental in developing and supporting the adoption of best fungicide and canopy management practices currently used in Australia. Of particular significance is his stripe rust research and extension work as the disease has the potential to cause up to 60 percent yield loss as well as reduce grain quality if not properly managed.  

“Nick has been working with growers in Australia for the past 20 years, providing research-based strategies to growers across Australia. He has worked with BCG from the beginning, leading fungicide diagnostic schools both locally and across borders.  Nick is a true leader in his field having developed integrated disease management strategies including variety choice, fungicide timings and awareness around optimum seasonal conditions to ensure growers are well equipped to make informed economic decisions.” 

 BCG Chairman John Ferrier, supported Fiona’s sentiments, “On behalf of the board of BCG, the members of BCG and farmers across Australia we would like to thank you for the work you have done, and continue to do, to support our cropping systems.” 

“The influence of Nick’s work has been far reaching. It would not be an overreach to suggest that every cereal producer in Australia would be lining up to shake Nick’s hand given the opportunity to thank him for his work. His evidence-based fungicide strategies and his dedication and commitment to ensuring farmers can implement them effectively will be a legacy we can never truly measure.” 

The award’s namesake, Harm van Rees, who attended the event, praised Nick’s work: “BCG is what it is because of the tremendous support of our local farmers, sponsors, funding agencies, staff and of course research supporters of which Nick has been a major contributor. Nick has been a part of BCG’s journey for a long, long time.” 

“Nick has an intrinsic ability to clearly explain, demonstrate and cajole us to think about how crops grow and what the crop needs to optimise its yield potential. Nick is known for his quiet, measured speech, ensuring his audience hangs on every word!  

“I have cherished my time working with Nick and I am really pleased to see his hard work recognised with this award.” 

In accepting the award, Nick, the Director of FAR Australia said: “I’ve always enjoyed working with farming systems groups – it’s such a fantastic way to get the message across to a large number of people. 

“BCG is such a welcoming organisation of which I feel proud to have worked with and continue to work with. Thank you to all involved.” 

The Harm van Rees Award is awarded to a farmer, researcher, agronomist or industry individual who has made a significant contribution to agriculture in the region. The recipient must capture and share the qualities of the award’s namesake, Harm van Rees, in that they are committed to supporting farmers with science delivered in practical messaging. 

The Harm van Rees award was first awarded in 2007 to no-till farming pioneer Allen Postlethwaite, subsequent recipients have been oilseed expert Steve Marcroft, Rob Sonogan, legendary agronomist of the Mallee and the late Tony Rathjen, who was responsible for creating the popular wheat varieties Frame and Yitpi. 

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