Local agronomist, Nick Eyres has taken the time to chat about life in the Agricultural industry and an exciting upcoming project with NACC NRM.
Nick grew up in Broome Hill and spent some time in Geraldton throughout his childhood, later returning in 2016 to put down roots.
Growing up on a farm created an attachment to agriculture for Nick and even after moving, he spent many a school holiday visiting the country, keeping his passion for ag alive.
After finishing school in Perth, Nick attended the University of Western Australia, initially studying engineering before changing courses to agriculture.
Nick says he believes the Northern Agricultural Region boasts unique opportunities for farmers and landholders alike.
“The climate is so variable and the summers so long, it makes for some pretty cool things to explore that allow you to leave a positive footprint in the industry,” Nick said.
“In general, farming up here is hard, fast and you have very little time to get things wrong before you have to wait another year to give it another crack, so making an entire production system more robust for the long term when you have to deal with all this, is pretty exciting.”
As an agronomist, Nick spends a fair bit of time out in the field, interacting with local farmers and landholders and says this is where real research into agriculture takes place.
“I think there is a tendency among the general community that the ‘research’ is done by ‘researchers’, but what seems to have been forgotten is that science is a proof of an observation and very rarely does science set out to discover something completely new, without knowing or having seen the application in the real world,” said Nick.
“In the paddock we are the ones making the observations and it is these observations that will direct scientific research and the industry research on a whole, so we need to be making constant and new observations of old and new ideas to give those with the capacity to prove it for or against.”
NACC NRM has recently established a partnership with Elders Rural Services and Yuna Farm Improvement Group (YFIG) in a new Smart Farms project aimed at improving soil health in the Northern Agricultural Region, starting with small trials on two properties in the region.
Nick has been instrumental to the initiation of this project and says he hopes it will lead to further trials in the future and in more parts of the region.
“What we want to get out of this project is to get more people interested in trying new ways of getting legumes into their farming systems and increase the awareness,” Nick said.
“I’ve never been involved in a project like this before but legume projects have been around since day dot. They’ve mainly been focused on grain legumes which makes this particular project a lot more exciting.”
In future years, Nick said he’d like to see more support for inquisitive minds, out there ideas and big picture thinkers.
“We as an industry, a community and a globe, still have so much to learn and learning new things only comes from trying new things, especially more than once.”