Courtney Piesse

ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year 2015

Courtney Piesse
Elders, Kojonup, Western Australia

Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) (Honours); Bachelor of Commerce.

Key crops:
Wheat, Canola, Barley,Oats, Lupins, Faba Beans, Vetch, Lentils, Triticale, Chickpeas.

In your view, what do growers need most from you as their agronomist?
They need me to be across all areas of their business to make every post a winner. From in paddock inspections, soil testing and nutritional planning to farm planning, herbicide resistance management and rotation, IPM, seed sourcing and new innovations. I also need to me someone to bend an ear, many farmers issues don’t lie in the paddock. If we can help them in any way to be a better and more profitable farmer, we should be doing that.

What do you see as the biggest challenges in getting young people involved in agronomy?
Recruitment at an earlier stage, instead of late in university. Career planning, and monitoring progress to ensure they remain happy and willing to work. And, promoting agriculture in a better light to the masses as we do our best to feed the world.

Where do you see the future of agronomy heading?
Agronomists will become more tech-savvy and information holders for their clients. No longer will we just be a paddock inspection machine, we have to be involved in all levels of the business as the industry moves 'from gate to plate'. If we are to make margin, we have to be involved at every step.