The collaboration was born out of a
conviction, shared by both Adama and the university, that there is a
need to improve academic research on weed species in Spain. Both
parties also want to ensure that the knowledge gained by the
researchers is practical and made readily available to growers to
help maintain a sustainable and competitive farming industry.
Commenting on the initiative, Adama Spain’s products and strategy
manager, Manuel Moreno Gordillo, says the aim is to achieve a
synergy through uniting the university’s academic resource with
Adama’s technological experience and knowledge.
Adama will offer scholarships for a university diploma and a master’s degree in practical plant health as part of this aim. It hopes that the students’ research will then lead to the development of strategies and technologies that will improve decision making techniques for farmers, says Gordillo. Among the research, sponsored by Adama, is an investigation into field level weed problems in which members of Spain’s Weed Science Society are providing extensive data. The objective is to create a predictive model of weed species’ emergence patterns using the data provided.
This tool and others will then be made available using mobile phone apps and by providing online advice and educational videos, developed by the students.
A financial element to the deal means the outcomes from research will be owned mutually between the university and Adama, says Gordillo. The university has an additional aim: to help students gain a knowledge of the corporate world. As part of the tie-up, Adama has agreed to offer work placements for the students. This extends the student experience beyond basic studies to encompass relevant physical and practical industry research and will prepare them for their future careers.
Gordillo adds that the whole programme fits with Adama’s long-term commitment to the future of agriculture and its farmer customers.
Both Adama Spain and its customers will also benefit from the training of top students who graduate with a greater knowledge and understanding of practical farming and the issues it faces, he says. Ultimately, Spanish farming will gain with a cutting-edge, science-based, yet practical, approach to tackling the scourge of weeds.