The message was loud and clear on what National Agriculture Day is all about from the University of Sydney’s Institute of Agriculture in Narrabri.
Crop mapping plans took a back seat as a team went to work to create this piece of ‘agwork’ as part of the National Agriculture Day activities across the country.
The 216 metre wide and 60m high lettering was achieved with a plane used to capture the GPS precision harvesting in the field of wheat.
The food for thought does not come without a cost – the food art will impact on the crop mapping on the 280ha paddock.
This is a small price to pay, say the ‘agvocates’, when considering what’s at stake – on this property alone the crop is expected to produce 840 tonnes of durum wheat – the equivalent of about one million packets of pasta.
Research underway is looking at the potential for heat- and drought tolerance using natural breeding techniques.
University of Sydney director of northern agriculture Dr Guy Roth, Narrabri crop research campus, said he was talking with the cropping supervisor Kieran Shephard and they came up with the idea of cutting the word food into the wheat they were about to harvest.
“The word food is only four letters, and we managed that with our state-of-the-art 12m-wide header; Kieran put the metrics into the header’s high-tech navigation system and harvested the letters,” Dr Roth said.
“Whether it is a loaf of bread or a fresh cherry, a lot of technology and management combine to produce the best food in the world.”
Professor Alex McBratney, the director of the University’s Sydney Institute of Agriculture that launched recently, said agribusiness offered Australia one of the largest opportunities for sustained economic growth in the coming decades.
Professor McBratney said the Institute was optimistic about agriculture in Australia and excited about its projected growth from a $60 billion to a $100 billion industry.
“National Agriculture Day is an important tool in reconnecting producers and consumers and hopefully our magnificent photo from Narrabri helps to do that,” Professor McBratney said.
“The current disconnect between consumers of agricultural products and the producer needs to be addressed for agriculture to be a sustainable part of our nation.
“The Sydney Institute of Agriculture’s research will focus on reconnecting consumers and producers.”