A University of Southern Queensland agriculture researcher will head to the United States to investigate new farming techniques as part of the prestigious Australian-American Fulbright Commission scholarships.
Associate Professor Troy Jensen has been named a Fulbright Scholar. The scholarships are designed to fund academic and cultural exchange between the two countries.
Associate Professor Jensen will spend four months in Florida, Louisiana and Georgia next year, exploring new technologies in sugarcane production.
“Both Australian and American agriculture operates within similar environments of rising production costs, climate variability, pests and diseases and global pressures and demands,” Associate Professor Jensen said.
“For example, their sugar industry are seeing a squeeze on profitability due to rising costs for fuel, nutrients, chemicals, water, electricity and labour.
“Keeping up-to-date on the latest innovations to improve efficiency is what will empower Aussie growers to remain competitive in the world market.”
His research will delve into key areas such as drone-based weed management systems, precision agriculture, sugarcane harvester optimisation and yield monitoring, and take him to the University of Florida, John Deere Factory Thibodaux and the Louisiana State University.
Associate Professor Jensen said the proposed 2023 dates aligned with the later part of the cane harvesting season in Florida, plus some ratooning and plant growth periods, which would allow for a better understanding of the US sugar production system.
“Through research collaboration, fieldwork and data collection, my project aims to explore synergies in this field between research institutions and machinery manufacturers in both the US and Australia.”
The Fulbright Program is the flagship foreign exchange scholarship program of the United States of America, aimed at increasing research collaboration, cultural understanding, and the exchange of ideas.