AgMemo - Grains news, August 2018

Page last updated: Thursday, 16 August 2018 - 4:19pm

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Mobile labs improve grain research integrity

DPIRD staff and Minister Alannah MacTiernan at the new mobile labs

Grains sampling and analysis can now be carried out in specialised laboratories in the field, improving the integrity of research.

Two purpose-built mobile research laboratories are set to improve efficiency and enhance the quality of grains research across the Grainbelt.

The tow-along vehicles have been fitted with generators and photo voltaic cells to run scientific equipment, as well as specialised storage cabinets and washing facilities, while the larger van also has a freezer, drying oven and a fume cupboard.

These mobile labs will be used in the field by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) scientists from different disciplines.

They will be able to undertake sampling and analysis on location, before plant material begins to decay or soil samples are disturbed, improving the integrity of the research, while also reducing travel costs.

The Mobile Research Labs have been built with flexibility in mind so they can be used for a range of different purposes by researchers out in the field, such as assisting in plant pest and disease diagnosis in grain crops.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan recently launched the brightly coloured, branded vans which will be seen on WA roads throughout the Grainbelt, as scientists undertake crucial research at department sites and with grower groups and other collaborators.

Visitors to this year’s Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days will have the opportunity to look through the purpose-built facility and get a feel for what it would be like to be a scientist in the field.