A VICTORIAN entomologist’s interest in integrated pest management has gone beyond an interest - it’s become her passion.
Jessica Page was named as this year’s Researcher of the Year at the Hort Connections 2018 Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner in June.
Ms Page is the assistant director at IPM Technologies, and has been with the business since its inception 22 years ago.
Her ongoing research focuses on an IPM system, utilising biological control agents, cultural methods and selective pesticides, rather than relying purely on pesticides.
During that time, she has helped vegetable growers implement IPM strategies, reduce reliance on insecticides and conducted field and laboratory research on post management.
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Ms Page is currently leading a project that will provide information on the effects of pesticides on beneficial species of insects and mites; essential information for making accurate decisions about the use of pesticides in vegetables grown utilising IPM strategies.
“I am really passionate about IPM, and proud of the work we do and difference we make, so it’s really humbling to be named Researcher of the Year,” Ms Page said.
“To be recognised by the industry, Ausveg and Bayer for our research and commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for crop production in Australia is really rewarding.”
The awards recognise the outstanding contributions individuals and companies make to the Australian vegetable industry, with Ms recognised for her excellent research contribution within the field of pest management in vegetable and crop production.
Bayer sponsored 2018 National Awards for Excellence Researcher of the Year Award.
The Researcher of the Year accolade acknowledges an individual or team with a track record of research that has advanced the industry, offering long-term industry benefits, and actively communicates research outcomes and encourages the uptake of outcomes on-farm.
Bayer head of customer marketing with the crop science division, Grant Steyn, said as an inventor company, Bayer was proud to reward the work of researchers like Ms Page and her fellow nominees.
“Jessica’s contribution to the management of pests in vegetable and crop production will positively impact Australian growers with better pest management, reduced crop losses, reduced costs associated with pest control and reduced pressure on available chemistry and subsequent pesticide resistance,” Mr Steyn said.
“Now more than ever, with increased environmental pressures on the sustainable production of crops and vegetation, the need for innovative research to maintain sustainable management and protection of crop production is vital.”
- Copy supplied by Bayer.