MAKING inroads that help winter cropping producers throughout the country improve their operations often stems from scientific research.
Dr Andrew Milgate is a senior research scientist, winter cereal pathology, with NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) based in Wagga. He joined the DPI 17 years ago and has a role that involves leading pathology and crop disease research which ultimately helps to achieve better outcomes in the cropping sector.
6.30am: The day starts with breakfast, a cup of tea with wife Nadine and making lunches for daughters Macy, 15, and Ruby, 13. Then everyone heads off to work or school.
8:45am: “I like to be here to start checking emails and then prioritise tasks for the day,” Dr Milgate said.
At this time there is also an opportunity to deal with any project issues and check in on other team members or see if anyone needs any assistance.
10am: It’s time to head over to the cafe at Charles Sturt University for morning coffee.
12.30pm: Lunch is usually onsite.
1pm: “I check on the experiments we have running and see if there are any problems,” he said.
Some of the work currently being done occurs at the glasshouse area at the Wagga site.
“At the moment we are running pathotyping experiments for septoria tritici (a disease),” he said.
2pm: This time is used for more report writing, or preparing proposals and papers.
3.30pm: NSW DPI plays a role in diagnosing samples which may have been sent in by landholders or agronomists. These samples can come from as far away as Western Australia or Tasmania.
5pm to 5.30pm: This time is used for checking the day’s emails and responding to requests.
6pm: The dropping off and picking up for Dr Milgate’s daughters, who attend dancing lessons, begins.
There is also chance for him to complete a swim at the Oasis before heading to the supermarket.
9pm: Dinner with the family and then maybe a glass of wine to catch up on the events of the day.
10.30pm: Off to bed.