Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
The Grains Research and Development Corporation has recognised a leading plant pathologist for his achievements in combating fungal disease in grain crops (GRDC). Grant Hollaway, who was crucial in developing disease ratings for cereal types, was named the winner of the Southern Recognizing and Rewarding Excellence Award for 2022 this week. The Recognizing and Rewarding Excellence Award, which is judged by the GRDC southern region panel, honours long-term contributions to the nation’s grains business.
Horsham’s Dr. Hollaway has been with Agriculture Victoria since 1992, and since October 2009, he has served as the department’s senior research scientist in plant pathology. He supervises a group of six scientists that concentrate on developing and extending crop disease management systems. Dr Hollaway’s contribution to the national grains business over decades has been broad and profound, according to Michael Treloar, a GRDC southern panellist and farmer from the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
Mr Treloar added, “Grant is the leader of the GRDC’s national soilborne disease initiative as well as numerous other state-based disease control projects.” “His research programme also contributes significantly to the disease classification of new wheat and barley varieties. “Grant’s competence and experience have been recognised not just in Australia, but also abroad, where he spent a sabbatical working on the rust programme at CIMMYT in Mexico and contributing to nematology training in Turkey, among other things.
“Grant has played a key role in the creation of the cereal disease screening nurseries in Horsham, which have grown to become a massive operation with over 100,000 rows sowed annually for the major Australian breeding businesses and the GRDC.” Dr. Hollaway has served on a number of regional, state, and national bodies. He was one of the founding members of the GRDC’s Southern Regional Cropping Solutions Network, which has since evolved into the National Grower Network. Dr. Hollaway described himself as “stunned and really honoured” to receive the honour and to be recognised among prior recipients. “I started working with Agriculture Victoria in Horsham thirty years ago, and it’s been a tremendous trip. It’s been a privilege to be able to work in such a progressive industry and to make a contribution where I can,” Dr. Hollaway remarked.