Dr Anthony Van Herwaarden1, Dr Rick Bennett2, Mr Trent Potter3, Dr Christopher Lambrides1, Dr Nelson Gororo3, Mr Hank Krakowski5, Dr Vivi Arief1, Mr Winslow Leveque6, Dr Phillip Salisbury7
1The University Of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia,
2Nuseed Pty Ltd, Saskatoon, Canada,
3Nuseed Pty Ltd, Horsham, Australia,
4Yeruga Crop Research, Naracoorte, Australia,
5Conure Aviation Group, Chicago, United States of Ameriaca,
6Queensland Treasury, Brisbane, Australia,
7The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
Renewable diesel and biojet fuels made from fats and oils are the most rapidly growing sector in the biofuels industry around the world. The High-erucic acid content of carinata (Brassica carinata) oil makes it a sought-after feedstock for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). With growing worldwide demand for plant-based sources of protein for animal rations and human consumption, the high-protein seed meal is a co-product with value that rivals that of the oil. In the 2018 winter growing season, twenty field trials were sown across Australia to test the performance of 48 carinata genotypes against 8 commercial canolas. Site mean yield ranged from 0.11 t/ha up to 2.84 t/ha. Across all sites, carinata genotypes produced grain yields similar to Australian canola varieties. All seven of the hybrid carinatas and one hybrid canola line were in the top 10 highest yielding genotypes. Not surprisingly triazine tolerant (TT) canola lines were among the lowest yielding breeding lines. Performance of these carinata genotypes selected on height, maturity and oil alone indicates that further improvements in yield and quality should be possible with future breeding efforts. Implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will introduce a global carbon pricing scheme for the aviation industry. This should kick-start the development of a carinata industry and supply chain in Australia which would provide new employment opportunities associated with this food and biofuel crop, stimulate economic growth and thus provide one avenue to support Australia’s transition to a low-carbon future.
Pre and post PhD Anthony worked with CSIRO Plant Industry in Canberra over 15 years to investigate issues which face productive and sustainable farming communities in Australia. He developed expertise on the nitrogen and carbon dynamics of cereal crops. Most of his work focussed on management and breeding approaches to drought tolerance in wheat working on haying-off, soluble carbohydrates and reduced tillering but it extended to nitrogen uptake dynamics and the canopy architecture of high yielding crops. This work has involved initiating and facilitating collaboration between researchers, consultants and growers to capitalise on synergies between groups. He then moved to Brisbane and worked in business development and commercialisation across the whole of CSIRO. As CSIRO’s QLD State Manager he was integral to the formation of several alliances in health, energy, food and marine research and consolidated research infrastructure to co-locate with research partners. During that time he maintained connections to his science and in 2016 moved back into agricultural science roles at the University of Queensland doing what he loves best, solving industry problems with science.