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NMIT Agronomy Students Trial New Crops and Pastures on Melbourne’s Northern Fringe

25 Nov 2013

Students from NMIT’s (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) Diploma of Agronomy have conducted crop and pasture trials at NMIT’s Yan Yean farm.

The trial results from the NMIT ‘Teaching Demonstrator’ were recently presented to a host of industry professionals and other interested parties. The trials studied a number of different subjects, varying on the focus of the student.

The crops and pastures that have been sown at the farm include varieties of barley, wheat, oats, canola and annual ryegrass along with a pasture mix.

The plots, visible from Plenty Road, created a buzz in the local community. The unusual assortment of plants such as the brightly flowering Canola are rarely planted in the region. This introduction of unusual species provides information on how those species fair under the local environmental pressures at Yan Yean.

Students worked as individuals, creating hypotheses on different subjects. These were then tested over an eight month period. Whilst some trials were concerned with crop yield, others focussed on the surrounding microbial response or trialled testing methods. The students observed and recorded changes to pests and disease as well as changes to plant growth under these differing conditions.

“We chose a mix of crops that gave the students a snapshot of Australian farming,” said Reanna Clayton, Course Coordinator - Agriculture. “These are the most common broad acre and fodder crops farmed in Australia.”

The NMIT Teaching Demonstrator at Yan Yean allows Agronomy and Agricultural students to learn on an actual farm. “The classroom is actually a working farm, which makes a big difference to the students,” said Reanna Clayton.

To find out more about NMIT’s Diploma of Agronomy, please visit:


Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Coordinator, James Gardener, on 03 92691579, 0413 483 182 or ua.ud1571068745e.tim1571068745n@ren1571068745edrag1571068745semaj1571068745

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) – Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne’s north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce.  NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.

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