Familiar face joins Pulse Australia

Posted in Agronomy alert on Oct 13, 2015

Gordon Cumming (left), national manager, Pulse Australia welcomes Paul McIntosh to the role of northern region industry development manager. (Photo David Martinelli, USQ)

Familiar face joins Pulse Australia

by Cindy Benjamin

Highly experienced commercial agronomist, Paul McIntosh has been working in and around the pulse industry in Queensland through a long and varied career. Pulse Australia national manager, Gordon Cumming is pleased to announce that Mr McIntosh is now joining the peak industry body’s industry development team in Queensland.

“Mr McIntosh brings with him a wealth of experience and a depth of knowledge that is highly valued in our team,” says Mr Cumming. “His determination to assist growers with every aspect of their farming practice has earned him great respect and we are certain that his future contribution to the growth of the pulse industry in Queensland will be enormous.”

Mr McIntosh was introduced to the benefits of grain legumes, now called pulses, back in the late 1960s when his family grew around 250 ha of dryland and irrigated soybean on their farm at Goomeri to supply crushing plants in Narrabri and Newcastle.

“Since then the industry has advanced to an amazing degree,” he says. “Who would ever have thought we’d ever be growing pulses west of Roma and north of Emerald? The plant breeders have done exceptionally well to introduce varieties that are well suited to areas that were previously considered very marginal for these crops.”

Right from the beginning Mr McIntosh has supported growers as they integrated pulses into their cropping sequence, initially to grow a crop reduces the costs associated with nitrogen fertiliser applications. “Pulses are now widely accepted to have many other benefits however their role in nutrient management remains key,” he says. “Having the option to include these legumes in drier environments has positively impacted on the growers’ bottom line across the whole crop rotation.”

Mr McIntosh firmly believes that further advances in the reliability of pulse crops in marginal areas and under difficult seasonal conditions is the way of the industry’s future.

Throughout his career as an agronomist with major commercial entities and in his own agricultural supplies business Mr McIntosh has assisted his clients to grow the best crops possible and now he is looking forward to helping an entire industry to reach its full potential.

With few surprises left in field, other than the odd brown snake, Mr McIntosh is ready to step into a mentoring role backed by a solid understanding of all the challenges that can affect crops and farming families.

Mr McIntosh will continue to provide insights and enthusiastic debate at grower meetings, research forums and industry gatherings. Being an advocate for excellent crop protection and nutrient management he has long contributed to the work of allied industry bodies such as the Australian Mungbean Association.

“There is room for considerable expansion of the area sown to summer and winter pules in the northern region,” he says. “The foreseeable future demand for pulse grains such as mungbean, chickpea and faba bean continues to be strong, supporting profitable returns to growers and the wider economy.”

With the beginning of the International Year of Pulses set to being in just a few months, Mr McIntosh is hoping that the heightened attention on these valuable crops will inspire growers and consumers. “I would encourage growers to seek the information they require to grow the best possible crops within the constraints of each season and invite Australian consumers to find out more about the contribution of pulses to good human health as well as their benefits to the environment,” he says.

As many growers and industry supporters will notice, Mr McIntosh’s appointment as northern region industry development manager is coupled with Mr Cumming moving into the full-time role of national manager for Pulse Australia.

“Having such an experienced operator joining our field team provides me with an opportunity to fully engage with the strategic development of the industry,” says Mr Cumming, “and to further cement the pivotal role that Pulse Australia plays in supporting the sustainable growth of the industry and promoting the value of the high quality Australian grain sold into international markets.”

More information: www.pulseaus.com.au

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