Geoff in discussion with Prof Cheng Jiaan – entomologist and recent Vice President of Zhejiang University
Geoff Norton visited Hangzhou, China in mid-November to give a series of lectures at Zhejiang University and at Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences to discuss a number of issues with Chinese colleagues, including:
- Recent Lucid activities in China (see Spotlight article) and plans for future collaboration.
- Discussing projects using the Lucid platform for developing tools to support the diagnosis of rice pest, disease and other disorders and to develop a complementary tool aimed at supporting decisions regarding the most appropriate “Green” cropping systems for specific rice farms.
Work has recently begun on a major update of the Lucid based ‘Tropical Forages’ key. The original forage plant selection tool, funded by a number of international donor organisations, was created as the result of a collaborative effort by international forage specialists between 2000 and 2005, including CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, the Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries (Qld), the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
In October this year, Matt Taylor travelled to Frankfurt, Germany to participate in a workshop, involving colleagues from CIAT, based in Columbia, and colleagues from Australia, who were the original CSIRO experts involved in the first release. Funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), this major update will include an extensive review and revision of the content of the original Tropical Forages key and its improved deployment as a Java script browser key and as a Lucid Mobile app.
In March Geoff Norton visited The Faculty of Agriculture at the Universiti Putra (UPM), Selangor, Malaysia to give a public lecture on the use of Lucid for facilitating the development of decision support tools. Following the lecture, Geoff had discussions with various UPM staff and then visited Dr Sivapragasam (Regional Director of the CABI – South East Asia office) and other CABI colleagues to discuss potential links on crop diagnostics.