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Meet Nicole Baxter, our NSW-based associate editor

Nicole’s passion for the grains industry and its people shines through her work and her enthusiasm is highly contagious. Funny, kind and thoughtful, she enlivens our team with the odd costume, craftwork and love of a good aria – more on that below in our #2minuteswithcoretext series.

• Describe your job:   

I interview grains industry researchers and grain growers with the aim of writing articles for the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s GroundCover™ magazine to help grain growers make more money. I also take photographs of growers and researchers. I write a quarterly article for the farming systems group FarmLink and the occasional article for the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

• How long have you worked at Coretext?

Since 2011 as a staff member. And five years before this as a freelancer.

• Best aspect of your job?

I find grain growers and their innovations fascinating, and I am always inspired by any researcher who discovers something new or thinks of a new way to explain something that prompts growers to change how they manage their farms. A case in point is GRDC’s Hyper Yielding Crops initiative. It is research and extension at its finest. Along with advice from their agronomist, it certainly encouraged my family to push harder with urea and work proactively to make sure their wheat crops were protected against diseases such as Septoria tritici blotch and stripe rust.

• Tell us about the photo you’ve provided: 

Although I am uncomfortable in front of the lens, I asked my dad John Baxter to take a photo of me against this wall of canola. It yielded 4t/ha and was two years out of a pasture phase. It also had a stratified acid band, which the family remedied with lime and a hired Horsch Tiger MT, to drive the lime into the subsoil. The crop yielded so well because rainfall was unlimited, the subsoil constraint was fixed and there was a large bank of nitrogen available in the soil for the crop to draw on. So far, it is the highest yielding canola crop on their farm.

• What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I hold a Diploma of Music in vocal performance and learnt how to sing opera.

• What do you want to be remembered for? 

My writing and photography of course. Hah, no, not really. Seriously, I’d like to be remembered for being kind and making people feel valued.

• My earliest memory is: 

Sitting on the bench seat of a Chamberlain tractor with dad when I was two years old. Dad was harvesting at Finley when we lived there.

• I have a talent for: 

Patience. In my spare time, I cross stitch and paint by number.

• Favourite saying: 

Don’t be afraid of the future if you’ve made good use of the present.

• Favourite program:  

I’m enjoying the baroque show on ABC Classic.

• Next year I hope to: 

Hire a Retro RV for a weekend.

• The countries I’d most like to visit are: 

England and Scotland

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