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Dunkeld's Peter Flinn - awarded AM for significant services to agricultural

Peter Flinn - awarded Australia Day honours for significant service to Agricultural research.

Pioneering the use of a new technology in Victoria's feed and fodder industry that is still in wide use more than 30 years later has earned Dunkeld's Peter Flinn an Australia Day honour.

In the 1980s, the Hamilton-based analytical chemist won a five-year battle for funding to be able to use a technique known as near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) to test feed and fodder quality.

At that time, traditional laboratory methods for measuring protein, fibre and energy in agricultural materials like hay, silage, grain and pasture was time consuming and dated back to the 19th century.

His plan was to use the NIR technique, which had already found success in the measurement of protein in grain, to rapidly test the quality of other agricultural commodities and he became the first to do it in the fodder industry.

When the technology was first used it would take up to 12 hours to run the data but now, with advances in technology, it takes just two minutes.

After leaving the agricultural department, Mr Flinn continued to work on a 20-year wide-ranging Australia-wide feed and grain research project.

Full article, The Standard, Warrnambool


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