SA operations strengthened


Experienced agronomist and field researcher Orville Hildebrand has been welcomed to Peracto as the newly appointed Regional Manager for the company’s South Australian operations.

Where has your career taken you?

After graduating from Agricultural Science in Adelaide I have held several roles in the agribusiness sector in South Australia and nationally. My early career led me to positions that were research based involving field trials for registration purposes. I have also had roles in plant nutrition including Technical Manager for a natural fertiliser company, supporting sales and marketing. A highlight was touring China, Israel and Tunisia to inspect natural phosphate and potash deposits suitable for import into Australia. Later in my career, I have held several roles as Senior Agronomist working in broadacre, pasture and horticulture markets servicing clients on a local basis. In these roles, field trials were always conducted for local variety evaluation and new agchem products.

What led you to pursuing a role with Peracto?

I have always enjoyed the research side of agriculture and this position as Regional Manager was exactly what I was looking for in my career path. The reduced funding for government departments has created a growing need for private sector to meet the increasing research requirements of industry bodies. Combine this with the phasing out of many older pesticides, due to health and environment issues, a new wave of new chemistry will require evaluation.

What does your role entail?

As Regional Manager South Australia I am responsible for the management of projects conducted in the region by Peracto. Part of the role is to manage relationships with clients, industry bodies and external researchers at a regional level. To grow Peracto business in the region, my role will be to develop and maintain a strong network of co-operators and industry contacts to ensure projects are conducted to client expectations.

What are you most looking forward to in the role?

I am looking forward to renew relationships with industry personnel and growers to pursue common goals in product development and a more sustainable environment for food and fibre production. In the last 10 years the level of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) adoption has increased considerably in many crops grown in SA and I look forward to assist industry to pursue the IPM approach further.

What is unique about working in South Australia?

South Australia has a diverse range of crops with viticulture and broadacre farming leading the way in export dollars. This is complemented by large production areas of fruit and vegetables grown in different regions of the state. There is also a large glasshouse industry at Virginia producing food 12 months of the year. The main vegetable areas grow potatoes, onions and carrots with lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts produced in local areas. As growers are very professional, South Australia is a great place to conduct field studies to complement their future production levels.