The Poggendorff Lecture
Walter Poggendorff was a biologist and plant breeder with a particular interest in the breeding of rice. In 1928, the Yanco Rice Research Station was established by the NSW Department of Agriculture with approximately 670 acres just south of Leeton on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. A brilliant young biologist, Walter Poggendorff was transferred there as an assistant plant breeder.
Poggendorff’s early accomplishments included recognizing the need to quarantine imported rice and producing strains of rice that were able to offer growers late, mid-season, early and very early short-grain varieties. He also developed similar long-grain strains but these were not required by the market until much later. Poggendorff is recognised as one of the major figures in establishing the Australian rice industry, developing high-yield crops for Australian conditions and maintaining controls on imports to limit the introduction of serious diseases. Poggendorff’s work was not confined to rice – in the 1930s and 1940s, he worked with peaches, apricots, pears, almonds, grapes and rock melons. Later, he became Chief of the Division of Plant Industry in the NSW Department of Agriculture.
When he died in 1981, he made a bequest to the Royal Society of NSW to fund a lecture.
|Year & Lecturer|
|1987 D.G. McDonald
1992 E.J. Corbin
1993 S. Barker
2013 G.M. Gurr