AHRI has led weeds research for more than 20 years

AHRI has served the Western Australian community for many years with solution-driven research outcomes aiming to produce more crop and fewer weeds. The evolution into the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative was symbolic of the research undertaken by AHRI’s world-leading researchers and its applicability across Australia’s cropping regions.

We started off as WAHRI

In 1999, Professor Stephen Powles secured funding from GRDC to develop the Western Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (WAHRI) at the University of Western Australia (UWA).

Prof Stephen Powles back when he was Director at AHRI in the growth area with wheat.

Professor Stephen Powles back when he was Director at AHRI.

WAHRI evolved into AHRI

WAHRI evolved over time and in 2010, with investment from GRDC, it expanded and was renamed the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative – AHRI. Our team has researchers and staff from all over the world including Australia, China, Italy, and Bolivia. We have also hosted several postdocs and PhD candidates from the United States, Iran, Argentina, Malaysia, New Zealand and more.

This photo is from 2010 and captures the staff who were on board at the time. Many are still in the team today.

20 years of research

AHRI reached a major milestone in 2018 when our team celebrated 20 years as a research group. AHRI has been fortunate to have recruited research experts from around the world in the fields of herbicide technology; resistance mechanisms; agronomy and weed control and resistance surveys, as well as modelling.

Steve Powles opening agronomy lab

Steve Powles opening the new Crop and Weed Agronomy Laboratory in 2018.

In 2018, we also opened our new weed agronomy laboratory at The University of Western Australia. The 100 sqm facility enabled UWA to expand its weed research capability and agronomic research facilities.

The $1.16 million laboratory had investment of $1 million grant from the Grains Research and Development Development Corporation.

2019-2022 Prof Hugh Beckie

After 20 years as AHRI Director, Professor Stephen Powles retired in 2018 and globally recognised Canadian agronomist, Professor Hugh Beckie took over as the AHRI Director. Hugh remained Director during the turbulent COVID years and retired to return to his family in Canada at the end of 2022.

AHRI Director Hugh Beckie leaning on a tree in front of glass houses at UWA

In 2023 AHRI embraces a new chapter with Prof Ken Flower

In 2023 we welcomed UWA Associate Professor Ken Flower as the new Director of the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI). Ken has been involved in AHRI projects for several years, contributing his substantial knowledge in no-till and agronomy to the AHRI Agronomy team, before becoming the Director in February 2023. With a broad farming systems skillset, including conservation farming/no-till systems, agronomy and cropping systems, precision agriculture, and weed control, Ken will ensure AHRI remains at the forefront of delivering efficient weed control solutions to Australian broadacre growers. Ken’s vision for AHRI is to develop cropping systems with reduced dependence on herbicides for weed control.

AHRI Director Ken Flower has been with AHRI since February 2023.

Get access to short and sharp insights into the world of more crop, fewer weeds with AHRI Insight.
Subscribe Now