James Pratley’s original contributions were to the development of conservation farming in Australia. This led to concerns about herbicide resistance and a national herbicide resistance testing service was established at CSU and has provided a quality service for 17 years.
A major achievement was a world-first discovery of evolved resistance in annual ryegrass to the word’s most important herbicide glyphosate (Roundup®) which attracted much attention. More recently he has been involved in the evaluation of genetically modified canola in Australia particularly in respect of weed management with these technologies.
He has undertaken studies, in conjunction with his research students, on the biology of several weed species that have impact on agricultural systems including silvergrass, annual ryegrass, wild oats, fumitory, starfruit, water plantain, dirty dora and arrowhead.
In the search for herbicide alternatives the research group at CSU has helped improve credibility in allelopathy research in pastures, wheat and rice such that the 4th World Congress on Allelopathy was awarded to CSU and held in August 2005.
James Pratley is a recipient of three ARC Discovery Grants as a principal chief investigator. He has also had funding from GRDC, RIRDC and CRCs in Weed Management Systems and Sustainable Rice.
He was Foundation Dean of Science and Agriculture at Charles Sturt University from 1990 until 2006.
He has taught courses in agronomy and related areas. He has edited three books, written 20 book chapters, published more than 70 research papers and more than 70 conference papers. He is a former President of the Australian Society of Agronomy and former Vice President of the International Allelopathy Society.
He has served on the Boards of the Cooperative Research Centres of Viticulture, Sustainable Rice Production, Weed Management Systems and Plant Based Management of Dryland Salinity. He is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Australian Farm Institute, the NSW Primary Industries Minister’s Science Council and the federal Minister’s Rural Research and Development Council.
International Allelopathy Society Molisch Award for research Excellence in AllelopathyCouncil of Weed Societies (CAWS) Medal