Advancing crop research and sustainability

wheat cropped

CSIRO research has led to advancements that impact many aspects of our lives, from the way we conduct our finances to the way we communicate.

Some of CSIRO’s most well-known innovations include WiFi, Australia’s plastic banknotes, extended wear contact lenses and the insect repellent Aerogard.

Our scientists work on solving the nation’s and the world’s biggest challenges across a vast array of research fields.

In agriculture and plant science, CSIRO scientists work on projects ranging from improving grain and crop yields to sustainable farming.

The Ginninderra Field Station has been a key site for some of this research. Our innovations in barley and wheat crops, conducted at this site, have led to improvements in yields, quality and disease resistance, and are making an impact on a national and global scale.

This work includes the development of BARLEYmax, a whole grain with four times the resistant starch and twice the dietary fibre of regular barley grains.

Now used in a wide range of commercially available food products, BARLEYmax offers superior health benefits and can help combat cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. Read more about BARLEYmax here.

Ginninderra has also played host to CSIRO’s rotation and dual-purpose cropping work. This work, supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation, has seen CSIRO breed and release more than 10 dual-purpose feed wheat varieties in the last 15 years.

In addition to plant breeding, the Ginninderra site has played an important role in the work of CSIRO and partners in crop and pasture improvement, soil biology and crop productivity, sustainable farming, and the effects of climate change on crop production and soil carbon.

The recent purchase of 290 hectares of land in the heart of farming country at Boorowa, NSW, will ensure that CSIRO can not only continue this breakthrough research, but do so more effectively at a green field site set up to maximise the use of new technologies. You can find out more about the Boorowa farm here.

Boorowa farm to carry on agriculture research from Ginninderra

Aerial view of Boorowa Farm

Aerial view of the Boorowa Farm

While moving away from the Ginninderra Field Station and all it’s contributed to agricultural research is a big change, we are very excited about the opportunities of a new farm.

We have purchased 290 hectares of land at Boorowa in New South Wales to continue our agricultural research program.

Boorowa is a farming region of NSW, located approximately 100 kilometres from the Ginninderra site.

The new farm, at less than half the size of the land at Ginninderra, will be easier to maintain and can be used more efficiently. Starting fresh at a new farm also means we have a new opportunity to use the latest digital farming technology from the outset.

CSIRO Agriculture Director Dr John Manners said he is looking forward to continuing CSIRO’s world leading agricultural science from the new farm.

“Establishing a new facility in a rural area allows us to take a green field approach to the site and our science,” Dr Manners said.

“This can enable us to conduct research into very new ways of farming, including the application of digital farming technologies. The new site is approximately 100 kilometres from our current site, allowing our Canberra researchers to continue their field trials on the new site.”

CSIRO’s acquisition of the land has been welcomed by local leaders including Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor and Mayor of Boorowa Shire Council, Wendy Tuckerman.

“Boorowa is one of Australia’s most significant areas for primary production and I am delighted its reputation will continue to be synonymous with agricultural excellence,” Mr Taylor said.

“Breakthroughs in technology have defined Australian agriculture. Hosting the customised farm research facility will ensure a long and beneficial relationship between the region and CSIRO.”

Mayor of Boorowa Shire Council, Wendy Tuckerman said the purchase of a farm in the local government area was fantastic news for the region.

“The purchase of the land in Boorowa by CSIRO has been a big win for the region,” Mayor Tuckerman said.

“We hope that this purchase brings researchers, scientists and staff to the region and pays dividends for both CSIRO and the community. We look forward to working with CSIRO into the future for the best outcomes of the region and the country.”

We will be looking at constructing our facilities on the property in the 2016-2017 financial year, subject to approvals.

We are excited to see how the new farm at Boorowa will advance Australian agricultural science.