Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO officially opened its new $11.5 million agriculture research station in southern NSW, delivered with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund.
Equipped with highly advanced digital agriculture technologies, including sensors for real-time crop monitoring, weather stations and digital analytics, the new Boorowa Agriculture Research Station replaces CSIRO’s 60 year old Ginninderra Experimental Station, where a wide range of high-yielding, disease resistant varieties of wheat were trialled and refined over the years.
Dr Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, Director of CSIRO Agriculture and Food, said the digitally enabled farm would develop and test world-leading farming technologies that will help increase food production at a time when Australia’s agriculture industries are facing major challenges, especially with the current drought.
“Here at Boorowa, we’ll be trialling new varieties of wheat, canola, legumes and pastures that can withstand warmer and drier conditions, such as those predicted for the future,” Dr Campagne continued.
“We’ll also continue to research the best farming practices to manage our fragile soils and get the most from every drop of water.”
“The better we can understand how plants grow and produce in a real farming environment – not just the lab – the more we can help Australian agriculture meet its $100 billion target.”
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said CSIRO’s new research station – which took four years to design and build – demonstrated the nation’s ‘investment and commitment to innovative agriculture’.
“We’re aiming for an Australian agriculture industry worth $100 billion by 2030. Cutting-edge research and technology will be key to achieving that goal,” Minister Andrews concluded.