CSIRO and food production: securing our food future

Crop research

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Our scientists have developed new techniques to integrate farming operations and crop varieties to deal with many of the challenges to plant food production that lie ahead. 

Maximising resource use efficiency in crop production means there is less environmental impact, less costs to farmers and increased yields.

Our researchers are breeding varieties of food crops and developing farming systems to produce crops with:

  • higher yields 
  • improved reproduction
  • tolerance to droughts and increased carbon dioxide 
  • tolerance to extreme conditions
  • greater resistance to pests and diseases.

Some examples of the work we do:

Salt tolerant wheat

In a world first, CSIRO researchers have developed a salt tolerant durum wheat containing a new sodium-exclusion gene that yields 25 per cent better in salty soils (6:04)

International C4 Rice Consortium

In collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute, CSIRO is part of a major international food security initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The latest equipment for farmers: wireless sensor networks

CSIRO is providing sensor web and smart sensor network solutions to the agricultural sector.

As cold as rice

CSIRO scientists are working to produce rice and wheat varieties that can better withstand extreme conditions, an essential adaptation to ensure abundant food supply as the world climate changes. (5:39)

Saving wheat crops worldwide

CSIRO Plant Industry scientists and international collaborators have discovered the key to overcoming three major cereal diseases, which in epidemic years cost wheat growers worldwide in excess of AUS$7.8 billion.

Peter Dodds - saving the world from hunger

CSIRO Plant Industry scientist, Dr Peter Dodds, has been named by the leading science journal Nature as one of five crop researchers who could change the world. In this podcast, Dr Dodds talks about the research that has attracted this acclaim. (5:21)