The CSIRO is establishing a state-of-the-art agricultural research facility near Boorowa, NSW.

Boorowa Agricultural Research Station will be a purpose-built 290 hectare facility designed to help develop Australian farms of the future by testing emerging technologies in crop science, agronomy and farming systems. The site will be fully operational by late 2018.

A field at the new Boorowa Agricultural Research Station.

Located around 100km north of Canberra, Boorowa Agricultural Research Station replaces CSIRO’s Ginninderra Experimental Station, which was established just outside of Canberra in 1958 and had a focus on pasture and animal research. The new facility provides a fresh opportunity to study a broad and integrated range of agricultural sciences.

Leading agricultural research

The Boorowa station will feature the latest digital agriculture technologies such as precision agriculture, and remote and non-destructive phenomic crop monitoring. It will also continue CSIRO’s long history in agricultural breeding and genetics, with hundreds of small plots dedicated to the development of new varieties of wheat, canola and grain legumes, as well as pastures. Additionally, the facility will operate experiments on innovative agronomic strategies such as nutrient management, tillage and stubble management, crop and pasture sequences for mixed-enterprise systems, and sowing times.

The station will take a green field approach to farming systems experiments. This may involve long-term studies to investigate changes to the soil over time to better understand the impact of factors such as soil organic matter and soil acidity on farm profitability.

To help design what experiments to run, where to run them, and to provide a baseline to study changes to soil fertility over the decades to come, a comprehensive proximal soil sensing survey of the entire farm is being undertaken to obtain a three-dimensional model of the soil.

Boorowa Agricultural Research Station will assist CSIRO to deliver on its commitment to increase food production in cropping and livestock systems, improve drought tolerance and disease resistance, and improve nutritional values to meet the challenges of the future.

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