CSIRO and food production: securing our food future

Sustainable agriculture and natural resource management

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Australia's agriculture is highly susceptible to climate variability and change. There are increasing constraints on irrigation water availability, changes in soils, land use, pests, diseases, biodiversity decline, and changes in markets and social systems.

Many countries, including Australia, are facing increased degradation of natural resources. Key CSIRO research is informing the sustainable use of land and water for food and fibre production, healthier environments, biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods.

Some examples of the work we do:

Adapting to climate change: managing climate risk for farm and food

With climate change complicating the agriculture and food production picture there will be winners and losers across the globe. (4:37)

Advancing Agricultural Productivity and Environmental Health

Sustainable Agriculture Flagship researchers are working to achieve innovative yet practical solutions for more reliable systems for food supply with increasingly limited resources.

The how-to of adapting agriculture to climate change

As climate change becomes a reality in Australia, a team of experts, including scientists from CSIRO, have published a book containing solid information to help farmers adapt to growing food under changed conditions. (5:31)

Crops ready for a different future climate

CSIRO has studied traits of wheat, sorghum and sugarcane varieties better able to cope with anticipated future climate conditions.

Breeding better cereal varieties and improving crop management

CSIRO researchers are investigating the sustainable agricultural production of wheat, barley and rice varieties suited to changing national and global conditions.

Carbon and rural land use: key findings

This report brings together much of the latest research on emission reduction and offsets in rural land, including the potential of forests as carbon sinks.

20 years on and conservation farming grows up

A long-term experiment to find practical solutions for crop management using sustainable farming strategies recently concluded on an 8000ha farm near Harden in NSW with promising results. (5:40)

Improving processes for flushing contaminants from groundwater

CSIRO research has significantly improved the process and design of remediation systems using air sparging and multiphase extraction to treat fuel spills that contaminate groundwater systems.

Photo of experimental monitoring equipment in vineyard near Griffith, New South Wales. 1991

CSIRO's national irrigation research and development program is addressing a range of issues including water savings, water allocation, groundwater-dependent irrigation systems, irrigation system harmonisation and climate risk management.

Biodiversity in the Paddock: a Land Managers Guide

A new CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems handbook on sustainability of native pastures, Biodiversity in the Paddock, is a practical field guide to help graziers and land managers achieve biodiversity outcomes alongside the utilisation of native pastures. (30 pages)

Discover more about our National Research Flagships.