Our diverse research in animal science, agriculture, aquaculture, sustainable farm management and sustainable food production is providing solutions for cropping, livestock production, aquaculture, horticulture and the food industry.

About our agriculture and food research

Our Agriculture and Food team is helping Australian farmers and industry improve productivity and sustainability. These presentations provide information about our agriculture research capabilities, facilities and success stories.

Success stories

Transforming the cotton industry

Our cotton research expertise including molecular biology, plant breeding, crop management and post-harvest processing has resulted in top quality cotton and reduced pesticide and herbicide use. Currently, 100 per cent of the Australian cotton crop is grown from CSIRO-bred varieties. Half the dryland cotton in the United States and about one-third of the cotton in Brazil, Turkey and Greece benefits from CSIRO-bred varieties. Find out more about our cotton research.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: We asked CSIRO]

[Image changes to show Graham walking through cotton field and close ups of the cotton plants]

Peter Graham: CSIRO relocated its cotton breeding activities to Narrabri in the early 80's. Cotton Seed Distributors is a small commercial seed company based in Wee Waa.

[Image changes to Peter Graham of Cotton Seed Distributors]

The relationship between the two parties is one of the most important relationships, I believe, in the Australian cotton industry.

[Image changes to show Graham walking through a cotton field, camera pans to show processing buildings on the edge of the field]

[Image changes back to Peter Graham]

Today we are the only commercial company providing the Australian cotton industry with germ plasm.

[Image changes to show blue seeds falling through a hand]

[Image changes to a view inside a warehouse with pallets of seed stacked high]

One hundred percent of the varieties we are selling today come from CSIRO. So any cotton grower who is producing cotton today, is growing CSIRO bred material.

[Image changes to show a man walking across the warehouse floor towards stacks of pallets, with a close up of 20 kilogram bags of cotton seed]

[Image changes back to Peter Graham]

The material that CSIRO has produced contains high yield, high quality, disease tolerance and is widely adaptable. Since the introduction of biotechnology in the CSIRO varieties, we've seen a significant reduction of insecticide use.

[Image changes to a close up of a dragon fly on a cotton plant]

In fact, numbers quoted in the industry, indicate a reduction of up to 85% of the pesticides we were using in the industry.

[Image changes to a close up of blossoms on a cotton plant]

[Camera pans the entire cotton field and processing buildings]

In the middle of one of the worst droughts Australia has experienced, we asked CSIRO to consider a long term relationship with us.

[Image changes to show a greenhouse and view of plants inside]

That relationship was negotiated when the cotton industry was basically on its knees.

[Image changes back to Peter Graham]

Today CSIRO material has been grown in the U.S, South America, South Africa and in Europe. The majority of the success of this variety however has been in the Australian market.

[Image changes to a close up of the greenhouse cotton plants]

[Image changes back to Peter Graham]

As we look across the whole of agriculture, there are a lot of great things CSIRO have done, CSIRO are doing, and I'm sure CSIRO are looking at doing in the future.

[Image changes to another close up of the greenhouse cotton plants]

[Image changes back to Peter Graham]

We are now in a very lucky position, so that the Australian cotton grower can be assured of receiving the varieties that will keep him competitive year in, year out from CSIRO and C.S.D.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

We asked CSIRO - Cotton Seed Distributors :  Cotton Seed Distributors on working with us

Kebari® barley

Our researchers used conventional breeding techniques to develop Kebari® barley, a world-first barley grain that meets the World Health Organization's recommendation for classification as gluten-free. The first commercially-produced product made with Kebari® grain is Radeberger's Pionier gluten-free beer, now available in Germany. Find out more about Kebari® barley.

[Music plays, CSIRO logo appears on bottom right hand corner of screen and text appears: Kebari®M barley, A CSIRO innovation]

[Image changes to show Dr Crispin Howitt and text appears on screen: Dr Crispin Howitt]

Dr Crispin Howitt: One in five people in the Western world avoid gluten in their diet, some by choice, and some through necessity, such as Coeliac’s. Their diets are often nutritionally poor, high in fat and sugar, and low in fibre. To help solve this problem we’ve developed the world’s first gluten free barley.

[Image changes to show a man inspecting barley plants]

Using conventional breeding we’ve reduced the gluten content in this grain over 10,000 fold, such that it more than meets the World Health Organisation’s recommendation for classification as gluten free.

[Image changes to show Dr Crispin Howitt standing in a field]

This field behind me came from a single barley grain that we developed in 2009.

[Image changes as camera pans across the field]

[Image changes to show Dr Phil Larkin and text appears on screen: Dr Phil Larkin]

Dr Phil Larkin: We’ve called this barley Kebari®, and that’s, too, in recognition of quite a remarkable archaeological discovery not so long ago at the Sea of Galilee. There was a community there called the Kebaran, 23,000 years ago they were growing and harvesting and processing barley, so we call it Kebari® in honour of that very ancient use.

The first version of Kebari® we’ve produced is a hulled version, that’s got the husk still on it, and that’s used for malting and making beer, and stuff like Milo as well.

[Image changes to show Kebari® grains in the palm of a person’s hand]

We’ve got naked grain versions coming on behind that, which will be used for food.

[Image changes back to Dr Phil Larkin]

Kebari® has been used by a German brewer called Radeberger, who have made the world’s first commercially brewed, full flavoured barley beer labelled gluten free.

[Image changes to show a beer bottle appearing to the right of the screen]

And that’s now available in Germany. We’re excited about that.

[Image changes back to Dr Crispin Howitt]

Dr Crispin Howitt: From a single seed came all of this.

[Image changes to show Dr Crispin Howitt holding up a seed in his hand, then spreading out his arms, and the camera pans out to show the barley crop growing in the field behind him]

[Image changes to show beer being poured into a glass from a bottle labelled Pionier Glutenfrei Pilsener]

[Text appears on screen: www.csiro.au/Kebari]

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

Kebari® ultra low gluten barley

NovacqTM prawn feed

NovacqTM prawn feed is an natural food source produced by marine microbes, developed by CSIRO. NovacqTM is helping Australian prawn farmers grow bigger, healthier prawns sustainably, faster and cheaper. The production of NovacqTM commenced under licence in Australia, and in China and Vietnam, two of the world's largest producers of farmed prawns. As of early 2017, license arrangements for NovacqTM technology with Ridley Aquafeeds were extended to the rest of the world (excluding China and Vietnam). Find out more about our aquaculture research.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Taking NovacqTM prawn feed to the world]

[Images move through of a truck parked at the Ridley Aqua Feed Mill, workers inside the mill, a male shovelling feed and the feed on the shovel and the feed in his hand]

[Images move through of Larry Marshall talking to the camera and holding up a specimen container of prawn feed, two workers talking and workers walking towards each other and shaking hands and text appears: Dr Larry Marshall, Chief Executive, CSIRO]

Dr Larry Marshall: The Novacq story is a really fantastic example of CSIRO research partnering with Australian business to take a breakthrough innovation to the entire world. 

[Images move through of a male on a forklift, the forklift picking up a bale of aqua-feed, workers in the mill, people carrying buckets, Larry Marshall talking and feed being run through the fingers]

Ridley is the world’s leading producer and supplier of CSIRO invented Novacq and CSIRO has now licensed Novacq to all prawn feed markets globally, opening up all types of new opportunities for Ridley and delivering significant economic returns for Australia.

[Image changes to show Dr Matthew Briggs talking to the camera and text appears: Dr Matthew Briggs, Technical Project Manager, Ridley Corporation]

Dr Matthew Briggs: Novacq is a sustainably produced raw material. 

[Images move through of specimen containers of different types of prawn food, a container of pellets, the different types of prawn food again and prawns moving around underwater]

When included into the prawn diets it increases the growth rate of the prawns and reduces their requirement for feed. 

[Image changes to show Dr Matthew Briggs talking to the camera]

So, you’re in effect feeding less feed to get more prawn. 

[Image changes to show a male walking on a pathway next to a prawn farming operation and then images move through of people walking down a corridor and a male catching a prawn in a small net]

CSIRO have spent the last ten years developing and patenting this product. 

[Camera zooms in on the prawn and then the image changes to show Dr Matthew Briggs talking to the camera and then the image changes to show three prawns being held in the hand]

When we found out about the work they’ve done with that we asked CSIRO if we could become involved in the marketing and development of this product to satisfy our customers. 

[Music plays and images move through of a male working on a laptop, a prawn being weighed and Dr Richard Smullen talking to the camera and text appears: Dr Richard Smullen, Group Technical and R & D Manager, Ridley Corporation]
 
Dr Richard Smullen: What Novacq will allow us to do is have probably the most cost-effective diet in the world.

[Images move through of Dr Richard Smullen looking down and then feeling the prawn feed between his fingers, laptop screen displays of prawn growth and Dr Larry Marshall talking to the camera]
 
Dr Larry Marshall: Prawns fed with Novacq grow 20% to 40% faster and are healthier and can be produced with reduced wild fish products in their diet and that means more profit for prawn farmers but less pressure on our precious marine resources.

[Image changes to show Tim Hart talking to the camera and then images move through of a large prawn farming operation and text appears: Tim Hart, CEO Ridley Corporation]
 
Tim Hart: As a result of our strategic R & D alliance with CSIRO, we have decided to significantly invest in our operations in Yamba in New South Wales and also in Chanthaburi in Thailand. 

[Images continue to move through of a prawn farming operation and then the image changes to show a tap running water into the prawn farm area]

Our production and processing facility in Thailand gives us an ideal opportunity to scale up production in an ideal environment close to Asia’s large prawn industry. 

[Images move through of the running water, a machine picking up sacks of feed, a sack of feed moving along a conveyer belt and Dr Matthew Briggs talking to the camera]

Dr Matthew Briggs: We can use this product to replace the scarce and increasingly expensive raw materials from the sea, the fish meal and the fish oil that is traditionally used in prawn diets with land based protein and thereby produce a more environmentally friendly and effective feed.

[Images move through of Dr Richard Smullen talking to the camera, a male working inside the feed mill, a sack of feed moving along a conveyer belt and a worker inside the factory]

Dr Richard Smullen: So, kilo for kilo, our diet is not only the most sustainable diet in the world with Novacq but will also be the most cost-effective diet in the world.

[Image changes to show Dr Larry Marshall talking to the camera]

Larry Marshall: As part of our long term research alliance with Ridley, we’re now also exploring how Novacq could benefit other species beyond just crustaceans.

[Image changes to show Dr Matthew Briggs talking to the camera]

Dr Matthew Briggs: This has been a real game changer for us here in Ridley. 

[Image changes to show prawns moving around underwater]

If it wasn’t for the likes of CSIRO, we wouldn’t have Novacq and we wouldn’t be in the position that we are today. 

[Image changes to show Dr Matthew Briggs talking to the camera]

So, overall this R & D that is supported by CSIRO is absolutely fundamental to our industry.

[Image changes to show an aerial view of the feed mill operation and then the image changes to show a pallet of feed sacks and then the image changes to show Tim Hart talking to the camera]

Tim Hart: For us, Novacq is a true success story of research and industry coming together to commercialise a novel feed ingredient that will significantly benefit the Australian and international prawn industries.

[Image changes to show Dr Larry Marshall talking to the camera and holding up a specimen container of prawn feed]

Larry Marshall: So, on Christmas in future, it might not just be the prawns on your barbie that have grown up on Novacq but the entire seafood buffet.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Australia’s innovation catalyst]




Taking NovacqTM prawn feed to the world

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