Soil & Land

Charles Sturt research vital for national soil improvement

catherine allan csu

Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) is playing a leading role in research to protect and enhance agricultural soil in Australia.

The University is a major partner and has a significant involvement in the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC), which brings together scientists, industry and farmers to find practical solutions to Australia’s underperforming soils.

The Prime Minister the Hon. Mr Scott Morrison, MP, noted Charles Sturt’s role in a recent address to farmers and the community at a ‘Bush Summit’ in Dubbo NSW on Thursday 18 July 2019.

Mr Morrison noted his government’s $40 million investment in the Soil CRC, which funds research projects in partnership with Charles Sturt, other universities, and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

He said the Soil CRC involves scientists from a range of disciplines, including social science, economics, biology, chemistry, agronomy and soil science, working with farmers to determine how to improve soil performance in the short and long term.

The research aims to help farmers by educating them in soil knowledge and increasing their technical capacity to more effectively extend cutting-edge soil science into the broader farming community.

Associate Professor Catherine Allan (pictured) is a researcher in the Charles Sturt School of Environmental Sciences in Albury-Wodonga and member of the Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS) and the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation at the University.

She is also is a program leader in the Soil CRC, which Charles Sturt staff from both the ILWS and the Graham Centre are involved in.

“Real collaboration between researchers, farmers and industry is the central focus for the Soil CRC,” Professor Allan said.

“The Charles Sturt involvement provides opportunities to participate in research that is informed and led by those who will be most impacted – the farmers.

“The University contributes a program leader, leads three projects, and has researchers working on another five projects at the Soil CRC.

“The Soil CRC takes a multi-disciplinary approach to soil research, and Charles Sturt researchers contribute expertise in sociology, economics, marketing, finance and soil science.

“Because the Soil CRC has funding for ten years there is a great opportunity to achieve gains in productivity for Australian farmers, as well as to contribute to the global discourse on managing soils well.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the Soil CRC Dr Michael Crawford will visit Charles Sturt in Bathurst on Tuesday 30 July 2019 for meetings with Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) Professor Heather Cavanagh, and others.

Source: CSU