Soil & Land

New soil research aims to increase agricultural productivity

The Soil CRC has announced funding for 12 new research projects with a total investment of $7 million.

This significant boost to soil research, brings the number of active Soil CRC projects to 41 and the total investment in projects to over $26 million since it commenced in 2017.

The new projects cover many of the soil related issues facing Australian farmers around soil health, farming systems, adoption and new technologies.

CEO of the Soil CRC, Dr Michael Crawford believes the new research is timely, in light of the recently announced National Soil Strategy.

“These new projects help us to contribute to the implementation of the National Soil Strategy that was recently announced by the Australian Government.

“The research continues the Soil CRC’s commitment to working with farmers to increase the productivity of Australian agriculture through cutting-edge soil research.

“The new projects will run over the next two to three years. Some of the projects are completely new research while others will be following on from previous Soil CRC research projects,” he said.

One project is assessing how to better measure soil microbes, while another project is looking at how we can define the economic and social benefits of regenerative agriculture, and another is developing an ‘eNose’ to measure soil health via smell.

Other projects will be examining soil stewardship verification schemes, measuring soil organic matter and soil health, investigating new tools for measuring soil water, developing rapid field-based tests and evaluating soil carbon and resilience.

The Soil CRC takes a multi-disciplinary approach to soil research, aiming to increase the profitability of Australia’s agriculture through increasing the productivity of our soils.

The four overarching research programs are looking at the social aspects of adoption of soil practices, soil performance metrics, new products to increase fertility and function and integrated and precision soil management.

The Soil CRC is funded by the Australian Government through the Cooperative Research Centre Program and by its 40 participant organisations, including eight universities, four state agencies, eight industry organisations and twenty farmer groups.

Further information on the new projects can be found at www.soilcrc.com.au

New Projects

  • Soil stewardship certification potential – Mark Morrison, Charles Sturt University
  • Knowledge-sharing for good soil stewardship – Hanabeth Luke, Southern Cross University
  • Defining the economic and social benefits of regenerative farming systems – Sosheel Godfrey, Charles Sturt University
  • Visualising Australasia’s Soils: extending the soil data federation – Peter Dahlhaus, Federation University
  • Soil microbial indicators: what do they mean and how can they be used? – Mick Rose, NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • Affordable rapid field-based soil tests: Phase Two – Liang Wang, University of Newcastle
  • Matching soil performance indicators to farming systems – Nathan Robinson, Federation University Australia
  • Smelling Soil: eNose development – Shane Powell, University of Tasmania
  • New fertilisers to overcome nutrient stratification in soil – Ajayan Vinu, University of Newcastle
  • New amendments for improving soil structure – Ehsan Tavakkoli, NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • The role of ecosystem processes in enhancing soil carbon stocks – Mehran Rezaei Rashti, Griffith University
  • Soil water storage: Increased access and tools for assessment – John McLean Bennett, University of Southern Queensland

Source: Soil CRC