4 March 2024

Agriculture to reap rewards of CSU's $60m investment in future-focused research programs

| Jarryd Rowley
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two men looking at farm technology on site

CSU is investing $60 million in four agricultural research projects over the next three years to positively change the future of farming. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Four agriculture projects looking to revolutionise sustainable energy, animal health, agricultural technology and soil health are set to benefit from Charles Sturt University funding.

With investments totalling $60 million, the projects receiving funding are:

  • $22 million over three years for various projects at the Global Digital Farm, an integrated digital learning, innovation and research environment working within a full-scale, commercial mixed-farm operation
  • $20 million over three years for various projects in the Renewables in Agriculture program, including bringing the first hydrogen tractor to Australia
  • $10 million across various projects in the Cool Soils Initiative, which supports farmers in exploring their practices to improve the health of their soil, increase their yield, and reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions. This program is being expanded into Western Australia for the first time
  • $8 million towards a circularity Centre of Excellence being developed in Wagga Wagga.

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Charles Sturt vice-chancellor Professor Renee Leon said the investments would address challenges and unlock opportunities in the agriculture sector, helping to push the industry towards its goal of exceeding $100 billion in farmgate output by 2030.

“These investments mark a significant step towards realising the vision of a more sustainable, innovative and resilient Australian agriculture sector,” Professor Leon said.

“Charles Sturt is at the forefront of innovation across the board, but our agricultural research is truly leading the way on a global scale. By collaborating with sector-leading partners like Telstra, NAB, Food Agility CRC and others, Charles Sturt is able to better leverage our researchers’ cutting-edge innovations to serve the needs of primary producers and the industry as a whole.”

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt congratulated the university on the investments.

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“We know that climate change is impacting the profitability and productivity of farms around the country,” Mr Watt said.

“So it’s fantastic to see more serious investment to help advance the development of technology to help farmers reduce their emissions.

“The Federal Government is committed to real improvements to boost the agriculture sector to become more sustainable. Initiatives such as this are good for farmers, good for Australia and good for our economy.

“Congratulations to Charles Sturt University for this important initiative.”

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