Australia’s CSIRO has combined the power of advanced data analytics, drone monitoring, remote monitoring and the internet of things to provide scientists and farmers with unprecedented accuracy in studying crops and farming systems at the new Boorowa Agriculture Research Station.
The digitally-enabled farm in south-western NSW is equipped with 100 temperature and humidity probes, 72 soil moisture probes and six weather stations to monitor experiments in crop science, agronomy and farming systems across its 290 hectares.
It took four years to design and build, and is an $11.5 million investment in the future of Australian farming.
Director of CSIRO agriculture and food Dr Michiel van Lookeren Campagne said it was more important than ever to advance innovative science to build resilient agriculture systems and increase food production.
"Our agriculture industries are facing major challenges, especially with the current drought. Here at Boorowa, we'll be trialling new varieties of wheat, canola, legumes and pastures that can withstand warmer and drier conditions, such as those predicted for the future," Dr van Lookeren Campagne said.
The new research station replaces CSIRO's Ginninderra Experiment Station, which was established just outside Canberra in 1958.
"It was at Ginninderra that we field-tested a range of high yielding and disease resistant wheat varieties such as Lawson, Paterson, Gordon, Tennant, Brennan and Dennis. We also refined our high-fibre BARLEYmax and ultra-low gluten Kebari barley," Dr van Lookeren Campagne said.
He explained, "We'll also continue to research the best farming practices to manage our fragile soils and get the most from every drop of water."
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