Funding the future of farming

26 February 2024
From digital farming, renewables and improving soil health, the latest round of funding announced by Charles Sturt University is designed to help farmers take the next steps into the future. Pic: AgriShots
An article by  Newsroom

Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) newest agriculture projects will focus on sustainable energy, animal health, technology and soil health to the tune of $50m and includes a plan to bring the first hydrogen tractor to Australia. 

The investments will be made through the University, the Agrisciences Research and Business Park (AgriPark) and key industry partners. 

The new investments 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. 

In addition to these projects, CSU’s Red Meat Innovation Centre is helping to develop a Feedlot of the Future for sheep in Wagga Wagga. To date, these feedlots have only been developed for cattle. 

CSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Renée Leon, said the investments would help to address challenges and unlock opportunities in the agriculture sector, helping to push the industry towards its goal of exceeding $100 billion in farm gate 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.” 

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

 “We know that climate change is impacting the profitability and productivity of farms around the country,” Minister 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 announcement of these investments comes in the wake of news that CSU will lead the AgriTwins project as part of CSIRO’s Next Generation Graduates Program. 


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