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Future Farm Industries CRC

 

Challenges facing the sustainability of Australian agriculture today are immense.  Environmental challenges like climate change, managing limited water resources and managing soil resources are critical for the future of agriculture.

The Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FFI CRC) has been established to develop solutions these challenges present Australian farmers.

The FFI CRC is a seven-year program that commenced on 1 July 2007. It is unique co-investment between 

 

  • Landmark
  • Meat, grains and wool industry research corporations
  • The combined research power of:
    • CSIRO
    • six state agencies
    • four universities.

 

The goal of the (FFI CRC) is to transform dryland agriculture in southern Australia. The FFI CRC works through the combined strategies of:

  • innovative research and development
  • education and training
  • commercialisation and utilisation.

 

The key to this industry transformation is the application of perennial-plant technologies, resulting in:

  • Intensification and productivity growth in existing industries through the development and adoption of innovative new farming systems.
  • New regional industries through the development of, and investment in, woody crop production on farms.
  • Sustainable land use changes to:
    • reduce the impacts of dryland salinity
    • conserve biodiversity and water resources
    • adapt to subsoil constraints and climatic variability.

 

The FFI CRC will apply innovative and distinctive science to develop new farming systems for a more resilient future in Australian agriculture. This will build agriculture’s capacity to generate an estimated $1.36 billion of wealth in ways that suit Australia’s unique environment which will prosper in the long term.

The FFI CRC will deliver its products and implement its strategies through seven programs.

Industry Programs
Program 1 : Future livestock production
Program 2 : Future cropping systems
Program 3 : New woody crop industries

 

Catchment Solution Programs
Program 4 : Farming saline landscapes
Program 5 : Biodiversity and water

 

Capacity Development Programs
Program 6 : Economic, social and policy analysis
Program 7 : Education and training

 

Program 1 : Future Livestock Production

 
Deliverables: Practice change on 2900 farms across 350,000ha within the life of FFI CRC with new perennials released for adoption on >3m ha.


Research Focus

  • Under the Evergraze project – improve profit in the high rainfall zone by 50% and significantly improve natural resource management. 
  • Under the Enrich project – improve shrub-based production in the low rainfall zone to increase carrying capacity by 30% and improve natural resource management.
  • Under the PastureSearch project – introduce four new herbaceous and woody forage species.


 

Program 2 : Future Cropping Systems


Deliverables:
Introduction of farming systems by introducing new perennials and agronomy packages. Introduction of new wheat cultivars including salt-tolerant wheat (500,000 ha by 2020) and perennial wheat.

Research Focus

  • Under the Evercrop project – increase the options of including existing and new perennials, supported by agronomy packages in rotations in mixed farming regions.
  • Under the Evercrop project – develop new wheat cultivars, including salt-tolerant and perennial wheat.
  • Under the Evercrop Decide project – provide a decision-making tool to get perennials in the right places in systems within farms for maximum profit/environmental benefit.


 

Program 3 : New Woody Crop Industries

Deliverables: Develop new short-cycle, high biomass woody crops.

Research Focus

  • Genetics – breeding to improve key species.
  • Harvester – commercial prototype.
  • Feasibility assessment.
  • Water and yield – combine water harvest technologies with growth models to predict yield and optimise returns.


 

Program 4 : Farming Saline Landscapes


Research Focus 

  • Develop strategies and farming systems for profitably managing salt-affected land and land at risk of salinity.


 

Program 5 : Biodiversity and Water

 
Research Focus

  • Quantifying ecosystem services for the conservation of biodiversity. 
  • Minimising trade-offs to water resources. 
  • Evaluating perennial-plant adaptability to subsoil constraints and climate variability.


 

Program 6 : Economic, Social and Policy Analysis


Research Focus

  • Design of more effective adoption and commercialisation strategies. 
  • Design of better tools for improved decision making.


 

Program 7 : Education and Training


Research Focus

  • Postgraduate research on topics related to Programs 1-6.
  • Training and capacity-building of professionals servicing agriculture and natural resource management.

 

For more information visit Future Farm Industries CRC website


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