The Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC) has been established to provide farmers across Australia with the knowledge and tools they need to make complex and difficult management decisions about their soils. Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management (Wheatbelt NRM) is one of 39 participant organisations joining with Soil CRC, whose members include 5,000 of Australia’s leading farmers. Underperforming agricultural soils are costing Australian farmers billions of dollars in lost revenue each year.
In total, participant organisations have committed $20 million cash and $104 million in-kind contributions, with a further $40 million from the Australian Government, providing funding for 10 years to the Soil CRC.
Chief Executive Officer of the Soil CRC, Dr Michael Crawford, is excited about the opportunity the Soil CRC presents for Australian farmers. “It’s the biggest collaborative soil research effort in Australia’s history. There are eight universities, three state government agencies, 19 farmer groups and a range of corporate and industry partners,” he said. Western Australian farmer group members include Wheatbelt NRM, Corrigin Farm Improvement Group, Facey Group Inc, The Gillami Centre, The Liebe Group Inc, Western Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA) and West Midlands Group Inc. Also from Western Australia is Murdoch University.
“Our research is led and shaped by farmers. We are listening to what they want, and our research programs are designed to address the issues outlined by them, our participants,” Dr Crawford explains. He believes the Soil CRC is uniquely placed to make a difference because of its collaboration across disciplines and between farmers, industry and science. He added, “We are not just about soil science. The Soil CRC is bringing together research across a range of disciplines including social science, economics, chemistry, biology, agronomy and soil science to find practical solutions to our underperforming soils.” These practical, real-world outputs will allow farmers to optimise their productivity, yield and profitability, and ensure the long-term sustainability of their farming businesses.
Through Wheatbelt NRM’s participation in the CRC, Western Australian farmers can expect to see:
• More investment in soil productivity research and adoption
• Opportunities for accessing research and researchers from across Australia
• An opportunity to take a longer term perspective on soil productivity research.
For more information about the Soil CRC, visit soilcrc.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org