Seeds of cropping studies start to sprout with opening of new research station

Minister Marshall - Pasture Shed opening

The NSW Government has sown the seeds needed for pasture research to grow and continue to flourish, with the opening of a new $1.5 million research facility at the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute today.

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall officially opened the Pasture Shed and said the studies conducted under its roof would advance the capabilities of the state’s croppers and graziers.

“This is more than just a shed. It is a powerhouse for pasture research,” Mr Marshall said.

“This $1.5 million investment allows us to consolidate the cutting-edge work that already happens at the Wagga Wagga Ag Institute into a single purpose-built facility.

“Power infrastructure and access roads have been upgraded, while new preparation rooms, cool rooms and bulk sample storage is expected to triple the throughput of sample processing, increasing the efficiency of pasture and cropping research.

“Sub-soil acidity, for example, puts a $378 million hole in farmers’ pockets each year in lost production. Scientists will be tackling that issue under this new roof.

“Already, our researchers have conducted long-term liming experiments which demonstrate the yield loss of crops was 50% greater in soils not treated with lime.

“Other new research aims to develop more sustainable fodder and cropping systems to assist primary producers better manage the impacts of climate change – a $1.2 billion challenge for the sector by 2050.”

Mr Marshall said the $1.5 million Pasture Shed was part of the $100 million the NSW Government had invested into research infrastructure across the State to support its world-class food and fibre industries.

“I recently announced the state’s primary industries was now worth almost $21 billion. This investment in critical research infrastructure will allow NSW agriculture’s value to only grow,” Mr Marshall said.

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