Approved projects - Round 1

​Round one, Rural R&D for Profit summary of approved projects

On 6 May 2015 the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, the Minister for Agriculture, announced funding of $26.7 million from 2014-15 to 2017-18 for twelve projects in round one of the Rural R&D for Profit Programme. This funding will be matched by over $32 million in cash and in-kind contributions by research and development corporations and their partners. The application period for the first round of funding opened on 15 October 2014, and closed on 15 December 2014.

The successful projects will all contribute to the programme objective – to realise productivity and profitability improvements for primary producers.

As projects are finalised, the final reports will be uploaded below.

Project title


Grant funding (GST excl)

Applicant/partner contributions (GST excl.)



Smarter irrigation for profit

Cotton R&D Corporation (CRDC)


$3,435,000 cash $2,906,949 in-kind

Dairy Australia (DA); RIRDC; University of Southern Queensland (USQ); Tasmanian Institute for Agriculture (TIA); Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association; VicDEPI; NSW DPI; SARDI; CSIRO; DairyTas Board; Cotton Australia; Dairy SA; Sugar Research Australia (SRA); Sundown Pastoral Company; Auscott; Irrigated Cropping Council; Irrigation R&D Committee; Southern Growers Inc.

The project will lead to improved irrigation practices on cotton, rice, sugar and dairy farms. It will help approximately 3000 farmers to optimise their water-use decisions, leading to yield increases and reduced input costs and water use.

Stimulating private sector extension in Australian agriculture to increase returns from R&D

Dairy Australia Limited


$810,000 cash
$785 000 in-kind

MLA; University of Melbourne; CRDC; APL; SRA; HIAL; VicDEPI; NSW DPI

The project will research methods of increasing private extension services to primary producers in order to increase producer uptake of new technology and profitability. The project will identify user needs, demand for services and barriers to using these services. Tools and an online portal will be developed to support extension and make sure R&D results are available. The project will build professional extension capacity in the private sector.

Improved use of seasonal forecasting to increase farmer profitability

Rural Industries R&D Corporation


$900,973 cash
$829,226 in-kind

CRDC; GRDC; MLA; SRA; HIAL; SARDI; DAFWA; BoM; USQ; Birchip Cropping Group; VicDEPI; NSW DPI; Monash University

The project will help farmers make the best of seasonal climate forecasts to maximise their productivity.

Adaptive area-wide management of QFly using SIT: Guidelines for efficient and effective  pest suppression and stakeholder adoption

Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIAL)


$1,175,000 cash
$1,175,000 in-kind

Australian Grape & Wine Authority; Biobee; CSIRO; Queensland University of Technology (QUT); NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI); Primary Industries South Australia (PIRSA); VIC Department of Primary Industries & Environment (DEPI)

The project will help to control the Queensland Fruit Fly, a major pest of Australian horticulture. It will integrate the release of sterile male flies into area-wide integrated pest management programmes. This will reduce crop losses caused by Queensland fruit fly damage, and will help Australian horticulture industries to access new markets for their products.

A profitable future for Australian agriculture: Biorefineries for higher-value animal feeds, chemicals, and fuels

Sugar Research Australia (SRA)


$1,545,282 cash
$1,544,030 in-kind

Forest and Wood Products Australia; CRDC; Australian Pork Limited; QUT; Southern Oil; NSW DPI; Agrifuels Ltd

The project will develop and demonstrate a range of innovative biorefinery technologies that will add value to primary products and by-products. It will develop animal feeds from biomass residues, create chemicals from crops and crop by-products, advanced fuels from agricultural feedstocks, and assess pathways to biorefinery developments in Australia. The project is expected to provide pathways to new markets and reduce input costs for primary producers.

Multi-scale monitoring tools for managing Australian tree crops – Industry meets innovation

Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited


$1,890,000 cash
$1,538,248 in-kind

University of Queensland (UQ); University of Central Queensland; University of New England; University of Sydney; Avocados Australia; Simpson Farms; Australian Mango Industry Association; Australian Macadamia Society; QDAF; Agtrix Ltd

The project will integrate the latest imaging and robotics technologies to provide mango, avocado and macadamia farmers with decision-support tools to help improve production and profit. The data collected through this project, and the tools it develops, will help farmers to predict fruit quality and yield, and to monitor tree health including early detection of pests and disease outbreaks.

Fast-tracking and maximising the long-lasting benefits of weed biological control for farm productivity

Meat and Livestock Australia Limited


$948,959 cash
$948,959 in-kind

CSIRO; NSW DPI; PIRSA; Queensland Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; VIC DEPI; TasWeed Biocontrol; Murdoch University; NSW Local Land Services; Victoria Gorse Taskforce and Landcare Groups; Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee; SA Grains Industry Trust; SA Government.

The project will improve the control of six national priority agricultural weeds (parkinsonia, parthenium, blackberry, silverleaf nightshade, cylindropuntia, gorse). Success will be achieved by fast-tracking delivery of eight biocontrol agents to producers and is expected to reduce weed competition and herbicide use.

Growing a profitable, innovative and collaborative Australian Yellowtail Kingfish aquaculture industry: bringing 'white' fish to the market

Fisheries R&D Corporation


$1,650,000 cash
$1,400,000 in-kind

South Australian Research and Development Institute; Clean Seas Tuna Ltd; NSW DPI

The project aims to develop more cost effective Yellowtail Kingfish feeds and feeding strategies. This will drive immediate production gains for Yellowtail Kingfish aquaculture. An additional focus is to build a Yellowtail Kingfish aquaculture R&D network to strengthen adoption of research outcomes.

Waste to revenue: novel fertilisers and feeds

Australian Pork Limited


$569,376 cash
$569,000 in-kind


The project will find ways to turn agricultural waste into feed, fertilisers and soil conditioners. This recycling can reduce on-farm input costs, enhance sustainability and provide producers with new opportunities to generate income from waste.

Market and Consumer Insights to Drive Food Value Chain Innovation and Growth

Meat and Livestock Australia Limited


$3,440,000 cash $2,237,000 in-kind

Victorian DEPI; HIAL; CSIRO; Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre; FRDC

The project will identify opportunities in export markets and help producers and their supply chain partners respond effectively to those opportunities to grow their businesses. It aims to build the capacity of agri-food supply chains to innovate and collaborate for market advantage by creating easy-to-access tools and strategies, including online resources and face-to-face workshops. 

MIR for profit: integrating very large genomic and milk mid-infrared data to improve profitability of dairy cows

Dairy Australia Limited


$518,182 cash
$510,000 in-kind

Victorian DEPI; National Herd Improvement Association; Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme; Teagasc; University of Liege; Walloon Agricultural Research Centre

The project will develop new tools to help dairy farmers manage and select the most profitable cows by using technology to scan milk samples for genetic, health and production information. The outcomes would then inform breeding decisions to improve the genetics gain of the national herd.

Consolidating targeted and practical extension services for Australian Farmers and Fishers (The foundation to address Priority 4a)

Rural Industries R&D Corporation


$600,000 cash
$300,000 in-kin​d

VIC DEPI; TIA; NT Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries; NSW Local Land Services

The project will provide Australian agricultural extension services with greater national coordination and leadership. Fragmentation of extension activities may be one of the causal factors for recent declines in productivity and profitability growth in Australian agriculture. By addressing this problem, greater productivity gains can be realised.

This project was completed in December 2016. The final report is now available.




$17,482,772 cash $14,743,412 in-kind $32,226,184 total