Approved projects - Round 3

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

On 4 May 2017, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, the Minister for Agriculture, approved funding of more than $35.8 million from 2016-17 to 2019-20 for seven projects under round three of the Rural R&D for Profit Program. This funding will be matched by almost $59 million in cash and in-kind contributions by research and development corporations and their partners. The application period for the third round of funding opened on 6 October 2016, and closed 6 December 2016.

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

Project titleApplicantGrant funding (GST excl)Applicant/partner contributions (GST excl.)ContributorsSummary
Wastes to profits: Technologies and business models for the management of wastes in the animal industriesMeat and Livestock Australia (MLA) $6,000,000 4,651,826 cash
$3,721,903 in-kind
Australian Meat Processor Corporation; Dairy Australia Ltd; Australian Pork Ltd; Queensland University of Technology; University of Queensland; University of Southern Queensland; Murdoch University; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; JBS Australia; Teys Australia; Australia Country Choice; Australian Lamb Company; Harvey Beef; Ridley Corporation Ltd; Aduro Biopolymers;  Zeolite Australia Pty Ltd; Barwon Water; Queensland Urban Utilities Australia’s red meat, dairy, and pork industries produce significant quantities of wastes during on-farm production, intensive feeding and processing of animals. Waste management costs these industries more than $200 million per year. This project will research and develop technologies and business models to reduce this cost as well as capture a market opportunity in excess of $100 million per year by converting wastes into valuable products such as fertilisers, feeds, chemicals and energy products for use in agriculture.
Increasing farm gate profits, the role of natural capital accountsForest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA)$900,000$450,000 cash
$801,018 in-kind
CSIRO; Cotton Research and Development Corporation; Fisheries Research and Development Corporation; Ecological Australia; HVP Plantations; Vic Forests; Australian Bureau of Statistics;
Australian Bureau of Meteorology; OneFortyOne Plantations
Natural capital is the soil, air, water and biodiversity – the natural resources used for food and fibre production. This project will apply Natural Capital Accounting to the forestry, cotton and fisheries industries allowing producers to:
  • incorporate natural assets into farm business systems to help identify risks and costs associated with depleting these assets and manage accordingly
  • access cheaper finance, drawing on opportunities from finance organisations who explicitly incorporate natural capital in the credit risk calculations and offer lower interest rates for landholders who manage these assets
  • demonstrate best practice management of natural assets and increase profitability by accessing premium markets.
Improving plant pest management through cross industry deployment of smart sensor, diagnostics and forecastingHorticulture Innovation Australia (HIA)$6,758,797$6,494,284 cash
$8,404,311in-kind
Cotton Research and Development Corporation; Grains Research and Development Corporation; Australian Grape and Wine Authority; Forest and Woods Products Australia; Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; Plant Health Australia; South Australian Research and Development Institute; Victorian Department of Economic, Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources; CSIRO;WA Depart of Agriculture and Food; Rothamsted Research; Nursery & Garden Industry Australia;B3Co\Plant & Food Research New Zealand; Sugar Research Australia; AusVegThis project will develop a mobile, cross‐industry plant pest surveillance network to monitor and report the presence of pests that threaten major agricultural sectors across Australia, including grains, cotton, sugar, horticulture, wine and forestry industries. The surveillance network will cover:
  • Advanced surveillance technologies, such as automated trapping and sampling, for detecting and monitoring a wide range of endemic and exotic plant pests. The project will also produce a number of flexible surveillance hubs with trapping technologies that can be mobilised in response to industry needs, such as in response to incursions.
  • Improved pest forecasting through linking pest detection with weather forecasting and modelling systems.
  • Fast, reliable and cost-effective means to identify pests, such as high volume data collation and distribution, and advanced molecular diagnostics for pest identification.
  • A cloud based virtual coordination centre (AUSPestCheck) to improve information exchange on pests to producers, industry and government.
Producers will receive timely and accurate information about pests in their region, helping with management decisions, reduce pest resistance and demonstrate pest-free status to export markets.
Forewarned is forearmed: equipping farmers and agricultural value chains to proactively manage the impacts of extreme climate eventsMeat and Livestock Australia (MLA)$6,198,942$3,660,370 cash
$4,803,123 in-kind
Grains Research and Development Corporation; Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; Cotton Research and Development Corporation; Sugar Research Australia; Australian Grape and Wine Authority; Dairy Australia Ltd; Australian Pork Ltd; Bureau of Meteorology; University of Melbourne; University of Southern Queensland; Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; Suncorp, Monash University; South Australian Research and Development InstituteAustralian farmers and agribusiness operate in one of the most variable climates of any country in the world, with extreme events and climate variability the largest drivers of fluctuations in annual agricultural income and production. This project will deliver direct value to farmers through improving the seasonal forecast of extreme climate events, including low and high rainfall, heat, cold and frost. It will equip farmers with the information and tools to be forewarned and change their management practices so they are proactively prepared. The project outputs will decrease the impacts of extreme climate events on farm and industry profit.
Boosting profit and reducing risk of mixed farms in low and medium rainfall areas with newly discovered legume pastures enabled by innovative management methodsGrains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)$5,516,075$4,995,503 cash
$5,841,475 in-kind
Australian Wool Innovation; Meat and Livestock Australia; Murdoch University; South Australian Research and Development Institute; Western Australia Department Agriculture and Food; Charles Sturt University; CSIRO; Birchip Cropping Group; Eyre Peninsula Ag Research Foundation; Mallee Sustainable Farming; SA Sheep Advisory Group; Upper North Farming Systems; Corrigin Farm Improvement Group; Grower Group Alliance; Northern Agri Group; Farmlink; Ravensthorpe Agricultural Initiative Network; Pasture Producers Association WA; Ag Excellence Alliance; AsheepThis project will develop recently discovered pasture legumes together with innovative management techniques to improve profitability for mixed farms (cropping and livestock) in the low and medium rainfall areas of WA, SA, Victoria and southern NSW. The new legume varieties will reduce nitrogen requirements, increase soil fertility, reduce weeds and diseases for following crops and be a source of quality feed for livestock. The project will also develop whole farm economic modelling to equip farmers with tools to adopt new pasture varieties and management practices, improving productivity and profits for grain, meat and wool producers. The project is expected to boost average farm profit by 10 per cent and halve economic risk.
High throughput technology for defining antimicrobial resistance status of pork and chicken meat enterprises leading to a competitive advantage in the global market placeAustralian Pork Limited (APL)$1,274,000$648,286 cash
$999,157 in-kind
Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; Murdoch University; University of Adelaide; Tecan Australia; Thermo Fisher Scientific; NSW Department of Primary Industries; IlluminaThis project aims to provide Australian pig and chicken meat producers with a competitive advantage in the international marketplace by developing a world’s best practice for objective description of the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at the herd/flock level. Using laboratory robots that can work extremely quickly, precisely and cost-effectively, the project will develop an industry-wide scheme where herds and flocks can be accurately described to define their level of AMR risk. This information will help producers demonstrate their AMR status, to not only improve market access but also provide a mechanism for monitoring progress of the on-farm control measures which will be based on antimicrobial stewardship principles.
Dung beetle ecosystem engineers – enduring benefits for livestock producers via science and a new community partnership modelMeat and Livestock Australia (MLA)$9,174,174$4,587,087 cash
$8,929,774 in-kind
CSIRO; Invetus Pty Ltd; University of Western Australia; Landcare Research New Zealand; Mingenew Irwin Group; University of New England; Charles Sturt University; Western Australia Department of Agriculture and Food; Dung Beetles for Landcare Farming; Dung Beetle Solutions Australia; Warren Catchment Council; Leschenault Catchment CouncilDung beetles can improve the soil, reduce the spread of flies, pests and diseases, increase pasture health and reduce nutrient run off into waterways.  This project will investigate how dung beetles can improve profitability and productivity for primary producers by:
  • rolling out national and regionally-specific dung beetle services to a network of over 1000 producers and producer groups
  • improving access to information such as a dung beetle database, infield training and online educational packages to improve delivery of the best adapted dung beetle species
  • quantifying the benefits of dung beetles to encourage changes in farming practices to improve production and land management
  • importing four new species of dung beetles to manage sheep and cattle dung, and encouraging producer-led rearing and distribution of two recently imported dung beetle species.
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