McCormack joins Board for research tour

| Posted Jun 03,2022

Soil CRC Chair Paul Greenfield, Soil CRC Patron Penny Wensley, Michael McCormack MP.

The Soil CRC Board was pleased to have the Hon. Michael McCormack MP join them for the first part of their research tour in Wagga Wagga, NSW last week.

The tour, which was part of a Soil CRC Board meeting and research visit, was also attended by the National Soils Advocate and Soil CRC Patron the Hon. Penny Wensley AC, CEO Dr Michael Crawford, researchers, and farmer group representatives.

At Charles Sturt University, the group were shown the capabilities of the Rhizolysimeter which is the largest root growth and soil water research facility in the Southern Hemisphere.

At the Rhizolysimeter L-R Michael Friend (CSU), Paul Greenfield, Penny Wensley, Michael McCormack, Michael Crawford, Jon Medway (CSU)

Member for Riverina and co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Soil, Michael McCormack said he was impressed greatly by the soil research facilities he saw at Charles Sturt University and the explanation of the work being done there.

“Soil research in the regions is playing a vital part in growing agriculture to a $100 billion a year industry by 2030,” Mr McCormack said.

“You cannot understate the importance of researchers and farming groups collaborating and that is why I was so pleased to see a number of Riverina farming organisations on the tour and talking with board members of the CRC for High Performance Soils and National Soils Advocate, the Hon Penny Wensley AC.”

“Soils are so important to the future of Australia I believe there should be a Minister for Soils in the Federal Parliament,” he said.

The group then headed out to Lockhart, where a Soil CRC trial is underway. The trial is exploring the addition of innovative amendments to the subsoil to address complex constraints as part of a project that began earlier this year.

The group were able to see firsthand this Soil CRC research being led by Dr Ehsan Tavakkoli from NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Soil CRC Chair, Dr Paul Greenfield AO says it was great for the Board to see some of the research in person. 

“COVID stopped us visiting field sites and researchers, so this trip is a wonderful opportunity for our Board and Patron to get a glimpse of some of the projects that are happening in the Soil CRC. The Board also appreciated the opportunity to discuss soil issues with representatives from our farmer group participants in the region – Central West Farming Systems, Riverine Plains, FarmLink and Holbrook Landcare Network.”

“The research that is continuing at the Soil CRC is exciting, we are starting to see some results that will have an impact on productivity for farmers and that’s what we are all about,” Paul said.