Partner Profile: PIRSA

| Posted Feb 03,2021

As a partner in the Soil CRC, the Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) values the depth of shared experience and knowledge that comes from the partnership and collaboration across universities, grower groups and industry.

Their researchers and consultants also value the time and investment in the extensive networks developed through these projects, which result in improved sharing of knowledge and research outcomes for all participants.

PIRSA is a key economic development agency in the Government of South Australia. Their purpose is to grow primary industries and drive regional development.

PIRSA’s Soil CRC team are based in its Rural Solutions division and the South Australia Research and Development Institute (SARDI). The two divisions of PIRSA are well-known as dynamic and leading providers of research, and program and project management and consulting services, delivered through its team of qualified and experienced research scientists and industry consultants, established industry and regional networks and collaborative partnerships.

The team of soil and farming research scientists and consultants have a depth of expertise and a reputation for delivering industry driven solutions that have enabled it to build considerable networks and partnerships that span government, agribusiness, research, tertiary and private sectors. The team is largely based across ten regional offices in South Australia and are helping deliver research and extension in collaboration with partners in the fields of soil and water management, sustainable agriculture, livestock production and animal health, viticulture and oenology, crop and pasture improvement and climate resilience.

Soil CRC Projects PIRSA are working on:

Overcoming soil constraints in highly calcareous soils – led by Dr Nigel Wilhelm, Primary Industries South Australia with collaborations with NSW Department of Primary Industries, MacKillop Farm Management Group, Agricultural Innovation and Research Eyre Peninsula, with co-investment from Grains Research and Development Corporation.

New amendments for sandy soils – led by Professor Richard Bell, Murdoch University with collaborations from Federation University, PIRSA, West Midlands Group, NSW Department of Primary Industries and AORA.

Regenerative farming systems – led by Dr Gwen Grelet, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research New Zealand with collaborations with Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, Soils for Life and Wheatbelt NRM.

Surveying farm practices – led by Dr Hanabeth Luke, Southern Cross University, with collaborations from Charles Sturt University, North Central CMA, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Primary Industries and Regions SA, Western Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association.

Recovering nutrients from organic waste streams – led by Dr Dane Lamb, University of Newcastle with collaborations from Griffith University, Southern Cross University, Central West Farming Systems, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, Australian Organics Recycling Association, South East Water, Herbert Cane Productivity Services, Landcare Research New Zealand.

Unlocking soil nutrients with organic amendments – led by Dr Balaji Seshadri, University of Newcastle, with collaborations from University of Southern Queensland, Central West Farming Systems, South East Water, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, Australian Organics Recycling Association, Herbert Cane Productivity Services, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research New Zealand.

Team of Researchers

Researcher  Field of expertise  
Nigel WilhelmAgronomy and crop nutrition
Brian DzomaAgronomy of low rainfall cropping
Amanda CookAgronomy of low rainfall cropping
Melissa FraserSustainable agriculture, soils and sandy soil
Brett MastersSustainable agriculture, soils and acidity
Rhiannon SchillingAgronomy, sodic and saline soils
Amanda SchapelSustainable agriculture, soils and carbon
Brian HughesSustainable agriculture, soils and acidity
Claire DennerleySustainable agriculture, soils and dung beetles
Bonnie ArmourSustainable agriculture, soils and pollination

For more information on PIRSA check out their corporate plan.