Researchers at The University of Western Australia have won a total of $4.45 million in Federal Government funding for five agricultural projects focused on helping farmers adapt to a changing climate and reduce methane emissions.
UWA was one of 15 universities, research and development institutes or private groups to share in $30 million funding for 31 research projects announced yesterday by Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig.
The funding is part of the Filling the Research Gap Program to support research that helps farmers and landholders develop methods to reduce emissions.
The projects include:
- An investigation led by Professor Phil Vercoe to study the interaction between animal hosts and rumen microbial populations to provide insights into the biology of rumen function and methane emissions in sheep. It will underpin the discovery of new tools for breeding low-methane emitting sheep.
- Professor Phil Vercoe's study to quantify productivity of legume pastures with lower potential for methane production. Modelling will determine impacts of a range of sheep and pasture management strategies on whole farm profit, risk and methane emissions for different environments and climate change scenarios.
- A study led by Associate Professor Deirdre Gleeson, Professor Daniel Murphy and Professor Peta Clode to assess the stability of soil carbon under a variety of management practices, including emerging practices that may increase soil carbon at depth. It will investigate how soil carbon stability will be affected by changing climate predictions.
- An international collaboration led by Professor Phil Vercoe which brings together scientific expertise to coordinate livestock systems research focused on reduction and/or abatement of greenhouse gas emissions. The outcomes will instil confidence in research findings about genetic control of livestock methane emissions and inform policy development.
- An examination of how novel business structures can allow farm businesses to better adapt to a changing climate. Led by Professor Ross Kingwell and Professor Ben White, the project will assess the merits and feasibility of innovation in farm business structures and communicate these widely to farmer and investor forums.