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Report captures research highlights for Tasmania’s agricultural industry

The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) has today released its annual Highlights Report, containing snapshots of research projects ranging from ensuring the food safety of leafy green vegetables, to finding practical solutions to reduce the amount of nitrogen used on dairy farms.

TIA's Director Professor Mike Rose said the report features activities that have occurred across TIA's cool climate agricultural research, industry development, and education portfolios during the previous year.

"All activities featured in this publication aim to support TIA's mission of enabling the productivity of Tasmania's agriculture and food sectors while maintaining and improving our land and water quality for future generations." Professor Rose said.

"We are incredibly grateful to all the individuals and organisations that have provided funding or in-kind support for our research, hosted a trial on their property, contributed their expertise and knowledge to a research project, supported our students, or engaged with us throughout the year."

Highlights include welcoming an extension of the Joint Venture Agreement between the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government for a further five years to 2029.

"The TIA Joint Venture Agreement is a successful model and in 2023 every dollar of state government investment generated almost two dollars of external investment for agricultural research in Tasmania," Professor Rose said.

Highlights include:

  • Future proofing the Australian grains industry in a changing climate, with research underway to help growers manage the increasing risk of waterlogging.
  • Helping Australia's livestock industry transition to carbon neutrality by 2030.
  • The TAS Farm Innovation Hub helping farmers access critical information to ensure resilience to drought and climate variability.
  • Turning smoke tainted grapes into premium sparkling wine.
  • Supporting the development of a medicinal herbs industry for Tasmania.
  • Working with industry partners to grow cool climate horticulture production by 20 per cent over the next five years.
  • Reducing the amount of nitrogen fertiliser used on dairy farms.
  • Investigating the application of virtual fencing technology to manage dairy cows in Tasmanian conditions.

During 2023, an important milestone was acknowledged with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the agricultural science department at the University. Coincidently, TIA also celebrated 60 years of the Vegetable Research Facility at Forthside, a site which supports industry-relevant research, demonstration, and learning.

Progress was made on the plan to develop a new agricultural education and research facility in Launceston which will include a glasshouse, outdoor growing space, and multi-purpose research facility."The facility has been purposefully designed to enable high-impact and commercially relevant research and specialised teaching for agriculture science. It will be located at the University's Newnham campus as part of the new Tasmanian Agricultural Precinct and construction is expected to start in 2024," Professor Rose said.

TIA delivers the Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours in Hobart and Launceston, and an annual highlight is the presentation of up to $250,000 worth of scholarships which support our students.

"We know there are six jobs available for every agricultural science university graduate in Australia and each year we are proud to celebrate the successes of our graduating students who are highly sought after by industry," Professor Rose said.

The 2023 TIA Highlights Report is available to view or download on the TIA website. Read the report here.


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