Research Strategy Projects and theme areas
The Strategy is comprised of 3 main themes:
Energy is a new area of research for NSW DPI and is divided into 2 key areas of research.
The first key area is energy efficiency and clean energy solutions which is driven by agriculture’s historically poor energy productivity, particularly in energy intensive industries. These 2 projects are:
- tackling barriers to uptake of clean energy solutions in agricultural industries
- piloting clean energy and energy efficiency technologies
- providing simple information to help farmers make informed decisions
The second key area of research is in bioenergy (where biomass is used to generate energy). This project is:
- trialling native woody species as short-rotation tree crops for biomass production on marginal farmland
- researching the feasibility of biomass as a fuel source for energy generation
- investigating ways of optimising material handling and storage of biomass to improve efficiency and reduce costs;
- carrying out technological and economic feasibility assessments of bioenergy;
- developing technological and economic assessment tools for stakeholders; and
- engaging with the broader community to improve understanding of bioenergy and its opportunities.
The carbon opportunities theme has two projects trying to solve problems with carbon markets from both a policy perspective and from a farmer involvement perspective. Mitigating climate change and sequestering carbon is an important opportunity for primary industries to participate in the global efforts for net zero emissions and to diversify on-farm income.
The Emissions Reduction Pathways project is considering all the policy barriers to landholder in carbon markets. This includes investigation of livestock, cropping, and farm management opportunities that are currently not well catered for in the Emission Reduction Fund methodologies.
The Accessing Carbon Markets project is about enabling farmers to better engage with carbon markets through information and decision support tools.
The projects in this theme are working to understand how primary industries can best adapt to climate change and the new conditions and risks it brings.
The Vulnerability Assessment project is identifying the risks and opportunities of a changing climate for key commodities and biosecurity risks in NSW. In total, 28 commodities across cropping, extensive livestock, horticulture, viticulture, forestry and fisheries and 14 related biosecurity risks (weeds, pests and diseases) are being investigated. Results will provide industry and policy makers with a state-wide assessment of the vulnerability of NSW agriculture to a changing climate and identify adaption strategies that could mitigate identified climate risks.
Climate Smart Pilots is the second project in this theme and it is assessing the value of technological support to enhance management decisions in a changing climate. Using a range of digital sensors such as humidity sensors, soil moisture probes, trough and tank level sensors combined with weather stations to provide real-time data to support decision making in the real world.