Breeders and growers
ACPFG: science helping farmers achieve their goals.
At ACPFG, our goal is to help you achieve yours
ACPFG’s research programs are tailored to address the most economically important issues for Australian farmers because we understand that the difference between a good and poor yield can determine whether or not you achieve your business and personal goals.
That’s why ACPFG’s research is ‘applied’ - we address current on-farm problems for cereal growers. Throughout our existence our researchers have consulted with farmers, breeders and agronomists to identify the most important issues faced by growers. We recruit the best scientists and science students available globally. Many of our researchers have first hand experience of the issues faced by farmers because they have a farming background. We also ensure that we recruit students and staff with an understanding of the issues faced by farmers and continue to educate them in these issues.
ACPFG was established in 2003 through funding provided by the Australian Research Council, the Grains Research Development Corporation and the State Government of South Australia. ACPFG was created to address some specific environmental issues experienced by Australian farmers, namely drought, salinity and nutrient deficiencies and toxicities in both wheat and barley. Through market research these two crops were identified as the most economically important crops for Australian Farmers, and these environmental stresses, known as abiotic stresses, were seen as the most important ones to address. To ensure we remain relevant to growers' needs, ACPFG has recently started researching these stresses in chickpea.
A snapshot of some of our recent results
ACPFG scientists have described for the first time how plants regulate their uptake of nitrogen from the soil when it is in low or high supply. Read more here.
Our scientists have identified for the first time genes that control boron tolerance in wheat – a major toxicity for cereals grown throughout the world, but particularly in southern Australia. Read more here.
ACPFG was recently granted funding for a new wheat research hub to deliver advanced technologies, breeding material and information to breeders to produce new varieties of wheat that are tolerant to stressful environments. Read more here.
ACPFG scientists gather knowledge from all over the world. We access advanced technologies internationally and harness these for the benefit of Australian farmers. One such project has licenced technology from the University of Connecticut to help plants tolerate saline conditions. Read more here.
Partnerships with breeding companies
ACPFG has partnerships with a number of breeding companies. The results of our research go straight to breeders as tools to assist them in producing stress tolerant crops. Together, through these partnerships, our goal is to increase yields for Australian farmers by delivering cereal crops tolerant to harsh climates.
A great example of our research and our partnerships with breeders is a recent discovery (see snapshot story above) by our scientists who identified the genes controlling boron tolerance in wheat. This discovery means that breeders can now select for boron tolerance in wheat with 100% accuracy. This research was published in the journal Nature in July 2014 and has been reported widely in the media. Until this identification was made, breeders knew some wheat varieties carried boron tolerance genes, however they didn’t know exactly what they were selecting for when crossing varieties.
Commitment to future agricultural science
ACPFG’s four nodes are placed within Universities. One main reason for this is that we have a strong commitment to training the agricultural scientists of the future. You can read more about our students program here.