Farming systems

The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Farming Systems Science Program aims to identify, understand and promote productive and profitable rain-fed mixed farming systems in South Australia.

This region covers the traditional wheat and sheep zone, directly supporting the low rainfall (less than 350 mm annual) cereal and sheep growing areas.

Dr Nigel Wilhelm leads the program, which focuses on:

  • defining the benefits of balanced nutrition for the productivity and sustainability of crops and pastures
  • improving subsoils to encourage better root development, more efficient water use and higher yielding crops and pastures
  • managing livestock in extensive systems for more productivity and improved welfare
  • assessing the effects of farm practices on soil quality and erosion risk
  • identifying stubble and tillage management practices that allow retention of crop residues to:
    • improve profits
    • minimise soil disturbance to reduce wind and water erosion.

Subprogram and research focus

  • Crop nutrition.
  • Crop disease management in field environments.
  • Crop sequences/rotations.
  • Weeds, pests and diseases management.
  • Climate sciences.
  • Soil sciences.
  • Crop physiology.
  • Grazing and fodder management.
  • Animal husbandry in broadacre systems.
  • Cropping and livestock enterprises integration.
  • Pasture production.
  • Agronomic decisions for precision agriculture.
  • Biometrics.

The Farming Systems program is based at Minnipa Agricultural Centre on the Eyre Peninsula.

We have staff and resources at:

  • Port Lincoln
  • Turretfield Research Centre in the Lower North
  • Waite Campus near Adelaide.

Program contact

Dr Nigel Wilhelm
Science Leader, Farming Systems
SARDI Livestock and Farming Systems

GPO Box 397 Adelaide SA 5001

Phone: (08) 8303 9353
Mobile: 0407 185 501
Email: nigel.wilhelm@sa.gov.au

Page Last Reviewed: 30 Apr 2015
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