Australian university talks ag research on World Food Day
Overcoming soil nutritional constraints to crop productivity
- Improving the nutrition of poor soils in Australia and developing countries:
Professor Neal Menzies is involved in agricultural production systems research primarily directed at overcoming nutritional constraints to productivity both in Australia and in the developing world. He is involved in Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded research projects in India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. Projects have included nutritional studies on nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and copper.
- Making acid soils fertile:
Dr Peter Kopittke is hoping to solve a mystery that affects 50 per cent of Australia's agricultural land (40 per cent of land worldwide) and costs $1.5 billion per year in foregone production. He received a $702,829 fellowship this year to investigate why aluminum and other trace metals are toxic to plants growing in acidic soils. Identification of the mechanisms of aluminum toxicity will provide the necessary ‘building-blocks' required to begin developing aluminum-tolerant cultivars and will provide the key to improving crop yields in degraded soils.