About the centre

The Centre for Sustainable Farming Systems works to increase farm productivity without further degrading water, land and soils. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change and increasing human population, the centre’s research focuses on optimising crop production in rotation with legume pastures, and increasing biological nitrogen fixation while minimising impact on the environment.

The centre’s core research areas

We apply multi- and inter-disciplinary research to investigate and understand the health and biosecurity challenges that threaten
humans, animals, plants and their shared environment.

Nitrogen and carbon

Legumes and nitrogen fixation

Legume Rhizobium Sciences research focuses on understanding the basic biology of rhizobia-legume symbioses and their application in the field to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability.

We also manage the International Legume Inoculant Genebank (ILIG) online catalogue and our scientists provide oversight and expertise through the National Rhizobium Steering Committee.

Complementarities between production enterprises

Complementarities between production enterprises

We focus on managing grain protein and quality through manipulating organic and fertiliser sources of nitrogen.

Our research also examines integrated weed management, maximise production farming systems based on water use, and minimising biotic threats to production through systems integration.

Building robust land use options

Building robust land use options

We have a strong focus on developing farming enterprises to suit environmental constraints and conservation agriculture and soil fertility, including rehabilitation of poor or damaged soils.

We also investigate precision and remote data collection technologies and advanced agricultural chemistry.

Consumers, markets, politics and education

Consumers, markets, politics and education

We undertake research that assesses consumer concerns, markets and attitudes to different systems of agricultural production, for example. organic versus industrial; rainfed versus irrigated; live export versus manufactured meat.

We also evaluate the environmental consequences of different land uses in the agricultural space.

Key researchers


Professor Daniel Murphy



Professor John Howieson


jason terpolilli

Dr Jason Terpolilli


Richard Harper

Professor Richard Harper


robert harrison

Robert Harrison


News from the centre