Southern Regional Panel Deputy Qiairman, John Passioura, is widely experienced in soil science and crop physiology, having researched these areas for many years in CSIRO Plant Industry.
His GRDC portfolio includes the Soil and Water Management and Environmental Management Programs. He has been an enthusiastic advocate of R&D that increases both profitability and sustainability, believing that there are many simultaneous gains to be made that do not require trade-offs between the two.
"One area where big gains can be made is in overcoming problems caused by inhospitable subsoils, both by targeted breeding and by astute agronomic management such as controlled traffic, raised beds, and appropriate rotations and tillage," he says.
"Another area is soil biology, which we know can markedly affect crop productivity, but which we do not yet know how to manage effectively."