Official opening of $2.1 million greenhouse at Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station | Keeper Cowra

Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, DPI Researcher Matthew Newell, Institute Director Gordon Refshauge, Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke and Cowra Mayor Councilor Bill West.

A $2.1 million state-of-the-art greenhouse has been officially opened at the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Agricultural Research and Advisory Station.

The facility was officially opened by Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall and Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke on Tuesday morning.

Director of the Cowra Agricultural Research Institute and Advisory Station, Gordon Refshauge, said the greenhouse will allow staff to continue a legacy of pioneering research.

Today we open this marvelous facility that dates back very well to 120 years ago when the Experimental Farm was established for William Farrer. It was a wheat breeding center and became an open barley breeding line,” he said.

“[It ties in with] what we are trying to do now is to develop perennial wheat lines that have greater sustainability benefits for wheat production, for farming systems as well as for animal production.

“This will allow us to accelerate the breeding rates that we can carry out for breeding lines, which should considerably accelerate our generic win and create great opportunities in a short time.”

Ms Cooke said the greenhouse will allow researchers to examine a variety of crops without worrying about the impacts of climate or temperature.

“The new facilities will allow this work to grow and potentially provide new crops and alternative markets for local growers,” she said.

“The research conducted at this new facility will have statewide benefits as it will investigate everything from tropical pasture grasses, which have the potential to dramatically improve the supply of animal feed to summer, passing pasture legumes through experiments using the facility’s climate-controlled capability.”

Mr. Marshall said the investment in DPI’s research stations will help support the agricultural sector.

“We know our farmers are the best in the world, and by investing in research programs here at Cowra, we are giving them a platform to become even better,” he said.

“Our primary industries sector faces significant challenges, including climate change, drought, fires, water scarcity, as well as pests and diseases.

“This purpose-built facility will allow DPI to undertake research projects to help farmers address these challenges and ensure they are profitable and sustainable into the future.”

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Lana T. Arthur