The University of Southern Queensland will soon call tenders for a $10 million Agricultural Engineering and Technology Precinct (AETP) at its Toowoomba campus.
The project will provide a new home for USQ’s Centre for Crop Health, and includes an expansion of field trial and laboratory facilities for its National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture.
USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas (pictured below) said Stage 1 of the project would include environmentally-controlled glasshouses, laboratories, outdoor trial sites and a centre for the study of biopesticides.
Stage 2 will incorporate new road access, lighting and the construction of an artificial lake to help with water retention and long-term irrigation supply.
The precinct covers about 6ha between Handley and Baker streets on USQ land.
Professor Thomas said the AETP will undertake specialist activities that will help supplement current research into crop production, harvesting, and yield outputs and provide farmers with more accurate information for improved crop returns on their farming methods.
“The AETP infrastructure investment by USQ is part of the University’s push to be a national leader in crop protection, plant pathology and biotechnology research,” she said.
The new centre is funded by USQ with significant co-investment from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).