Institute for Future Farming Systems

CQUniversity is located in Australia’s richest agricultural region. Our campuses span a vast area that generates significant agricultural output; the Central Queensland region is the centre of Australia’s northern beef industry, hosts the majority of Australia’s tropical and subtropical vegetable and fruit production, and supports large cropping industries including sugarcane, cereals, cotton and grain legumes. CQUniversity is committed to supporting a strong agricultural research capacity to foster the ongoing success of these industries. The Institute for Future Farming Systems was formally established in 2015 to deliver this commitment.

The expertise base of CQUniversity research staff in agricultural science is strong, and our research program has been well supported by external funding from national competitive grant schemes as well as Government and direct industry funding. Our research has strong links to the industries in our region, and also includes research activity in water and irrigation systems, natural resource management, value chain management and resource economics.

The Institute for Future Farming Systems welcome opportunities to collaborate with researchers and research institutions who share our interests in agricultural research. We focus on tropical and subtropical agricultural systems, and operate in a region where collaborators can work with industry partners in best practice agricultural production systems. CQUniversity has excellent laboratory and field facilities and provides a welcoming and supportive environment for postgraduate students and visiting researchers.

Find out more about our facilities and equipment and staff.


The research activities of the IFFS are focussed in three broad themes:                

  • Precision Livestock Management which has a strong focus on utilising emerging wireless sensor network (WSN) technologies to derive information that can be used to better understand livestock production systems.         
  • Precision Horticulture which undertakes research on crop management technologies and approaches in tropical and subtropical horticultural crops. The group places strong emphasis on research that can deliver improvements in industry profitability and productivity, and where possible involves close collaboration with industry partners.
  • Non-invasive Sensor Systems which endeavours to develop and deliver ‘sensing solutions’ relevant to value chains in agriculture. The research has involved work across disciplines, from spectroscopy and chemometrics to the agronomy of the application.
Partners and external relationships        

We are a multidisciplinary team of researchers with active research collaborations with researchers in Australia and around the world. We work in partnership with Government and industry organisations, including key Queensland partners:                


Current Projects                

Our externally funded research projects currently include:            

  • Adoption of variable rate technology in Queensland’s intensive vegetable production systems                  
  • Exploring the potential to improve performance and immunity in broiler chickens*Multi- scale monitoring tools for managing Australian tree crops                  
  • Adoption of variable rate technology in Queensland’s intensive vegetable production systems                  
  • Farming systems and vegetable crop science                  
  • Aerated Water Irrigation for increased water productivity, yield and quality of processing tomato.                  
  • Developing agronomic options for optimisation of yield, with water efficient irrigation management for dryland rice in QLD Australia                  
  • Services for bioinformatics analysis of macrobiotics from experiments in poultry                  
  • Soil amendments and pulse rotations to reduce nitrous oxide emissions in cereal crops                  
  • Carbon Smart fertiliser "Green Chicken™"                
  • Improving poultry health and performance                  
  • Quality standards, refinement and testing: Measuring DM and Brix in ripening mango                  
  • Optimising of continuing dosing of hydrogen peroxide in surface, drip and subsurface- drip irrigation systems                  
  • A case study around citrus producers of Nepal

Contact Details

Institute for Future Farming Systems

School of Medical and Applied Sciences
Bruce Highway, North Rockhampton QLD 4702

Mrs Caroline Jowsey
Phone: +61 (0) 7 4150 7056

Prof Phil Brown (Institute Director)
Phone: +61 (0) 7 4150 7145


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