The University of Adelaide, as part of an extensive collaboration with industry and the South Australian Government, will lead a new drought resilience hub in South Australia. The South Australian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (SA Drought Hub), is one of eight in Australia established by the Federal Government, and will undertake research, development, extension, adoption and commercialisation activities to improve drought resilience and preparedness on SA farms.

Dr Rhiannon Schilling led the SA Drought Hub application. “The SA Drought Hub will consist of a network of 59 grower groups, the three SA-based universities, government agencies, indigenous partners, agribusinesses, RD&E partners and industry organisations. This demonstrates the support and willingness of partners to engage in our collaborative vision,” she said. 

“The partners provide an extensive regional coverage of the state and bring together a diverse range of skillsets, perspectives and resources. Their significant support underlines the need for industry to work together towards a common goal of building future drought resilience in agriculture.”

Each of the eight national hubs will bring together research and expertise that will support and facilitate effective testing and scaling up of new solutions into commercialisation and adoption.

The SA Drought Hub will receive $8 million of funding over four years from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, with an additional $11.47 million of cash and in-kind support from the hub’s partners.

A core site at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus will be complemented by five nodes located throughout regional South Australia at Minnipa, Port Augusta, Orroroo, Loxton and Struan. The nodes, which are located in pastoral, low, medium and high rainfall zones, will increase the adoption of drought resilience practices across the state.

The initial focus will be to co-design and deliver demand driven activities across the regional nodes to demonstrate and increase adoption of drought resilience practices, implement socially resilient and wellbeing strategies and leverage future investments for drought innovation and adoption initiatives.

“The nodes will be driven from the ground-up with drought resilience priorities established for each node based on input from regional partners,” said Dr Schilling

“These locations were strategically selected based on extensive consultation with partners and provide the best regional coverage and use of existing resources including AgTech farms and centres, which will enable maximum partner engagement.”

The five nodes and the University of Adelaide’s Waite and North Terrace campuses will be available for SA Drought Hub partners to use for collaborative project activities.

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