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J Bjelke-Petersen Research Facility & Redvale field site

Site Details

Research Facility Name J. Bjelke-Petersen Research Facility Redvale Field site
Research Facility Manager Scott Campbell Scott Campbell
Address J. Bjelke-Petersen - 214 Kingaroy-Cooyar Road, Kingaroy 339 Kingaroy-Barkers Creek Road
Telephone 07 4182 1800 07 4182 1800
Coordinates /GPS at office J. Bjelke-Petersen 26o35’ S 151o49’ E Redvale field site 26o32’ S 151o52’ E
Climate (Temperature max & min, Annual Rainfall) Rainfall- 760mm 70% falling between October and March. Sub-tropical with cool dry winters. Frost are common during winter months
Topography (Brief description) J. Bjelke-Petersen - Gradual rolling hills with deeply weathered basalt red soils, spilt by Kingaroy creek. (Redvale field site) – Gradual slopes with deeply weathered basalt red soils.

Overview

The Department’s J. Bjelke-Petersen Research Facility along with its field site Redvale is both leading and innovating in a wide range of scientific research and development. Incorporating diverse aspects of dryland, irrigated and high rainfall inland and coastal farming systems as key drivers to improving much of the wider Queensland cropping environment.  This work pays particular attention to a variety of pulse, grain and sugar farming systems, incorporating important aspects of peanut and pulse improvement, best management practices as applied to farming systems, risk management, impacts of climate variability and grain food safety issues emanating from organic and inorganic sources. It includes integrated pest management and sustainable soil, land and agroforestry management issues involving agricultural catchments and their impacts on salinity and downstream water quality. There is a strong focus on the sustainable use of resources, long-term farm profitability and recycling of organic wastes with minimal environmental and human health impacts.

Facilities

General facilities

The site has built facilities that include an administration office with accommodation for up to 50 staff, a standalone conference center and meeting rooms. General storage and machinery sheds and purpose built mechanical work shop and chemical store.

The site is also well serviced with a wide range of plant and equipment including tractors, trucks, planting, spraying and harvesting equipment required to support research activities and grow a broad range of crops.

Specialised infrastructure

Controlled Environments

  • Glasshouses - Two glasshouses with a floor space of 360m2 with temperature, humidity and day length controls. There are various sized pots and tubs to suit trial layout and project requirements.
  • Plant Growth Rooms – Suitable for a wide range of applications and crop types. Includes temperature, humidity, day length and data logging controls.
  • Simulated drought shelters – Two rain out shelters with a total cover area of 600m2 are located at J Bjelke-Petersen Research Station. These shelters prevent water entering the crop to mimic drought stress conditions on a wide range of summer and winter crops. Shelters can also be used for seed production where on field enclosed environment is required.
  • Cold rooms - Temperature and humidity controlled with 80m2 of floor space.

Laboratories, processing facilities and conference room

  • Laboratories – The complex has three laboratories servicing Entomology, Pathology and Agronomy disciplines. Plant and equipment include soil and plant grinders, cotton grinder, autoclave and sterilizer.
  • Peanut processing facility – This facility services all the peanut variety and agronomy trial work conducted throughout Queensland. The plant includes; large and small driers, pre-cleaners, tailing saw, huller, adjustable seed grader, seed prep areas and storage.
  • Seed stores – Various locations on the site designed to store seed and plant samples until processing is undertaken.
  • Conference rooms – The Research Facility has a standalone self-contained conference center that seats up to 50 people in a table format and 120 with chairs only. The center has built in amenities, kitchen and outdoor entertaining area. Two other conference rooms are located in the administration building.

Irrigation

  • Irrigation is available at J. Bjelke-Petersen and Redvale field site, it is supplied from 2 licensed bores and Kingaroy Creek. Irrigation water is delivered through a network of underground mains and applied through overhead sprinkler, trickle tape or a lateral boom irrigator.

Specialised plant & equipment

Precision planters & Plot harvesters

  • GPS guidance – Trimble Auto steer systems fitted to three of the tractors located on site. Permanent base station services the Kingaroy and Redvale sites and a mobile base station is available to service the off station sites.
  • Plot harvester - Grain –KEW plot header fitted with a carousel sample system (1 operator), manual bag out and bulk bin, ideal for a wide range of summer and winter grains and legumes.
  • Plot harvester - Peanuts – Self-propelled and stationary threshers used for peanut variety and agronomy trials and seed increase applications.
  • Cotton Harvesters – The harvester is equipped with auto weigh cells and sub sampler suitable for large trial areas and the other equipped with a bagging system for smaller areas.
  • Pulse planter – Disc opener planter with the ability to plant a wide range of summer and winter pulses and grains. Has capacity to plant multiple row configurations (25cm, 50cm, 75cm and 1m) and change seeding rates to suit trial lay out and designs. Also fitted with a seed rate controller liked back through the Trimble auto steer system.
  • Plot planters –Ability to plant variety trials in wide range of broad acre crops to suit various plot length and lay out designs. Machines include disc opener and tine designs to suit conventional and minimal till applications.
  • Bulk planters – Various other planters are located on site with ability to plant small and large areas of a wide range of broad acre crops.
  • Fertilizer applicator – Deep placement fertilizer machine with ability to apply 7 products (4 granular and 3 liquid) in one operation. Machine is controlled through variable rate controllers and prescription maps in the field IQ of the Trimble auto steer system.

Pest and Pathogen Control

  • Sprayers – Machines include various row and nozzle configurations, multiple tank sizes, air induction booms and ability to suit different row centers and configurations.

Transportation

  • Low loader and tilt tray trucks – Ability to transport a wide range of plant and equipment to service project trial sites throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

Sample Processing

  • Seed and plant dryers – Multiple drying equipment located on site with the ability to service small bagged samples  and up to 30T of bulk material.
  • Plant and seed processing equipment – Various seed cleaners and harvesters suitable for a wide range of crop types.
  • Drying ovens and dehydrators – Two large drying barns with a capacity of 200m3 ideal for drying large samples to a maximum of 120 Co. Dehydrators and ovens for smaller packet and tray sized samples are also available.

Research focus

Activities at J Bjelke-Petersen Research Facility currently include:

  • Phosphorus and potassium management in grains and cotton.
  • Entomology studies in protecting grain, pulses and cotton.
  • Australian peanut genetic improvement program.
  • Chick pea frost tolerance
  • Defining nitrogen response for sorghum and canola in the Northern Grains Region.
  • Development and evaluation of summer and winter grain and pulse crops
  • Production and profit enhancement of summer and winter tropical pulses.