Bundaberg research facility

Site Details

Research facility nameBundaberg Research Facility
Research facility address49 Ashfield Road, Kalkie, Bundaberg QLD 4670
Telephone+61 7 4326 1100
Coordinates (GPS at office)24°50'54''S, 152°24'14''E
ClimateSubtropical, high humidity, with an average annual rainfall of 1026.7mm, 60% of rain falls between December and March. The minimum temperature is 16.4°C and the maximum temperature is 29.5°C.
TopographyFlat to sloping land, draining into a central waterway/pond system.

Site overview

Bundaberg Research Facility provides support to horticultural, agricultural and sugar industries in the Wide Bay area of south-east Queensland. The deep red volcanic soils provide excellent capacity for research and development to a wide range of horticultural and coastal broadacre crops and sugarcane projects as well as 10 hectares (ha) each of citrus breeding and macadamia breeding. It has a state-of-the-art irrigation system, reliable irrigation water supply provided by Sunwater and a bore and onsite water storages. The vegetable trial area provides an ideal controlled site for a wide range of trials.

Extensive windbreaks protect the site which is generally frost-free, and has a high security field area. Experienced staff support the internal research activity along with contracted trials and commercial work.


General facilities

The site has built facilities including an administration office with accommodation for 25 staff, with a combined lunch/meeting room. The site has general storage, field laboratories, plant houses, laboratories, machinery sheds and purpose built mechanical workshop and chemical store.

The site has a wide range of plant and equipment including tractors, sprayers and cultivators required to support research and grow a broad range of horticultural and agricultural crops.

Specialised infrastructure

Controlled environments

  • Two large poly houses and 1 large shade house with a total coverage of 1101m2
  • Four cold rooms, plus a small mobile cold room with a total coverage of 37m2
  • One insect rearing room

Laboratories, processing facilities and conference room

  • Three laboratories


  • Pumping and irrigation – Computer controlled, constant pressure variable drive 44kw (x5 pumps), for tree sprinklers and drip tape, overheads, plus 40kw variable drive pump for travelling irrigation
  • Water storage

Specialised plant and equipment

  • Precision planters and plot harvesters
  • Plot harvesters
  • Specialist protected sprayers for orchard weed control in windy conditions
  • GPS guidance
  • Fertiliser applicators

Pest and pathogen control

  • Sprayers


  • Truck

Sample processing

  • Dryers – Electric and gas

Research focus

Research disciplines and current project activity

Plant breeding

  • National citrus breeding projects: developing new mandarin varieties and rootstocks – covers approximately 10ha
  • National macadamia breeding program – covers approximately 10ha
  • National strawberry breeding program – warm, subtropical environmental adaptability
  • Peanut breeding program – Peanuts Australia

Agronomy – Small tree high productivity initiative (STHPI)

  • Macadamia
  • Avocado
  • Avocado rootstock trial
  • Annual peanut variety trials
  • Demonstrating best practice management systems for sugarcane
  • Developing farming systems for sugarcane, peanuts and soybean
  • Precision agriculture (vegetables)


  • Irregular crop bearing in Australian avocados
  • Macadamia pollination

Crop protection

  • Plant pathology – citrus disease screening including Alternaria, Phytophthora and citrus tristeza virus in citrus
  • Peanut disease trial – the Bundaberg climate is especially suited to disease screening

Vegetable research

  • Precision agriculture
  • Sweet potato – insect/nematode research and agronomy