Leslie research facility

Site Details

Research facility nameLeslie Research FacilityWellcamp and Kingsthorpe Field Sites
Research facility address13 Holberton Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350Wellcamp Field Site: 381 Drayton-Wellcamp Road, Toowoomba QLD 4350
Kingsthorpe Field Site: 292 Gowrie Mountain School Road, Kingsthorpe QLD 4400
Telephone+61 7 4529 1411 
Coordinates (GPS at office)27°32'02''S, 151°56'09''EWellcamp 27°33'54''S, 151°51'51''E
Kingsthorpe 27°30'50''S, 151°46'46''E
ClimateWarm, temperate climate. With temperature range of 2?38°C, average maximum 28°C and average minimum 17°C. Average annual rainfall 725-1000mm on eastern ranges.
TopographyWell elevated, easily sloping red soil

Site overview

Leslie Research Facility is a multi-functional site with over 7 hectares (ha) that has been a service provider since 1962 for plant breeding and agronomic studies on grain crops throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales. The facility has office accommodation, laboratories, glasshouses, grain processing and farm facilities with full irrigation capacity.

The facility is supported by two local external trial sites at Wellcamp (24ha) and Kingsthorpe (12ha) forming a total area of 36ha, comprised of alkaline Waco cracking clays.

Staff onsite have extensive expertise in conducting cropping research trials, grain quality analysis, biotechnology and biometry.


General facilities

The site has built facilities which include an administration office with accommodation for 60 staff, conference and meeting rooms. There are also general storage, specialist machinery and sheds with a mechanical workshop and chemical stores onsite. Laboratories are supported by a processing facility, cold storage including dehumidified storage and specialist equipment such as growth rooms, dehydrators, grinding rooms and analytical equipment.

The site has a wide range of mobile equipment including tractors, trucks, planters, sprayers and cultivators required to support research and grow a broad range of grain crops on these sites and at collaborator locations.

Specialised infrastructure

Controlled environments

  • 6 glasshouses of varying dimensions and configurations with a total footprint of 1000m2, convection temperature controlled, pot plant benches and irrigation systems
  • Head-house with steriliser, contained spray booth and tank, soil storage, potting and washing facilities
  • Processing facility with forklift/truck access providing undercover threshers, 6 cold rooms, laboratories, plant growth rooms/cabinets and dehydrators
  • Chemical store and contained spray booth with secure underground waste tanks

Laboratories, processing facilities and conference room

  • 2 laboratories: 1 biotechnology laboratory for DNA analysis of plant breeding characteristics for selected genotypes, and 1 analytical laboratory for assessing grain characteristics
  • Seed stores – dehumidified seed store and cold rooms
  • 1 conference room that seats up to 30 and a meeting room

Hail meshed land plots with irrigation

  • 3.5ha under hail mesh on red clay soils
  • Pumping and irrigation – 1 bore at Leslie plus town and rain water stores, 2 bores at Wellcamp and 1 bore at Kingsthorpe
  • Irrigation by spray lines

Specialised plant and equipment

  • 3 GPS guidance tractors – John Deere 6120, New Holland T404, and New Holland T6-150
  • 6 plot harvesters – 2 KEW harvesters for large seed increase, 3 KEW harvesters for in cab bagging of whole plot capture up to 16m2 and 1 WINTERSTEIGER harvester for in cab bagging, in cab sub sampling, on-board weighing, moisture and hectolitre weights
  • 5 trial planters (all planters can apply starter fertiliser and nitrogen fertiliser in one pass)
    • 1 planter used for long fallow trial running for over 50 years and used for fertiliser application
    • 1 planter for yield trials mainly on the inner Darling Downs with 250mm row spacing and designed for 6–9m plots
    • 1 planter for yield trials and NVT trials in Central Queensland and Western Downs with 375mm row spacing, designed for 6–9m plots
    • 1 planter used for nursery applications – cassette planter for planting 4 rows at 50cm row spacing with separate varieties per row, also used for crown rot and common root rot trials to apply inoculum
    • 1 planter for fertiliser trials fitted with a fertiliser cone, two seed boxes and precision Brush Type Seed Meters.
  • 2 fertiliser applicators – 1 TPL fertiliser spreader and 1 TPL 3.5m Gyral with Norsden fertiliser box
  • Cultivation machinery – 2 Gyral cultivators 2.4m, 2 Grizzly offset disc 2.4m, 2 Bonel chisels 3m, 1 John Deere chisel 2.4m, 1 reversible one way disc 1.5m and 1 Gessner deep ripper 2.4m

Pest and pathogen control

  • 5 sprayers – ute mounted 18m sprayer, all-terrain vehicle trailer mounted 10m sprayer, all-terrain vehicle 6m sprayer, inter-row covered sprayer 2m, and covered sprayer 2m.


  • Self-contained trucks and trailers equipped to freight machinery to cultivate, precision plant and harvest within South-East and Central Queensland and northern New South Wales
  • Utes – support vehicles.

Sample processing

  • Dryers
  • Soil and plant material grinders
  • Stationary threshers

Research focus

The Leslie Research Facility is a service provider positioned to negotiate and deliver research, development and extension within:

  • New grain and pulse cultivars and germplasm lines such as mungbean, chickpea, maize, sorghum, oats and barley that are increasingly tolerant to diseases, pests and drought and with improved market qualities for farm businesses and industry to increase yields and improve productivity and sustainability of broadacre crops.
  • Innovative pest, disease, nematode and weed management technologies and strategies for farm businesses and industry to reduce yield loss and improve productivity and sustainability of broadacre crops.
  • Innovative technologies and farming systems for farm business and industry to enable sustainable broadacre cropping rotations.