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Charles Sturt University (CSU)

Charles Sturt University has an expansive footprint across south-eastern Australia servicing major agricultural zones in south/central New South Wales and Northern Victoria. The University has national and global reach through research and education partnerships with numerous community, industry, government and research/education organisations.

Charles Sturt is a university of the land and people of our regions – building strong, vibrant regional communities with infrastructure, intellectual and social capital, and skilled graduates. The University undertakes research in many disciplines that is high quality, high impact, and highly engaged with industry and community.

The University’s research is above or well above world standard in disciplines including:

  • Agricultural, veterinary and environmental sciences
  • Physical and data sciences
  • Health and medical sciences
  • Education and social sciences

A key enabler of Charles Sturt’s agriculture-related research is our Global Digital Farm (GDF). The GDF is more than just a Smart Farm, it will be a fully integrated digital learning and research environment working within a full-scale, commercial, mixed farm operation. As Australia’s first fully automated commercial farm, the GDF will demonstrate the future of farming through robotics, AI and new sustainability and carbon models to drive improved farming practice. The GDF equips Charles Sturt as the future of agriculture education and a global leader in industry and research-led, on-farm innovation.

The GDF will develop and operate:

  • Fully autonomous machinery (robotic tractors, harvesters, drones)
  • AI informing management decisions for sowing, harvesting
  • Best practice management of cybersecurity risks in food production
  • New sensor technologies measuring plant, soil, animal interactions
  • Evidence-based sustainability practices and models
  • Carbon management and measurement models

The GDF is located on Charles Sturt’s 1600-hectare farm at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales and incorporates crops (wheat, canola, barley), a vineyard, apple orchard, cattle and sheep.

The GDF offers:

  • A farm-ready, research and innovation ‘laboratory’ with baseline data and digital infrastructure to study plant, soil, water, animal and landscape interactions at varying scales
  • An innovation hub for ideation, validation, and demonstration of agritech under real and controlled conditions
  • Credible demonstrations of data and digital technologies that improve farm business, lifestyle and best management practices.

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