David Ferris
Project Manager, Integrated Farming Systems portfolio
David Ferris

My role in the department

I manage the Integrated Farming Systems portfolio which comprises projects that undertake applied R&D to improve crop management practices for the major grain crops grown in WA (wheat, barley, canola and pulses). R&D activities include: tactical break crop and wheat agronomy, barley management, dry seeding, optimising nitrogen fixation and farm business integration. Our team is also actively building research capacity in crop protection and agronomy, providing biometric support with agricultural data, and refining the MyCrop app that brings crop diagnostics to the paddock.

Collectively our activities seek to provide growers and the grains industry with essential knowledge and decision support tools to improve the profitability of farm businesses by increasing crop production, reducing input costs and optimising the use of resources.

Contact information

+61 (0)8 9690 2117
+61 (0)457 502 132

My background

I have 25 years experience in agricultural R&D including the management of collaborative projects involving personnel from different scientific disciplines and institutions. My research career at DPIRD and within the Future Farm Industries CRC, Weeds CRC and the WA Herbicide Resistance Initiative (PhD at UWA) has focused on different aspects of Pasture Science: plant virology, pasture management, weed evolution, herbicide tolerance, weed seedbank dynamics, subtropical perennial pastures, pasture cropping and integrated crop-livestock systems. Over the past eight years I have been the WA node leader for the national EverCrop project: an initiative that seeks to integrate perennial pastures into mixed farming systems.


  • Integrated Farming Systems portfolio
  • EverCrop: developing new mixed farming options. GRDC funded project - CSA00044

Key Expertise

Project management and people leadership, participatory research and practice change, facilitation and communication, pasture management and weed seedbank dynamics, sub-tropical perennial grasses and pasture cropping, integrated crop-livestock systems


  • PhD - School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia (2008)
  • BSc in Horticulture, Murdoch University (1991)