A national review of drought research facilities, conducted by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), recommended the establishment of three Managed Environment Facilities (MEFs) across Australia for field research into drought in key target environments. The review recommended that three MEFs be established:
- Merredin, Western Australia. Managed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).
- Yanco, southern New South Wales (NSW). Managed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI).
- Narrabri, northern NSW also proposed. Managed by the University of Sydney.
The aim of MEFs is to enhance grain production in water-limited environments by providing regional support for national research projects and scientists.
The managed environment facilities provide Australian research collaborators with the technical requirements, facilities and support to more extensively and thoroughly test plant responses to water limited environments under field conditions.
Researchers will have the means to evaluate germplasm and quantify physiological mechanisms for adaptation to water deficit in a Mediterranean agricultural system.