Impact assessment

Impact of conservation tillage research in China and Australia

Date released
01 June 2021
Publication Code

Joseph Abell, Peter Chudleigh and Talia Hardaker


Between 1992 and 2003, ACIAR invested in two projects addressing aspects of conservation tillage in China and controlled traffic farming in Australia. Initial impact assessment of this research in 2005 found an overall benefit:cost ratio of 36:1. However the full impact of many innovations in agriculture is realised over decades.

This publication reports on an impact assessment study conducted in 2019, which showed the two projects continue to demonstrate an excellent return on the research investment. The study revealed a very positive attitude by Chinese authorities and research leaders towards the impacts of the research on China’s cropping sector (conservatively impacting 12–16 million hectares) and the capacity built for conservation tillage research and development, and machinery manufacture in China.