A Good Investment In Farmers
The Coalition Government is investing $5.93 million in new research, extension and adoption to boost farm productivity through well managed dams and shelterbelts deliver on-farm. The project will also measure the biodiversity benefits of farm dams and shelterbelts.
Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said putting native vegetation and entry points around dams meant stock grew faster on cleaner, cooler water – and this research would measure the benefits across 15,500 farms.
“Fencing, installing watering points and planting native vegetation around dams can increase farm productivity,” said David. “Stock with access to clean, cool water grows better meat.”
“Native vegetation filters out runoff from paddocks, which often contains sediment, faecal matter and other things. This keeps the dam water cleaner, cooler and with less bacteria, which reduces the risk of stock contracting water-borne parasites.”
“Trees reduce surface temperatures and evaporation rates meaning the farmer’s dam retains more water. Good dam management and shelter belt management helps with drought management.”
“Then of course there’s the biodiversity boost and as I’ve announced recently, I see a future in which farmers are paid for biodiversity and carbon absorption on their farms. I’ve put $34 million towards this already.”
“Field days and workshops will make sure we get the highest adoption rates possible. Having farmers see real productivity benefits and take this up, improving Australia’s farm output and growing agriculture, is the real goal here.”
“More than 7,500 sheep farmers and 8,000 cattle farmers will be involved, including at farm field days and workshops. This investment will also help build drought resilience by giving farmers a better understanding on what happens to water stored in dams,” said David.
Drought Retains Tight Grip Despite Rain
The State continues to experience prolonged and widespread drought conditions despite some welcome rainfall in March, particularly in the east, eastern Riverina, Central and Southern Tablelands and Central West, Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW, Adam Marshall said this week.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries State Seasonal Update for March has been released, which shows that while some isolated areas had moved into drought recovery, much of the Western region missed out altogether.
“The NSW Combined Drought Indicator shows that although there has been some shifts in the nature of the current drought, 99.5 percent of NSW is still experiencing drought conditions,” said Adam.
“It was wonderful to see farmers in some areas receive their first significant falls in a long time, but unfortunately there is no break from drought conditions.”
“Sadly drought is continuing to retain its tight grip on the State and more follow up rain is needed to ensure that any short-term improvement is sustained.”
According to the update, conditions are unchanged in the far west, north-west and parts of Central NSW, which remain in the Intense Drought and Drought categories.
“I am acutely aware of how difficult these conditions are for our farmers, which is why I am quickly assessing current drought relief measures to make sure farmers are receiving the best possible support and that this support is ongoing,” said Adam.
“The NSW Government has committed almost $1.5 billion to the drought support package, boosted the Farm Innovation Fund from $650 million to $1 billion and increased the value of low interest loans available through the fund up to $1 million.”
The latest State Seasonal Update and information on a range of services and support is available on www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au.