The Coalition Government is investing $5.93 million in new research, extension and adoption to boost farm productivity through well managed dams and shelterbelts 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,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Stock with access to clean, cool water grow 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 7500 sheep farmers and 8000 cattle farmers in the South West Slopes between Orange and Shepparton 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.”
ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC thanked Minister Littleproud for the significant investment that will support Australian farmers and their communities.
“This project will help ensure that our farmers are best equipped to keep doing what they do best – putting food on our tables. It will also help secure their livelihoods and wellbeing well into the future.”
The project is funded by the Building Landcare Community Capacity Program, part of the Coalition’s $1 billion investment in phase 2 of the National Landcare Program.
For more information on the National Landcare Program visit: nrm.gov.au.