Backing next generation of smart farmers

first_imgBacking next generation of smart farmers The Hon David Littleproud MPMinister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management84 projects to share in $6.48 million Smart Farms Small Grants fundingFocus is on supporting Australian farmers to adopt innovative practices that increase farm productivity, profitability and protection of natural resources Farmers are being given a helping hand to adopt the next generation of sustainable farming practices in the latest round of the Australian Government’s Smart Farms Small Grants.Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said 84 innovative projects aimed at boosting farmers’ agricultural productivity and natural resource management have been awarded funding.“Our farmers produce the best food and fibre in the world because of their ingenuity, resilience and incredible work ethic,” Minister Littleproud said.“They have always looked after the land and this program supports their continued environmental stewardship by backing clever ideas that deliver on-ground results.“The government is investing almost $6.5 million through the fourth round of Smart Farms Small Grants.“These grants aim to improve environmental, economic and social outcomes through better sustainability, productivity and profitability in the food, fibre and forestry industries.One such project, being delivered by Birchip Cropping Group, is investigating the use of multispecies cover crops in low rainfall broadacre mixed farming.“The project will focus on providing outcomes that benefit mixed farming systems, where livestock can supplement a winter cash crop operation,” said Birchip Cropping Group CEO, Fiona Best.“Using local knowledge, we will help our farmers make better, more cost-effective crop management decisions that optimise soil health.”Another project, being delivered by Mallee Sustainable Farming is looking to deliver research and development to the farm by establishing industry-led digital extension hubs across Victoria, South Australia and the New South Wales mallee.“This exciting work will provide virtual access to local research sites and curate a continuous Q&A service for farmers visiting the hubs,” said Mallee Sustainable Farming Executive Officer, Lachlan Sutton“By linking farmers to farmers, and farmers to researchers virtually we can get information out to them while they’re in the tractor cab. For time poor farmers, this will be a total game changer and allow us to deliver improvements across up to 4 million hectares MSF covers as well as the rest of Australia.”“These are just two examples of how grower groups, landcare groups and other organisations are helping farmers to think clever and make a real impact on the ground”, Minister Littleproud said.“I am excited by all of the great ideas put forward by the successful applicants under Smart Farms Small Grants.“This is a key National Landcare Program initiative and part of the government’s commitment to helping industry towards its target of growing the sector to $100 billion by 2030.”For a full list of successful grantees visit the Australian Government investment in Landcare page here.Fast Facts:The Smart Farms program is the key agriculture portfolio initiative under phase two of the $1.1 billion National Landcare Program.The program comprises the Smart Farming Partnerships, Smart Farms Small Grants and Building Landcare Community and Capacity grant programs.To date, including this fourth funding round, Smart Farms Small Grants has funded a total of 384 projects to the value of $25.5 million.An additional two rounds of Smart Farms Small Grants are anticipated with funding of up to $18 million.The government is investing almost $6.5 million funding 84 projects through the fourth round of Smart Farms Small Grants towards a diverse range of local projects across Australia. Grants were available for between $5,000 and $100,000 for farmers, fishers and community groups. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). 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