Government to provide $27 million for Smart Farming Partnerships grants

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Soil health, innovation, digital farming and next generation weather forecasting will all be improved thanks to $27 million in funding through round one of Smart Farming Partnership grants

Photo: Tony Nguyen/ Moment/ Getty Images
  • Smart Farming Partnership Grants ranged between $480,000 and $4 million.

  • The National Landcare Program’s second phase is an investment of more than $1 billion to 2023.

  • Landcare was launched in 1989 and has had bipartisan support for nearly 30 years.

Fifteen projects will be funded through grants of up to $4 million to adopt the next generation of sustainable farming practices to benefit the future of Aussie agriculture.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud says the multi-year grants will bring together farmers, researchers, community groups and others.

"We are funding ambitious projects to benefit sugar cane farmers in Queensland, graziers in Western Australia and on farm weather forecasting in NSW," Littleproud says.

"Farming can be rough and unpredictable. Dynamic real-time weather forecasting helps farmers make better decisions instead of relying on seasonal weather forecasts.

"One project will show farmers how to use manures and composts with other fertilisers to avoid doubling up and wasting money as they improve soil health and on-farm productivity.

"Many consumers want sustainably sourced food and fibre, including sugar. New blockchain technology will help sugar exporters track their sugar overseas and get better access for exports.

"Innovative technology will measure pasture productivity against soil nutrients on grazing farms in WA to reduce fertiliser use, improve water quality and deliver better pasture.

"Other projects include pest control and vegetation management to meet the growing demand for verified sustainably produced products."

The recipients of the grants include Landcare, farming, and community groups, indigenous organisations, universities, research and development bodies and technology groups.

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