Australia to award Smart Farming Partnerships grants
The Australian Government is awarding AUD$27 million (US$20 million) in funding through round one of the Smart Farming Partnership grants, aimed at improving soil health, innovation, digital farming and next-generation weather forecasting.
Fifteen projects will be funded through grants of up to AUD$4 million to adopt the next generation of sustainable farming practices.
Agriculture and Water Resources Minister, David Littleproud, said 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,” he said.
“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."
In addition, he said that new blockchain technology would help sugar exporters track their products overseas and get better access for exports, while innovative technology will measure pasture productivity against soil nutrients on grazing farms in Western Australia 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," he said.
The recipients of the grants include Landcare, farming, and community groups, indigenous organisations, universities, research and development bodies and technology groups.