25 September 2023

Farmers’ grants right on the money

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A total of 26 projects have been supported by the $150,000 ACT Rural Resilience Grants, enabling rural landholders across the Territory to make their farm businesses more resilient to drought and other climate extremes.

Announcing the grants, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Mick Gentleman said they would enable landholders to install infrastructure, including for fodder storage and water supplies, so they could manage stock and protect their farming resource base during extended dry periods.

“Rural landholders are also contributing their own resources to implement projects with grants leveraging an estimated $500,000 co-contribution, in kind and materials,” Mr Gentleman said.

“Our local farmers have been managing with significantly below average rainfall, with September being the driest September on record across Australia.”

He said 17 of the successful grant projects would support landholders to improve their stock water through constructing or de-silting dams, installing bores and tanks, installing pipes and troughs to extend water into areas where dams had dried up, and accessing off-stream water through construction of pumps, pipes and troughs.

“A further seven successful projects will assist landholders to construct fodder conservation infrastructure such as silos and hay sheds,” Mr Gentleman said.

“These projects will enable landholders to buy or grow their own stock fodder, such as oats or lucerne, and store this fodder to protect from the elements until they need to feed it out to their stock, taking the pressure off their soils and pastures.”

He said most landholders who were recipients of the funding were also planning to use the fodder storing sheds to harvest rainfall for stock water purposes.

“Two successful projects will assist landholders to install fencing to manage kangaroo numbers on their properties and reduce the total grazing pressure on their farm, thus protecting soils and pastures particularly during these dry times,” the Minister said.

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