Beyond Reasonable Drought (BRD) began in 2021 with an aim to mitigate the impacts of decreased rainfall and the increased intensity of extreme weather events that have been experienced in the Northern Agricultural Region (NAR).
The project was developed as a partnership between NACC NRM, Liebe Group, West Midlands Group and the Yuna Farm Improvement Group with each organisation focusing on individual and shared strategic goals for improved drought resilience in the NAR through demonstrations and peer-to-peer learning.
Beyond Reasonable Drought’s goals were substantial for the 16 month timeframe with each group and individual making substantial contributions to get it across the line. The project was a success and established a total of 13 improved land management demonstrations covering 773 hectares with a geographic spread from Wandana in the North to Dandaragan to the South and Beacon in the East. Each group championed a set of activities to be demonstrated that contributed to the building of knowledge and capacity in both their own community and the broader NAR.
West Midlands Group focused on trials that investigated a change in timing of soil amelioration practices and the types of crops and pastures that can be grown to significantly reduce the potential for wind erosion.
Liebe Group demonstrated extension of existing groundcover windows, adjusting timing of soil disturbance practices and establishing shelter/vegetation belts as a viable agricultural activity integrating natural rehydration and drought mitigation techniques applicable to farming system practice change.
Yuna Farm Improvement Group demonstrated the benefits of including a non-cash crop to increase soil moisture retention, reduce the total ha of land under a bare earth fallow, increase feed security, reduce erosion risk and demonstrate the viability of legumes as source of stock feed and organic nitrogen in low rainfall zones.
NACC NRM established farm-based trials to demonstrate the effectiveness of bio-fertilisers and soil biology stimulants to reduce the usage of synthetic fertiliser to greatly improve input efficiency in broad-acre agriculture and address soil function as a drought mitigation process.
Each group has made the findings of demonstrations available to their members and a completed summary of all project outcomes will be located on the NACC NRM website and updated as more findings come in beyond the life of the project.
This program is supported by NACC NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.