Getting a good thing off the ground

Sustainable farming in the Northern Agricultural Region is on the front foot, following the fifth round of NACC’s Innovative Farming Demonstration grants.

Through this grant, four innovative farming demonstration site projects have been launched in the region, to support innovative and sustainable farming practices in the NAR, and will share in a total of $66, 770.

Dung beetles at work as part of a NACC's Innovation Farming Demonstration grants from Round 3 which is being delivered by the Mingenew Irwin Group on Helen Newton's property.
Dung beetles at work as part of a NACC’s Innovation Farming Demonstration grants from Round 3 which is being delivered by the Mingenew Irwin Group on Helen Newton’s property.

These grants are open to landholders and groups in the region, to establish farming demonstrations on their farms and properties.

NACC’s Carbon Farming Coordinator Sarah Jeffery said: “There were some really good project ideas being submitted in this round and it was particularly great to see some applications from individual land holders.”

The projects funded under this fifth round of NACC’s Innovative Farming Demonstration grants are:

  • Batten Farms demonstration: This project site looks at the naturally occurring native grass Paspalidium warrego and comparing it with the costly establishment of sub-tropical perennial grasses. Both grasses will be analysed for quality, amount of grazing sustained and visual impact of controlling wind erosion.  An economic analysis will be done to compare both grasses at the end.
  • Cripps one hectare Lebeckia demonstration: This project will see if the new perennial legume species, Lebeckia, is suited to the poor deep sands of Binnu.  There are a number of other trial sites in WA but this is the Northern-most site.  If it is successful it will give farmers another option for these soils whilst increasing soil health, reducing wind erosion and increasing food on offer.
  • Equii consultancy‘s project: This looks at a number of factors to better determine the amount of nitrogen to be applied (in this case to a wheat crop) during the season to reduce nitrogen leaching and soil acidification. Some of the factors that will be used include historical data (rainfall, yields), pre-season soil tests and in season soil tests.
  • The Liebe Group has slightly different approach as it is a mentoring project. It will engage farmers with a wealth of knowledge who are willing to offer support and advice to other growers who are looking for this knowledge, advice and support. Based on a one to one relationship these partnerships will look at a broad range of on farm topics including natural resource management.

Round six of NACC’s Sustainable Agriculture Innovative Farming Demonstration Sites grants will open on 21 November, so start thinking of new project ideas.

To date, 30 projects have been funded through this project.  For more information on these projects visit the NACC Farming Demonstration web page.

This project is supported by NACC through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

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