• $13.8 million nationally for two-year soil extension activities
• Delivering outcomes under the Smart Farms Small Grants Program and the National Soil Strategy
• Taking action to improve soil health with evidence-based intervention
The final round of the Morrison Joyce Government’s Smart Farms Small Grants program has now been finalised, with $13.8 million funding 32 projects across the nation to improve soil health and soil management.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud said the grants will help farmers and land managers change the way they look at their soil and improve how they manage it.
“Good soil management leads to increased agricultural productivity and profitability resulting in reaching agricultural outcomes such as improved biodiversity benefiting communities across rural and regional Australia,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This funding round focuses on soil extension activities, which give farmers and land managers practical tools and information they need, including increasing uptake of soil testing and better soil data, which will allow them to make evidence-based decisions for future growing seasons.
“Soil extension activities will aim to improve, and increase, soil sampling and testing. Results from this will feed into the National Soils Monitoring and Incentives Pilot Program to assist in monitoring soil condition and contribute to international efforts to improve soil sustainability,” Minister Littleproud said.
Member for Mallee, Anne Webster said these grants would have a transformative impact on landscapes in Mallee.
“I’m proud that the Morrison Joyce Government has provided $843,000 of funding here in Mallee to build a strong and sustainable future for farmers and the community,” Dr Webster said.
“Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc. will receive $435,000 to help build knowledge and capacity in growers/advisers to diagnose sandy soil constraints to ensure successful amelioration of sands. Birchip Cropping Group Inc will receive $140,000 to help improve productivity and profitability through grid sampling and variable rate applications.
“The Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will also receive $250,000 of federal funding for the Mallee region to support farmers to improve diagnosis and management of soil via soil testing, interpretation and monitoring.
“This funding is fantastic news for our local recipients. I’m pleased to see local farmers and land managers partaking in soil management projects that will benefit not just close to home, but provide crucial data for Australia’s agricultural industry,” Dr Webster said.
This is part of the $214.9 million National Soil Strategy, Australia’s first national policy on soil which sets out how we will manage our soil for the next 20 years and will support Aussie farmers and the sector in reaching its Ag2030 goal to grow agriculture to $100 billion by 2030.
• Under this round, multiple activities could be applied for in the one application. Grants are for between $100,000 to $250,000 per set of activities and will be delivered over two years. Applicants could apply for a maximum of $2 million per application.
• The Smart Farms program is the key agriculture portfolio initiative under phase two of the $1.1 billion National Landcare Program.
• More than $54 million will be available under National Soil Monitoring and Incentives Pilot Program to encourage farmers and land managers to undertake more comprehensive soil testing in exchange for sharing their data with the program.
• Find out more information about the Australian Government’s investment in Landcare here
• Find out more information about the National Soil Strategy here