Water quality cash a winner for Joe
LOCAL canefarmer Joe Sciacca received a grant to build an Inter-row Dual Herbicide Spray Applicator in the final round of the Reef Program Water Quality Grants administered by Terrain NRM and funded by the Federal government.
Growers in the Wet Tropics region could apply for funding for Water Quality Grants to help finance initiatives to improve the quality of water running off their paddocks to the Great Barrier Reef.
Growers were asked to contribute 50 per cent of the project costs.
Joe applied for the grant through Mossman Agricultural Services and Rebecca Stone who assisted Joe with his application said, “These grants will allow Joe and many other growers in the Mossman region to make substantial changes to their farming practices that result in water quality benefits while also improving their farm productivity.”
Joe said, “I applied for the grant to build the applicator as there are no purpose built applicators on the market and there is a shortage of same for hire in the district.
“Having this spray applicator enables me to spray at the appropriate time according to weather conditions and ensure I can apply the chemicals more accurately thus minimising wastage, saving dollars and confining the chemical to the appropriate areas”.
Terrain’s CEO Carole Sweatman said this final round of grants had attracted a total of 296 applications from the cane, banana, multi-crop and dairy industries.
“More than 65 per cent of those applications were successful with grants averaging $16,054, although maximum grant size available to an individual was $30,000,” she said.
Terrain’s Reef Program manager Deb Bass said there had been a higher level of interest in this round as farmers were aware that this was their last opportunity to apply for grant funding.
“Over the course of the last eight years we have worked with nearly 1000 farmers in the region and seen well over $50 million invested into projects aimed at improving the health of the Reef.”
Joe Sciacca said, “It would be appreciated by farmers if these grants were to continue as there are still areas for improvement such as sediment ponds, drainage and specialised equipment to enable farmers to continue with best farming practices”. HEIFERS and cows have stolen the show with record prices at the Mareeba Saleyards.
Daintree cattle featured in the high prices for the second week in a row, with three heifers from S. Quaid fetching 271.2¢/kg to set a new record. The heifers averaged 586kg to return about $1589 per head.
P. Hendricks sold two cows, averaging 515kg, for a record 284.2¢/kg to receive a return of about $1463 per head. Mareeba combined agents yarded about 670 head at Tuesday’s prime and store sale, down more than 200 head from the previous week.
Despite the sale being delayed an hour due to the National Livestock Identification System database being down, buyers competed strongly for quality cattle.
Export slaughter bullocks featured in the competition, increasing in value by as much as 14¢/kg on the previous week’s price. Two bullocks from Curr Pastoral received the top price of 291.2¢/kg to return about $1514 per head.
Janice Osborne from the Daintree has been a regular at the Mareeba Saleyards for the past 40 years.
Mrs Osborne received the previous week’s top price of 277.2¢/kg for a pen of seven bullocks and was happy to receive 286.2¢/kg for a single bullock at yesterday’s sale, for a return of around $1488.
“We thought he would get us a good price because he is in good condition,” she said.
“I’m very pleased and my son will be pleased, seeing as he does all the hard work.”
Malanda buyer Jake Godfrey bought three Hereford cows for 279.2¢/kg from P. Hendricks. The cows averaged 640kg to return about $1786 per head.
“We were just looking for a few breeder cows,” he said.
“We don’t come down that often but we know the guys who were selling them.”
Joe Sciacca and Rebecca Stone of Mossman Ag Services with inter-row dual applicator.