More cash to tackle farm runoff

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - Shane Ni­chols

LO­CAL cane­grow­ers can ac­cess more fed­eral grants to re­duce pol­lu­tant runoff into the Great Bar­rier Reef catch­ments.

Two fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties opened this week – round two of the Reef Trust Phase 4 Re­peated Ten­ders is open for ap­pli­ca­tions un­til Septem­ber 29, with up to $7.1 mil­lion avail­able to cane grow­ers in the Wet Trop­ics and Bur­dekin re­gions.

There will be a grower in­for­ma­tion meet­ing on Au­gust 14 at the Bally Hoo­ley Hall, Mossman Mill, from 8am to 11:30am, or­gan­ised by the Wet Trop­ics Sugar In­dus­try Part­ner­ship (WTSIP).

The com­pet­i­tive ten­der pro­gram gives grow­ers the flex­i­bil­ity to de­cide which prac­tices to adopt on their farms to re­duce their use of ni­tro­gen fer­tiliser.

Pre­vi­ous ap­pli­cants have been funded for ap­ply­ing mill mud, buy­ing spe­cialised equip­ment for pre­ci­sion farm­ing, us­ing legumes as a source of ni­tro­gen, as well as tri­alling bi­o­log­i­cal fer­tilis­ers.

Also open­ing this week is the first round of the Reef Trust Phase 3 In­cen­tive Grants with a to­tal of $1.5 mil­lion avail­able.

This pro­gram will help grow­ers adopt more sus­tain­able farm prac­tices to en­sure their farms re­main prof­itable and pro­duc­tive, while im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity. Ap­pli­ca­tions close on Septem­ber 22.

Both pro­grams are be­ing de­liv­ered on be­half of the gov­ern­ment by WTSIP.

See www.wtsip.org.au for more in­for­ma­tion and to reg­is­ter their in­ter­est.

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