Burdekin sugar cane farmers can bid for funding of up to $500,000 to reduce nitrogen levels in water leaving their farms and entering the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon.
Through its Reef Trust Program the Australian Government has made $11.8 million available to help farmers better match fertiliser application to crop requirements to reduce nutrient runoff from sugar cane land. NQ Dry Tropics has again been appointed to support Burdekin farmers through the bidding process.
NQ Dry Tropics senior project officer Luke Malan said the Reef Trust competitive tender was an innovative way to encourage sugar cane farmers to put a price on the cost of improving their nitrogen and irrigation management practices.
“Farmers design their own projects, and if successful, are offered grant funding for the total cost of their project,” Mr Malan said.
“The reef tender is a great opportunity to continue the good work that the Burdekin sugar cane industry has already achieved in improving the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.
“NQ Dry Tropics is committed to making this project a success. We will ensure that farmers have the information they need to make a decision to submit an expression of interest and tender bid.
“Farmers are encouraged to attend an upcoming workshop that will provide them with the opportunity to register their interest, meet local agronomists and get farm-specific advice which they can use when developing their tender bids,” he said.
The workshop will be held at the Ayr PCYC, MacMillan Street, on Friday, 4 August, from 9am to 1pm. Refreshments will be provided.