Cotton and grain producers in the Parkes electorate may be able to save precious soil, time and money thanks to a $768,500 Liberal and Nationals’ Government investment into efficient planting technology.
Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the project is expected to see trials nationally with interest already expressed from producers in his electorate.
“Farmers from Goondiwindi, Moree, Narrabri, Narromine and Spring Ridge have already indicated their interest in these ‘no till’ trials, which is fantastic to see,” Mr Coulton said.
“The project will use ultra-high pressure water jets to make precision cuts in the soil and also inject nutrients and ready-to-plant seeds. This minimises soil disturbance, and as a result, conserves soil and nutrients.
“Keeping soil intact and maintaining ground cover also helps retain soil moisture. This technology will give crops the best chance of success leading to higher yields in both good and dry seasons.
“It will also save farmers’ money by reducing waste, and help them to apply herbicides more effectively.”
The South Australian No-Till Farmers Association will drive the project, which will be developed across all six states with farmers, peak bodies and industry professionals sharing their knowledge.
Mr Coulton said he is pleased the Coalition Government is also investing more than $550,000 in projects that will use the latest science to improve soils quality.
“This additional funding will put grower groups and natural resource managers in direct contact with Australia’s leading researchers,” Mr Coulton said.
“This will be carried out by the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (CRC).
“The Government will invest $100,000 in Soil Science Australia to create a road map, which will look for ways to boost the capacity of soils so they can retain more nutrients and good bacteria.
“Good soils also retain water longer which makes a big difference in seasons with low rainfall. This is just another way we can mitigate the effects of dry times.”