The Coalition Government today announced more than $3.4 million for a new research project that will boost productivity and lift farmgate profits through more efficient use of phosphorous fertiliser in pastures.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce and Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton today announced the funding for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) under Round Two of the Coalition's Rural Research and Development for Profit programme.
“The Coalition is helping ensure our farmers have access to cutting-edge research, technology, products and processes so they remain world-class,” Minister Joyce said.
Mr Coulton said the research project aims to cut phosphorus fertiliser use on pastures by around 30 per cent annually.
“Australian farmers will spend an estimated $2.15 billion on fertiliser over the next year so a 30 per cent saving in phosphorus use would significantly help to constrain production costs and strengthen farm profitability,” Mr Coulton said.
The project seeks to develop pasture systems based on legumes that are highly phosphorus-efficient and increasing farmer’s knowledge about the use of clover cultivars with phosphorus-efficient root traits.
“The research will have a significant impact on phosphorus dependent pasture grazing systems.
“The project will boost our knowledge of pasture systems and give farmers additional tools to improve their fertiliser use efficiency.
Mr Coulton congratulated all organisations participating on the research project with MLA, including the Boggabri grazing group and Purlewaugh branch of New South Wales Farmers.
Other project partners include Australian Wool Innovation, Dairy Australia, CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Department of Trade and Investment, the University of Western Australia, Murdoch University, Bookham Agricultural Bureau, Tablelands Farming Systems, Central Ranges Grassland Society, Monaro Farming Systems, Southern Dirt and the Association for Sheep Husbandry Excellence Evaluation and Production.
“This grant will be matched by more than $4.9 million in cash and in-kind contributions by MLA and its partner organisations,” Mr Coulton said.
Mr Joyce said the Coalition has delivered $52 million in grants under round two of the Rural R&D for Profit programme, focusing on the areas of advanced technology, biosecurity, soil, water and managing natural resources, as well as promoting industry and on-farm adoption of R&D, to ensure benefits are realised at the farmgate.
“More than $78 million in Rural R&D for Profit programme initiatives have been funded so far, with the Coalition investing a further $100 million as part of the $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to extend the programme to 2021-22.
“This is on top of $700 million the government already invests in rural R&D each year.”
“Unfortunately, Labor is putting investment in agricultural research and development at risk with its failure to commit to retain the R&D for Profit programme and Labor’s policy to review R&D funding if it is elected.
“When Labor was last in office it had the Productivity Commission review agricultural R&D and that report recommended Labor cut Commonwealth matching funds by 50 per cent,” Mr Joyce said.
Funding for this project has been provided for from within existing budget resources.
Media Contact for Minister Joyce: Kate Barwick – 0408 072 809
Media Contact for Mr Coulton: Amy Welham – 0448 477 830