Government focus on farm productivity

By Country News

The Federal Government is investing $5.93million in new research, extension and adoption to boost farm productivity through well managed dams and shelterbelts. The project will also measure the biodiversity benefits of farm dams and shelterbelts.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said putting native vegetation and entry points around dams meant stock grew faster on cleaner, cooler water — and this research would measure the benefits across 15500 farms.

‘‘Fencing, installing watering points and planting native vegetation around dams can increase farm productivity,’’ Mr Littleproud said.

‘‘Stock with access to clean, cool water grow better meat.

‘‘Native vegetation filters out runoff from paddocks, which often contains sediment, faecal matter and other things. This keeps the dam water cleaner, cooler and with less bacteria, which reduces the risk of stock contracting water-borne parasites.

‘‘Trees reduce surface temperatures and evaporation rates meaning the farmer’s dam retains more water.

‘‘Good dam management and shelter belt management helps with drought management,’’ Mr Littleproud said.

‘‘More than 7500 sheep farmers and 8000 cattle farmers in the south-west slopes between Orange and Shepparton will be involved.’’