News and Views

Rural R&D funding turning legumes into loot

Farmers in low and medium rainfall areas could receive a boost to average farm profits by 10 per cent and halve economic risk simply by turning to legumes, thanks to $5.5 million in Federal Government funding awarded to the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the Federal Government was contributing more than $5.5 million to the project under the Rural R&D for Profit program, which supports R&D projects that deliver genuine benefits at the farmgate.

“The Federal Government is committed to creating tangible benefits for farmers and this is a prime example of the real benefits of investment in comprehensive research and development,” Minister Joyce said.

“The GRDC will collaborate with seven partner organisations on this $16 million project to determine how new legume varieties, together with innovative management techniques, can improve profits for mixed farms (cropping and livestock) in low and medium rainfall areas.

“The new legume varieties reduce nitrogen use, increase soil fertility, reduce weeds and diseases and are a quality source of livestock feed, all contributing to a better bottom line for farmers.”

Member for Durack, Melissa Price MP announced the funding boost while opening ABARES’ Kununurra Regional Outlook Conference in WA.

“The project will be trialled on farms across Western Australia, Victoria, southern NSW and South Australia, and will develop whole farm economic modelling to give farmers a clear understanding of what these new crop varieties and management practices could deliver to their business,” Ms Price said.

“The new legume varieties reduce nitrogen use, increase soil fertility, reduce weeds and diseases and are a quality source of livestock feed—all contributing to a better bottom line for farmers.

“Grain, meat and wool producers could reap significant benefits, with the project expected to boost average farm profits by 10 per cent and halve economic risk.”

The Rural R&D for Profit program funds projects which deliver practical and accessible results for farmers, including managing pests, better pasture management and production techniques and improving access to premium markets.

Federal Government funding for the $180.5 million Rural R&D for Profit program is on top of around $700 million the government already invests in rural R&D each year.

Source: Australian Government

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