The WA Government will invest $8.3 million over four years to drive a more profitable, resilient and diverse northern beef industry.
The funding will support productivity improvements across pastoral land and the northern cattle herd, and increase Aboriginal capacity and job opportunities.
Funding has been locked in ahead of 2020-2021’s Budget to allow critical work delivered through the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Northern Beef Development program to continue.
New projects include a grants scheme to increase the adoption of technology and innovation, and assistance for Aboriginal pastoral enterprises in assessing and transitioning to improved business models that attract investment and create job opportunities.
WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced the extension at Skuthorpe in the Kimberley, where a $157,000 WA Government investment is supporting research into northern fodder crops.
The agronomy trials are examining production options, including fertiliser and water requirements, for efficient, sustainable and profitable irrigated agriculture production in WA’s northern rangelands.
Work has kicked off on local grower Graeme Roger’s Skuthorpe property, with a trial of 3.8 hectares of forage sorghum irrigated by the 88-metre centre pivot irrigator.
The sorghum crop will be harvested in July 2020, after which a trial of 10 perennial grasses will commence.
The work builds on extensive mosaic agriculture investments in the north over the past two decades, which have assisted irrigated operations to expand to over 3,000 hectares in the West Kimberley and Pilbara.
Source: WA Government