Senator the Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry last week toured a field trial being conducted through the South Australian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (SA Drought Hub) – SA’s flagship initiative to enhance the drought resilience and preparedness of our farms and regional communities in South Australia.
The trial is part of the ‘Mixed species pastures demonstration sites’ project being managed by the Barossa Improved Grazing Group (BIGG) and located at Carlyle, a grazing property owned by the Mitchell family at Angaston in the Barossa Valley.
Minister Watt spoke with local producers about the project, which is investigating mixed species pastures and the drought resilience benefits they provide through improved availability of livestock feed, improved soil health, and ability to utilise out-of-season rainfall.
“It was terrific to check out the Drought Hub at Angaston and to hear more about the great work being done there,” Minister Watt said.
“By finding innovative solutions to strengthen the drought resilience and preparedness of our farms now, we can ensure communities are better prepared when the dry returns. And understanding the land also has benefits for the wet conditions we are currently experiencing.
“I enjoyed the enthusiasm and the forward-thinking of the team, and look forward to continuing to work with them on this dynamic, climate-smart initiative.”
The work is funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund via the SA Drought Hub.
SA Drought Hub Director Dr Stephen Lee said that it was an excellent opportunity to showcase the on the ground impact of the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.
“We were thrilled to host Minister Watt,” said Dr Lee. “The SA Drought hub has already established a series of highly collaborative projects that will lead to greater adoption of drought resilience on farms across SA.
“Right now, much of Australia is correctly focused on flooding, but we know that future droughts are likely to be more frequent and more severe. With SA Drought Hub projects and partners like BIGG, we are ensuring that the SA agricultural industry is better prepared for future droughts.”
SA Drought Hub year 1 highlights
- Established core Hub at Roseworthy and five nodes across SA (Minnipa, Port Augusta, Orroroo, Loxton, Struan).
- More than 60 partner organisations are involved in the delivery of the Hub activities
- Commenced 18 projects, established 28 demonstration sites, held 32 learning events, and engaged 34 Hub partners in project delivery.
Photo: Senator the Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (right), speaks to Peter Mitchell about the SA Drought Hub’s mixed pastures trial on the Mitchell family’s grazing property near Angaston, SA.
The South Australian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub is one of eight Hubs established across Australia through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund. The SA Drought Hub brings together a dynamic network of primary producers, industry groups, researchers, government agencies, universities, agribusinesses, traditional owners and others to work towards a common vision to strengthen the drought resilience and preparedness of farms and regional communities in South Australia. This program received funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.
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Adam Barclay, AgCommunicators, 0405 357 468 or email@example.com.