Forum to showcase drought resilience-building initiatives

Efforts to strengthen South Australia’s drought preparedness and resilience will be recognised and discussed during a national forum next month.

The Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum – to be livestreamed across Australia from 7-9 June – will showcase activities and innovations to prepare the state for future droughts.

The South Australian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub will provide an opportunity for industry participants to engage in the Forum at the Hub’s headquarters at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus on Tuesday 7 June and Wednesday 8 June.

This will be followed by a field trip by bus on Thursday 9 June that will visit sites of relevance and interest in the Mid North and Barossa Valley, including EzyBale at Freeling where hay and fodder production within a drought context will be the focus.

Other sites to be visited include Turretfield Research Centre (operated by the Department of Primary Industries’ research division, the South Australian Research and Development Institute) where thermoregulation of ewes, strategies for managing heat stress in sheep, and sheep reproductive technologies will be among the topics discussed.

Soil and production benefits from the use of mulch and compost in vineyards will be outlined during a visit to Pindarie Winery where lunch will also be provided.

SA Drought Hub Director Dr Stephen Lee says the three days of activities in SA to coincide with the national Science to Practice Forum provide a unique opportunity for South Australians to come together to learn about the various initiatives being undertaken nationally and within SA to prepare for drought.

“A large suite of projects and activities is now underway through the Future Drought Fund – many with SA Drought Hub involvement and support – to strengthen the drought resilience of our farmers and regional communities,” Dr Lee says.

“The Science to Practice Forum and our Hub’s associated events will provide a comprehensive insight into the work being done and a chance to discuss those initiatives and their impact with the SA Hub team and its many partners who are leading on-the-ground projects.”

All these events, including the field trip, are free of charge and catering will be provided.

To register for any of the three days of SA Drought Hub activities, go to https://bit.ly/3wCb4K9.

Registration is essential as numbers are limited. SA Health COVID-19 requirements will apply to this event.

Those who are unable to attend the in-person events at Roseworthy but wish to join the Forum online can do so by registering at https://bit.ly/3NvSOrs.

The program for the Science to Practice Forum, available at https://bit.ly/3MCLKJC, includes presentations by SA Drought Hub partners and associated organisations, as well as a Hub video recently filmed in SA.

Led by the University of Adelaide and in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), the SA Drought Hub is one of eight Hubs established across the nation in 2021 through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

The Hub consists of a comprehensive and collaborative network of 59 industry partners, including grower groups; the three South Australian-based universities; government agencies; indigenous partners; agribusinesses; research, development and extension partners; and industry organisations.

More information about the SA Drought Hub is available at https://sadroughthub.com.au/. To find out more about the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, go to www.agriculture.gov.au/fdf