Drought research to deliver farmer certainty

Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Senator the Hon Murray Watt
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Australian farmers and regional communities will benefit from a major, long-term investment into drought preparedness, with $38 million in federal innovation grants announced today.

Through the Future Drought Fund, the Albanese Government will invest in six research projects undertaking long-term trials of new and emerging agriculture practices around cropping, grazing and mixed farming, to help farmers be more drought-resilient.

The 6-year Long-term Trials of Drought Resilient Farming Practices Grants aim to help farmers prepare for drought by equipping them with the data and confidence to invest in technologies and practices which have been proven across different landscapes and production conditions.

The successful projects are: 

  • $6.23 million - Charles Sturt University will lead a consortium to investigate the interdependence and whole-system effects of cropping and livestock components and managing environmental and social impacts in response to seasonal variation, with trials to be undertaken across multiple sites in New South Wales.
  • $3.94 million – Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils - will lead a consortium to evaluate drought resilience in farming systems and soils through an established network of long-term trials across multiple sites in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
  • $4.32 million - NQ Dry Tropic Limited will lead a consortium to look at the effectiveness of virtual fencing to enable rangeland graziers to implement fine scale, drought resilient grazing systems over large areas, with trials to be undertaken in Charters Towers (Queensland).
  • $7.2 million - University of Melbourne will lead a consortium to consider the effectiveness of farming-systems adaptations thought to improve drought resilience of broadacre grains, grazing and mixed farming systems, with trials to be undertaken across multiple sites in Victoria and Tasmania.
  • $8 million - Flinders University will lead a consortium on the climate resilience of cropping, livestock, and mixed farms, assessed through a network of long-term trials across the pastoral, low, medium, and high rainfall zones of South Australia with trials to be undertaken across multiple sites in South Australia.
  • $7.99 million - Deakin University will lead a consortium to investigate the diversity in pastures to build resilience, and support 365 days of feed production in southern temperate grazing enterprises with trials to be undertaken across multiple sites in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.

The program represents a new direction for the $5 billion Future Drought Fund in providing long-term funding to facilitate sustainable change in farming practices that will help strengthen the resilience of farmers to drought conditions and a changing climate.

For more information visit: www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculture-land/farm-food-drought/drought/future-drought-fund/long-term-trials-drought-resilient-farming-practices-grants.

As at 11 August 2023