The GRDC has received more than $5.5 million through Round 3 of the Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit program for a project exploring how new legume varieties can best boost farm profits.
The Rural R&D for Profit program delivers on the government’s election commitment to increase funding for R&D projects that are practical and accessible for farmers.
Member for Durack, Melissa Price MP, made the announcement at the ABARES Kununurra Regional Outlook Conference today.
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 Coalition 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 Coalition 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 Coalition 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.
Coalition 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.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]ABARES has found that for every dollar the government invests in agricultural R&D, farmers generate a $12 return within 10 years.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]The Rural R&D for Profit program funds projects that address the country’s rural RD&E priorities: advanced technology, biosecurity, managing natural resources, as well as promoting industry and on-farm adoption of R&D.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]The funding goes to RDCs, which partner with one or more groups, which could include research agencies, universities, funding bodies, businesses, producer groups, or not-for-profit organisations on projects that will deliver real benefits on the farm.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Grant funding of $114.7 million has been awarded to 36 projects over the first three rounds of the Rural R&D for Profit program, matched by almost $170 million in cash and in-kind contributions from successful grantees and their partners.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]The government is providing more than $5.5 million to the GRDC, with cash and in-kind contributions bringing the total project cost to more than $16 million.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]There are thousands of different species of plants in the legume family.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Legumes have important roles in farming systems, reducing cereal diseases, providing weed management options and contributing nitrogen.