Support for research

FARMERS have backed funding to promote innovation, development and research in the agricultural sector.

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association supports a State Government pledge to Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture to receive almost $1.7million for projects that will deliver broad strategic benefits to a range of critical agricultural industries.

The projects have been supported by the Government’s Agricultural Innovation Fund and include research that will trial the use seaweed for livestock to evaluate greenhouse gas reduction; productivity gains; animal health and soil carbon; on-farm strategies for the prevention and control of blueberry rust; the development of a decision support systems for management of potato diseases and impact of changing climates; and a project that will investigate the production of sparkling wine from smoke-affected wine grapes as a mitigation strategy.

TFGA acting chief executive officer Marcus McShane said the benefits that flowed throughout regional Tasmania were vast.

“We welcome this kind of investment; it helps our farmers adapt and thrive in a changing climate. The TIA is playing a big part in Tasmanian agriculture,” Mr McShane said.
“Leading into a federal election we look forward to announcements from the Federal Government around investment commitments to agriculture.”

TIA director Professor Michael Rose said the funding would support research projects.

“Our research strengths are aligned with areas of growth for the Tasmanian agriculture and food sector including data-driven precision technology, adapting to a changing climate, ensuring long-term health of our soils and waterways and optimising the value-add opportunities post-farmgate,” Prof Rose said.
“TIA is playing a key role in helping the agriculture industry transition to sustainable farm management practices, as it works to build resilience to climate change as well as to limit greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and food production.”

TIA has worked with the Tasmanian Government for more than 20 years, to help deliver world-class agricultural research, development, and extension that is delivering practical, on-farm benefits.

“We have a mandate to support the sustainable development of Tasmania’s agriculture and food industries through the provision of demand-driven research, industry development, extension and education.”

The successful projects are: On-farm adoption of low emissions feed technologies for improved profitability of the Tasmanian livestock sector – $487,017, with industry co-funding of $2,085,475.

Beating smoke taint with sparkling wine – Climate Change Adaptation for the Tasmanian wine industry – $217,680, with industry co-funding of $132,357.

Development of a decision support systems for management of potato diseases and estimating impact of changing climates – $499,725, with industry co-funding of $296,629.

New on-farm strategies for the prevention and control of blueberry rust in Tasmania – $482,788, with industry co-funding of $201,873.
(Figures are approximate)