An upcoming workshop in Ayr will support Burdekin sugarcane farmers to apply for Australian Government funding of up to $500,000 to reduce their fertiliser use while maintaining yields, as part of the Reef Trust competitive tender round three.

The NQ Dry Tropics event, to be held at the Ayr PCYC on 5 February 2018 at 9am, will show sugarcane farmers how to submit a complete tender application from start to finish. To be eligible for the project, farmers must have a minimum of their past three years of fertiliser records.

The Reef Trust competitive tender encourages sugarcane farmers to put a price on the cost of improving their nitrogen and irrigation management practices. Farmers design their own projects and, if successful, are offered grant funding for the total cost.

The Australian Government has made up to $11.8 million of funding available in the Burdekin and Wet Tropics regions to help reduce levels of nitrogen leaving sugarcane farms and entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Delivered as part of the Government’s $225 million Reef Trust, this investment will support sugarcane farmers to reduce nitrogen runoff by better matching fertiliser application to crop requirements.

NQ Dry Tropics Project Officer, Shakira Todd invited interested farmers to attend the workshop, and said that NQ Dry Tropics project staff would assist them to work through the complete tender development process.

The workshop will provide farmers with the opportunity to register their interest, meet local agronomists and get farm-specific advice, which they can use when developing their tender bids,” Ms Todd said.

“Project staff will provide dedicated one-on-one support to all registered farmers interested in submitting a tender bid.”

“NQ Dry Tropics is committed to making this project a success. We have been working closely with the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy to provide information and tools farmers will need to develop an informed bid for their proposed project,” she said.

Applications for round three of the repeat tenders will be open for submission between 30 January to 5 March 2018. For information about the tender and how to register for the workshop, download event flyer; email  or phone 07 4799 3500.

Main photo: Luke Malan (Sugarcane Team Leader) and Shakira Todd (Project Officer).