Growers keen to hear about third round of Repeat Tenders project

NQ Dry Tropics project officer Shakira Todd hosted the Reef Trust Repeated Tenders presentation in Ayr.

MORE than 30 Burdekin growers and industry leaders attended an NQ Dry Tropics workshop last week focused on the third round of the Reef Trust Repeated Tenders project.

NQ Dry Tropics Project Officer Shakira Todd, a Giru resident, presented the workshop about the project, which is supported by funding through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust Program.

Ms Todd said that under the project, farmers are invited to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertiliser applied to their crop in return for funding, which can be used to help them achieve their goal.

“Farmers make an offer that quantifies the level of nitrogen reduction they plan to achieve across a five-year period, stipulating the amount of funding they will need to make the change,” Ms Todd said.

“The first two rounds of the Repeated Tender project will result in a reduction of more than 600 tonnes of nitrogen applied throughout the Burdekin to 2021,” she said.

Burdekin growers (from left) Frank Mugica with Bruno and Tim Wyburg at the NQ Dry Tropics Reef Trust Tender presentation in Ayr.

Burdekin farmer Joe Linton (left) chats with NQ Dry Tropics team leader Luke Malan.

Ms Todd said farmers, realising the cost-benefits of reducing nitrogen without sacrificing yield, planned to collectively reduce their nitrogen application by a further 100 tonnes outside of the requirements of the project.

“Many of the famers who attended were enthusiastic about submitting third-round tenders with specific on-farm projects in mind,” she said.

Burdekin grower Frank Mugica said he would submit a tender with the aim of purchasing a sub-surface mill mud applicator to help him reduce the nitrogen load in his fertiliser regime.

Applications for the third round close on March 5.

Burdekin growers John Tasselli and Gloria Cody chatting after listening to the NQ Dry Tropics’ presentation on the Reef Trust Tender Stage 3 offer.

Kalamia Canegrowers manager Les Elphinstone (left) with grower George Cody.

Marian Davis and Denis Pozzebon at the NQ Dry Tropics Reef Trust presentation in Ayr.

NQ Dry Tropics project officer Shakira Todd with growers Aaron Ahern (left) and Bob Cambruzzi.