Delivering agricultural innovation funding

Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

The Tasmanian Government is supporting sustainable growth and innovation in agriculture and will provide $1.69 million to four projects that will help drive agricultural research, development, and extension (RD&E) in the sector.

The projects are supported through the Tasmanian Government's Agricultural Innovation Fund and will deliver broad strategic benefits to a range of critical agricultural industries including dairy, red meat, wool, seed production, potatoes, berries and wine, with additional benefits flowing to marine farming and forestry industries.

The successful projects are:

  1. 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 (approx.)

    This project will evaluate the use of biochar to deliver Asparagopsis seaweed at a commercial scale to livestock in Tasmania, and evaluate its impact on greenhouse gas reduction, productivity gains, animal health and soil carbon.

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

    This project will investigate the production of sparkling wine from smoke-affected wine grapes as a mitigation strategy. The outputs will provide winemakers with the knowledge to help them develop risk management strategies against the impacts of climate change.

  3. 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 (approx.)

    This project will develop a tool that will allow the potato industry to predict and control disease more effectively. This will increase productivity and profitability of the industry, while decreasing food waste, pesticide use and environmental impacts. It will also provide a valuable tool for modelling the impact of future climate change.

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

This project will provide the blueberry industry with practical information and precision tools to manage blueberry rust through the evaluation of pathogen survival over winter and defoliation as a potential control measure.

The projects will help drive sustainable productivity gains for Tasmanian farmers and agribusinesses and support strong partnerships and industry engagement along the value chain. Industry will directly support these projects, with more than $2.7 million committed in co-funding from industry and other sources.

The projects are strongly aligned with our Growing Tasmanian Agriculture: Research, Development and Extension for 2050 White Paper, which sets out our approach to achieving productivity gains and innovations for our AgriVision2050 target, as well as our Competitiveness of Tasmanian Agriculture for 2050 White Paper that affirms our ongoing commitment to research and innovation.

The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) will deliver the projects, and our partnership with TIA is the cornerstone of our agricultural RD&E approach. For more than two decades, this partnership has supported world-class agricultural RD&E that is delivering practical, on-farm benefits to our state's agri-food producers.

A strong RD&E sector is central to our target to sustainably grow the annual farm gate value of Tasmanian agriculture to $10 billion by 2050, and a further announcement about agricultural research projects being led by industry and private research and development providers will be made shortly.

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