A new project to bolster water sustainability in northern Australia is about to start, gathering the insights Northern Territory producers need for greater crop yields while reducing water usage.
The three-year Water Productivity Trial will be led by the NT Farmers Association, with a $250,000 contribution from the Australian Government-funded Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA).
It will use state-of-the-art technology to improve water efficiency and reduce the pressure on the region’s aquifers.
High-tech probes will also be installed at a number of trial sites from Darwin to Katherine, gaining valuable data that will help take the guess work out of irrigation practices across the Territory.
Minister for Northern Australia David Littleproud said the water productivity trial will set the scene for future water planning and decision-making.
“I’m thrilled that the CRCNA is tipping in $250,000 for this project, which will give Northern Territory producers a clear understanding of when and how much to water their crops in order to produce the best possible yields. It will to take the guess work out of irrigating,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Water is like gold to our grower and farming communities, which is why these projects are so important for a flourishing northern agriculture sector.
“Domestically and internationally, we enjoy and rely on the top-notch food and fibre from the north.
“The Federal Government is proudly investing $75 million in the CRCNA over 10 years, making new industry-led research collaborations like this – to support the north’s prosperity – possible.”
Senator for the Northern Territory, Sam McMahon said the trial will support the hard-earned quality reputation of NT producers.
“Our growers and farmers continue to work tirelessly through drought, cyclones and now COVID-19 to continue production, keeping fresh goods in supermarkets, exports flowing, and our economy strong.
“That’s why we’re investing in projects that support their hard work and elevate the Territory to new social and economic strengths.
“This project is a great example of government, industry and grower communities working together to deliver results for the Top End and the nation.