Queensland farmers have continued to embrace practice change and make on-farm improvements to reduce and manage agriculture’s impact on the Great Barrier Reef through the Reef Alliance’s Growing a Great Barrier Reef project.
While farmers have often been viewed by some as scapegoats for the Reef’s problems, they have been proactively working to minimise soil loss, fertiliser application and pesticide runoff from farms to safeguard the future of the Reef.
With year two of the project now complete, the Reef Alliance has released its 2018 Impact Statement detailing the work done to advance on-farm understanding and fast track the implementation of innovative practices.
Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) CEO Travis Tobin said the second year of the project focused on improving the quality of water entering Great Barrier Reef and achieved real results.
“In the International Year of the Reef, more than 40 dedicated extension officers engaged with 1,332 landholders to deliver over 18,430 hours of one-on-one customised farm planning and personalised technical advice,” Mr Tobin said.
“As a result, 206,570 hectares of farmland throughout Queensland’s Reef catchments have demonstrated practice change to safeguard the future of the Reef.”
“While the continued implementation of a single database to manage practice change and extension information across five Reef catchments allows the Alliance to chart a ‘reef-wide story’.”
“Farmers excelling in their roles as environmental stewards, extension officers and community members that contribute to better water quality outcomes were recently recognised by the 2018 Reef Champion Awards.”
“Innovative nitrogen reduction practices, dedicated approaches to extension, revegetation of farms and conservation of wetlands and riparian areas are just some of the success stories of the agricultural sector working to protect the Reef.”
“These important actions are making huge improvements to the quality of the water leaving the farm and significantly contributing to the health of the Great Barrier Reef.”
“But most of the progress is yet to come, as the hard work done over the last two years of the project is leveraged in the third year to deliver greater results.”
A full breakdown of the project’s second year results are available in the 2018 Impact Statement on the QFF website: www.qff.org.au/projects/reef-alliance/growing-great-barrier-reef/.
The Reef Alliance Growing a Great Barrier Reef Project is funded by the Australian Government Reef Trust Program and facilitated by QFF.