The dairy industry currently has two projects assisting dairy farms in the Great Barrier Reef to reduce the risk of water quality leaving dairy farms in the GBR. These projects are known as Dairying Better ‘n Better (DBnB) Reef Program (2013-2018) and Dairy Reef Alliance Program. More information is provided below.
Dairying Better ‘n Better (DBnB) Reef Program
The Dairying Better ‘n Better (DBnB) Reef Program is funded through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country Program. The DBnB Reef program is specially designed to assist dairy farmers within Great Barrier Reef catchments (GBR) to identify, develop and implement Best Management Practice (BMPs) and environmental management practices on farm.
The Reef Programme is the successor of the Reef Rescue program which was developed through an alliance between agricultural industries and NRM bodies. It was developed by the alliance to address community concerns about the water quality of the GBR.
The aim of this is to enhance the long term sustainability of the farm enterprise and improve water quality leaving the farm. The Reef Programme requirements are met through a prioritisation process of identifying and targeting high water quality risks by using farm management tools such as the DairySAT risk assessment tool. Then Soil and Nutrient Management Plans (SNMPs) and Water Quality Grants are used to actively promote practice changes on the farm that will have a triple bottom line outcome on the farm.
The DBnB for the reef program collaborates with Regional NRM groups (Terrain NRM, BMRG and FBA) in order to prioritise these areas and deliver the program.
Update July 2016 - the majority of the deliverables for this project including the development of soil and nutrient management plans and complete risk assessments (QDairySAT) were completed between July 2013 and June 2016.
Activities to be delivered between July 2016 to June 2018 include workshops and communication activities that promote the Australian Government's Reef Trust investment.
Reef Alliance Program
About the Overall RAP Program
The Reef Alliance Program (RAP) is an integrated GBR wide consortium of farmers, graziers, NRMs and industry groups that transcends administrative and geographic boundaries to implement practice change that will improve the quality of water entering the GBR. The program is a collaboration of twelve organisations:
• Australian Banana Growers’ Council
• Burnett Mary Regional Group
• Cape York NRM
• Fitzroy Basin Association
• NQ Dry Tropics
• Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation
• Queensland Farmers’ Federation
• Regional Groups Collective
• Terrain NRM
The Dairy sub-program has been allocated $0.5M (1% of the total RAP budget) to support 60 dairy farms adopt improved management practices over 12,000 ha in two regions (Burnett-Mary and Wet Tropics) to reduce the sediment and nutrient load entering the Great Barrier Reef.
The Dairy RAP is be delivered through the Dairying Better ‘n Better program (DBnB), which is a partnership between QDO and Subtropical Dairy. It is overseen by a Dairy Working Group which includes a representative from DBnB, Terrain NRM, Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) and a farmer representative from Mary River and Atherton Tablelands.
What is involved?
The project will engage up to 15 dairy farms in the Mary catchment and 15 dairy farms in the Wet Tropics over a period of 3 years. The initial engagement phase will occur in 2 rounds being November-December 2016 (Round 1 – 7 farms), and
March-May 2017 (Round 2 – 8 farms).
The initial engagement will be completed by a trusted Extension Officer who will help you set a list of priorities for areas of improvement in your business. Tools such as QDairySAT, new Grazing Management Audit tool and Dairybase will be used to help with this prioritisation process.
Based on the prioritises identified, a suite of on-farm services will be deployed for your business, which may include farm
consultancy services, nutrition services, agronomy services, such as Soil & Nutrient Management Planning, grazing management assistance and financial incentives for water quality risk management (limited amount available).
Review and revise your priorities on an annual basis.
Information Pack and Application Form
If you would like to find out how to become involved please contact one of the following people:
Joanna Srhoj (Far North Queensland) 0458 065 695 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Chalk (Mary River) 0400 669 994 or email@example.com