BMP Developed For Horticulture Growers In Great Barrier Reef Catchment Areas

BMP Developed For Horticulture Growers In Great Barrier Reef Catchment Areas

Queensland Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch

$1.95 Million Funding Boost For Best Practice Produce In Reef Catchments

Victor P Taffa

A best practice management program developed to help horticulture growers in Great Barrier Reef catchment areas minimise run-offs and maximise profits is being backed with a $1.95 Million investment from the Palaszczuk Government.

Growcom, Queensland horticulture’s peak body, will work with the Department of Environment and Science to deliver Hort360GBR Best Management Practice Program a tailored initiative to help growers from Cape York to the Burnett-Mary better manage nutrient, pesticide, sediment and water impacts on the Reef.”

Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the program will provide support through extension, communication, engagement and marketing, and aligns with other education and extension programs in Reef catchments.

“Queensland fruit and vegetables are second to none, but to produce the best, you need to be the best.” Minister Enoch said.

“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is supporting growers with this best practice program, so they can bolster their productivity, profitability, and ensure better environmental outcomes for our waterways and the Reef.”

“We’ve now invested more than $20 Million in Reef catchments for various industry-led BMP’s, including grazing, cane, banana and grains.”

“Protecting the Reef is one of our government’s key Advancing Queensland priorities, and we’ll continue to work with the horticulture industry to follow the success of the program and better understand the industry’s needs.” Minister Enoch said.

Growcom identified through existing Hort360 BMP data that extension, training and technical support could reduce risks and optimise positive outcomes in relation to water quality in the Great Barrier Reef.

This program will also lead to the development of a Reef certification scheme, enabling growers to be recognised as Hort360GBR custodians.

Growcom CEO David Thomson said natural resource management is an important issue for horticulture growers, with much of Queensland’s fruit, vegetable and nut production close to sensitive environments such as the Great Barrier Reef.

“Using Growcom’s Hort360 software, the Hort360GBR program will assist growers to identify both risks and opportunities for their business.” Mr. Thomson said.

“Growers will be able to develop action plans, supported by information, technical support and extension activities, that address agricultural run-off from farmland entering waterways.”

“Hort360 was created to help growers adopt best management practice. It is a computer-based risk assessment tool designed to give growers a 360-degree view of their farm business to manage risks and increase productivity and profitability.”

“We are pleased the Palaszczuk Government is taking a holistic approach to the BMP concept and look forward to a continued successful working relationship.” Mr. Thomson said.

Hort360GBR BMP started in Reef catchments in August 2018 and will be funded until June 2022.

 

Abbreviations:

BMP                Best Management Practice