Western Australia Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan
Driving Growth In The Northern Beef Industry
Victor P Taffa
- $8.3 Million funding boost to extend the Northern Beef Development program by 4 years
- Research site begins work on irrigated agriculture production with $157,000 investment from the McGowan Government
McGowan Government will invest $8.3 Million over 4 years to drive a more profitable, resilient and diverse northern beef industry.
Funding will support productivity improvements across pastoral land and the northern cattle herd, and increase Aboriginal capacity and job opportunities.
Funding has been locked in ahead of this year’s Budget to allow critical work delivered through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Northern Beef Development program to continue.
New projects include a grants scheme to increase the adoption of technology and innovation, and assistance for Aboriginal pastoral enterprises in assessing and transitioning to improved business models that attract investment and create job opportunities.
Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan announced the extension today at Skuthorpe in the Kimberley, where a $157,000 McGowan Government investment is supporting research into northern fodder crops.
“Northern beef industry makes an enormous contribution to the regional economy, representing almost half of the Western Australia beef herd and a production value of more than $250 million each year.” Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan said.
“This program aims to grow the future value of the industry, position the northern beef sector as a supplier of choice across diversified and high-value markets, demonstrate environmental sustainability, and create regional jobs.”
Agronomy trials are examining production options, including fertiliser and water requirements, for efficient, sustainable and profitable irrigated agriculture production in Western Australia’s northern rangelands.
Work has kicked off on local grower Graeme Roger’s Skuthorpe property, with a trial of 3.8 ha of forage sorghum irrigated by the 88-metre centre pivot irrigator.
Sorghum crop will be harvested in July, after which a trial of 10 perennial grasses will commence.
Work builds on extensive mosaic agriculture investments in the north over the past two decades, which have assisted irrigated operations to expand to over 3,000 ha in the West Kimberley and Pilbara.