It’s lovely to feel the cool change in the weather in our region after a long summer. The Bureau of Meteorology has released the May to June Climate Outlook. This forecast is being influenced by several factors including an ENSO-neutral pattern (neither El Niño nor La Niña) heading towards El Niño in the latter part of the forecast period. Watch the Bureau’s Outlook video so you can be prepared.
For all our grain growers in the region, the Grains Research and Development Corporation has compiled all the information you need to prepare for the upcoming 2023 season. You can listen to the updates here.
This month, our Agricultural Innovation Program delivered an exciting demonstration of agtech that aims to solve some of the challenges around preg-testing cattle. You can read more about the trial here. This is just one example of a problem captured through our Muster Platform where we are asking producers to share their on-farm problems so we can match them with existing solutions or connect them to researchers, entrepreneurs or existing ag tech companies that may be able to work on solving these problems. I encourage any producer, grower or farmer to head to the Muster Platform and submit your problem.
We have also just announced the recipients of our TNQ Hub Scholarships. Students were asked to submit their research topic and discuss how it aligned with the TNQ Hub priorities to ensure it would contribute to the current and future agricultural needs of Tropical North Queensland. Congratulations to the recipients and you can read the abstracts here.
You can now register for the Future Drought Fund’s annual Science to Practice forum presented by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, on the 6th – 8th June 2023. The three-day, free, online forum brings together farmers, researchers, government, industry and the community to explore the innovative tools and practices helping our regions prepare for future drought. We are lucky enough to have several staff who will be presenting their work so stay tuned for that announcement.
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and catch up on what the team have been up to. If you have any questions about the Hub, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Keep safe and well,
David Phelps, Director
Congratulations to Sustainable Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Enterprise Program (SATSIE) Lead Allan Dale, The Yellow Company, the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the entire project team for winning the National Award in the Government Projects category for the Future Drought Fund Regional Drought Resilience Planning in Queensland project.
Allan and the SATSIE team have been actively supporting and working with councils across Queensland to develop these plans which will help communities prepare for future drought through driving decisions, actions and investments into properly managing the risks associated with drought.
This collaboration between multiple partners is a testament to everyone’s dedication to build drought resilience.
Know someone who wants to be involved?
Check out our Events calendar to see what’s happing in the agricultural industry around Tropical North Queensland and throughout the country. Some upcoming events to keep an eye out on are;
- PIEFA Conference Canberra, 1 – 2 May
- Northern Australia Food Futures Conference 2023 Darwin, 22 – 25 May
- Rotary FNQ Field Days, Mareeba, 24 – 26 May
- Australian Banana Industry Congress, Cairns, 17 – 19 May
- Reducing Nitrogen Fertiliser with Non-Legume Nitrogen Fixation, Mareeba, 18 May
- Northern Australia Food Futures Conference 2023, Darwin 22 – 25 May
- Rotary FNQ Field Days, Mareeba, 24 – 26 May
- International Business, Environment & Climate Conference, Cairns, 24 – 26 May
- Vegetation Management Workshop (including maps & apps) Hughenden, 25 May
- Vegetation Management Workshop (including maps & apps), Cloncurry, 26 May
- Northern Beef Producers Expo, Charters Towers, 2 – 3 June
- Hort Connections, Adelaide, 5 – 7 June
- 2023 Science to Practice Forum, Online, 6 – 8 June
- Elders FarmFest, Toowoomba, 6 – 8 June
- National Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Expo 2023, Dubbo, June 21
Here’s what the TNQ Hub team have been up to this month.
GrazingFutures Northern Collaboration, 9 – 10 March
Recently Knowledge Broker, Rachel Hay attended the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries GrazingFutures Northern Collaboration meeting.
Rachel was given the opportunity to meet with the QDAF team face to face to learn about the multiple projects occurring across the region, such as the GrazingFutures Livestock Business Resilience project and share how the TNQ Hub can support the team to achieve project milestones collaboratively.
Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub’s Communications Workshop, 14 – 15 March
The eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub’s communications managers and coordinators attended a two-day training session in Canberra to learn from experts and receive practical advice they can implement into their own respective communications strategies. It was also the first chance they had to meet in person since the Hubs were created.
TNQ Hub Communications Coordinator, Emily Harrington said “The experience was invaluable. It’s a great team and we are really focused on working together to ensure the messages of drought resilience and innovation are being spread across the country with the support of all of our partners.”
Science to Practice Forum Filming, 28 – 31 March
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has been visiting the eight Hubs across Australia to capture stories from each region where communities and individuals have been making an impact with funding received from the Future Drought Fund.
The TNQ hub shared a story on an agtech demonstration that has the potential to be a game changer for preg-testing cattle and a story about a family who have been part of a large-scale soil experiment. The videos will be released at this year’s Science to Practice Forum in June.
Apply Now! Grants, Programs amd EOI's
- QRIDA delivers a broad range of financial assistance programs on behalf of state, territory and commonwealth governments. Producers can find out about training, workshops, grants and loans through QRIDA to support drought preparedness and resilience. Find out more.
- Assistance is available for northern and central Qld flood-affected producers in eligible local government areas. Small businesses and primary producers may be able to access: disaster assistance loans of up to $250,000 (concessional rates), disaster assistance (essential working capital) loans of up to $100,000, freight subsidies of up to $5,000 per property (for primary producers), extraordinary disaster assistance recovery grants of up to $75,000, personal hardship financial assistance. Find out more.
- Queensland Drought Assistance is available to assist primary producers to prepare for and build resilience during times of drought and other climate risks. Coupled with farm business resilience planning support and workshops, you can make your business more sustainable for the long term. You can access Drought Preparedness Grants up to $50,000 and a suite of loans up to $250,000. Find out more.
- Nuffield Drought Resilience Scholarships. The Future Drought Fund (FDF) is investing $1.6 million dollars through Nuffield over the next two years to help farmers increase their knowledge of drought resilience and better prepare themselves and their communities for a changing climate. Scholars will have the opportunity to travel overseas to study drought resilience and learn from international leaders in the field. Each scholarship is valued at $35,000 and farmers and others working in food and fibre production aged between 28 and 45 should apply now. Applications close 9 June 2023. Find out more.
The TNQ Hub can provide Letters of Support (LoS) to assist with your application. Please email details of your application and how it applies to future drought resilience to email@example.com and we will supply a LoS if applicable.
Are you looking for funding to enable your idea to become a reality? Visit the following Regional Development Australia initiative to find grants available in the TNQ Drought Hub region.
- RDA Townsville and North West Queensland Grant Finder
- RDA Tropical North Grants
- RDA Greater Whitsundays
TNQ Hub has worked with our NRM Node and industry partners to develop regional priorities. These are a useful resource in writing grant applications.
TNQ Drought Hub Nodes
The Farm Business Resilience Program helps farmers and graziers build a sustainable business by planning today for tomorrow’s drought and climate risks.
Through the program you can:
- access learning and development through training and workshops
- improve your farm management and business performance
- plan for challenges that could impact your business.