By Michelle McKinlay, Strategy Manager
Banana growers will get a financial helping hand to better manage nutrient and sediment run off, thanks to additional funding secured by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council.
The funding will go towards another round of grants under the successful Reef Trust III program.
The ABGC has also employed Darryl Evans, a well-known soil conservation consultant, to help growers make on-farm improvements.
Mr Evans has worked with hundreds of landholders over a career spanning almost four decades – but has always had a soft spot for the banana industry.
“Many banana growers are innovative, environmentally conscious and willing to change practices to reduce erosion.” Mr Evans said.
The ABGC recognised his great contribution and reputation as the industry’s “go to guy” for soil by nominating him for a Reef Alliance Reef Award in 2018.
Mr Evans has a wealth of practical sediment management experience with banana farms – from major works like designing contour layouts for the whole farm, through to individual issues such as eroding headlands or table drains.
Mr Evans is also helping ABGC extension officer Dale Bennett run an innovation trial that is looking at the effectiveness of tracked bagging machines in reducing sediment run off. Growers will have the chance to find out more about this exciting project at the 2019 Australian Banana Industry Congress in May.
This latest round of funding provides a great opportunity for growers to tackle a project that may have been on the backburner – at a reduced cost.
Access to the grants start from mid-April and the works need to be completed by October.
If you are interested in learning more about reducing nutrient and sediment run off from your farm, getting some free expert advice, or accessing some funding to make a change or your farm, give the ABGC reef extension team a call on 07 4015 2797.