Empowering producers to prepare for drought

Empowering producers to prepare for drought
Monica Langfield (Acting Senior Project Officer, Young Farmer Business Program), Leia Grimsey (SQNNSW Hub Manager), Cindy Cassidy (SNSW Hub Director), Mary Goodacre (SNSW Hub Program Manager), Corey Plant (UniSQ Research Engineer), Erin Byles (SQNNSW Hub Communications Coordinator) and Justin Crosby, CropLife Australia) at the 2023 NSW Farmers Annual Conference.

The Southern Queensland and Northern NSW (SQNNSW) and Southern NSW (SNSW) Drought Innovation Hubs are two of eight national Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs, a flagship of the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund

The four-year Hub program is designed to empower producers and communities to grow resilience and capacity in managing climate variability through innovation, collaboration and building capability. 

Staff from the program attended the NSW Farmers Annual Conference last week to engage with farmers from across the state as they prepare for a looming dose of dry times.

SNSW Drought Hub Manager Mary Goodacre providing a VR farm tour at the NSW Farmers Annual Conference

“We extend a warm thank you to for having us at the 2023 NSW Farmers Conference in Rosehill last week,” said SNSW Hub Program Manager, Mary Goodacre

“We appreciate the honesty and openness shown to us by so many farmers and we continue to welcome your feedback and wonderful suggestions around preparing for drought,” said SQNNSW Hub Manager Leia Grimsey

Mary said farmers can continue to reach out via sqnnswhub@usq.edu.au or southernNSWhub@csu.edu.au.

The SQNNSW Hub Node Network

The SQNNSW Hub is made up of several nodes, with varying priorities depending on regional issues.

  • Armidale (University of New England) – focus on livestock and broadacre cropping industries, their supply chains and communities
  • Lismore (Southern Cross University) – focus on sugarcane, tree crops and beef industries in Northern NSW and Southern Queensland
  • Narrabri (New South Wales LLS) – focus on cotton, broadacre grains and the grazing regions of Northern NSW.

The SNSW Hub Knowledge Broker Network

The SNSW Hub is made up of a knowledge broker network in Albury, Bega, Bombala, Bourke, Buronga, Condobolin, Deniliquin, Finley, Gouldurn, Holbrook, Kerang, Lismore, Moss Vale, Mulwala, Narrandera, Temora and Woollongong. 

They work on the ground with communities, industries and stakeholders to identify needs in building drought resilience, and implement research and practices that build capacity and capability through training and mentoring. 

Th Drought Hub team demonstrated the capabilities of thermal drone imagery to conference delegates.

Drought Hub Activities and Events

The Hubs are currently undertaking a wide range of tailored activities throughout NSW, including:

  • Armidale – Enhancing Ag360 and Farming Family Reboot
  • Bingara – Business Growth in Challenging Times
  • Bottle Ben Reserve – Climate Variability Recovery Work
  • Bunyula – Farming for Climate Resilience and Productivity Field Day
  • Coolamon – Future Drought Farm Planning
  • Coonamble – Sheep Droughtlotting Tour
  • Delungra – Soil Management Workshop
  • Dubbo – NSW DPI Farm Business Resilience Program
  • Dundee – Pasture Walks
  • Emmaville – Best Practice Water Infrastructure Producer Demonstration
  • Glen Innes – Animal health and nutrition
  • Kyogle – Reviving Wetlands
  • Lismore – Holistic decision-making workshop & Primary Producer Engagement Program for Northern Rivers Net Zero Project & Regen ag school teacher program
  • Moree – AgTech Events and Northern Slopes Landcare workshops
  • Narrabri – Agritech Futures Showcase
  • Palmvale – Adapting Agriculture of Climate Disruption
  • Quirindi – Livestock Nutrition Workshop
  • Tamworth – AgSmart Trade Show
  • Walcha – Rotary Youth in Ag Sheep Event and Northern Pastures Group Walk
  • Walgett – Livestock Nutrition Workshops
  • Warialda – Animal health and nutrition and Business Growth in Challenging Times
  • Wongwibinda – MLA Producer Demonstration Site Field Day
  • Wyrallah – Natural Sequencing Farming

You can connect with  the drought hubs on Facebook (@SQNNSWHub or @SouthernNSWHub) or subscribe to their newsletters at SQNNSWnewsletter or SNSWnewsletter.

Read more co-investing in drought resilience through the Farm Innovation Fund.

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