A new $8 million partnership will focus on helping graziers across northern Australia better manage drought and climate risks.
The Northern Australian Climate Project (NACP) is a partnership between the Queensland Government, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).
The research will include working with national and international climate modellers to improve seasonal forecasts and improving predictions of multi-year droughts, Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said.
“Our focus is to help producers build resilience and increase business productivity, leading to more profitable and sustainable grazing businesses.
“This will be achieved by developing resources that will focus on reducing land degradation and boosting productivity in our variable climate through a range of tools, digital technologies and networks.
Mr Furner said the project is one of nine projects under the Queensland Government’s Drought and Climate Adaptation Program which bring together leading climate scientists, and cutting-edge researchers in the state, nationally and globally to work with government and industry leaders to help primary producers better manage drought and climate impacts.
The $8 million NACP partnership consists of a $3 million contribution from the Queensland Government, $4 million from MLA through the MLA Donor Company (MDC) and $960,000 from USQ.
MLA R&D Manager Doug McNicholl said the project would assist in improving the capacity of the red meat industry to manage drought and climate risk across northern Australia.
“A key focus of the project will be improving the knowledge and skills of producers across northern Australia to enable proactive management of climate variability which minimises exposure to environmental, profitability and productivity losses,” Mr McNicholl said.
“We are utilising a combination of innovative research, development and extension projects to build capacity across the red meat industry in northern Australia – and will see the delivery of a range of projects identified through Phase 1 of the NACP.”
USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said that Queensland has the highest year-to-year rainfall variability of anywhere in the world.
“Arming primary producers with knowledge of predicted climate will greatly enhance productivity and profitability in such a challenging environment,” Professor Mackenzie said.
“The program will bring together world-class climate scientists and drought specialists to help make better predictions of the season ahead, of multi-year droughts, and the start and end of the summer wet seasons.”
The partnership reinforces USQ’s strong industry links to find solutions to major agricultural problems.
For more information on NACP or the Drought and Climate Adaptation Program visit www.daf.qld.gov.au.