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AgMemo

DPIRD transition on track

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Director General, Ralph Addis.
As a combined department, DPIRD has strong regional presence with a focus on jobs, growth and primary industries, to strengthen economic leadership in our regions.

2017 has been year of major changes and opportunities for our staff of more than 1800 working across agriculture, fisheries and regional development, from as far afield as Kununurra to the Abrolhos Islands and Eucla.

In July the former departments of Agriculture and Food, Fisheries; and Regional Development and the Regional Development Commissions were brought together to form the new Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

As a combined department, DPIRD has strong regional presence with a focus on jobs, growth and primary industries, to strengthen economic leadership in our regions.

The first phase of the DPIRD operational transition is about to commence, as the new structure is introduced that makes the most of the resources, skills and expertise of the department and its staff.

The foundations of our new department are built on three divisions – or ‘pillars’ – to provide the right balance between capitalising on opportunities to grow our production and demand, and sustainable resource management and biosecurity:

  • Sustainability and Biosecurity – administering regulatory functions to protect and maintain WA’s enviable reputation as reliable producer of safe, high quality agricultural and aquatic products;
  • Industry and Economic Development – harnessing research, development and innovation to boost the productivity and profitability of the state’s primary industries and regions; and
  • Strategy and Capability – ensuring we have the right strategy, resources and capability to deliver an exemplary public service.

This change of structure reflects our need to cater to our diverse industry and stakeholder groups, which now spans agricultural, aquatic, regional and indigenous interests.

It will enable the department to deliver on a clear strategy and priorities, with continuity of services for stakeholders, including meeting our statutory responsibilities.

As a pivotal step to lead this new-look operation, we have announced a strong interim executive team to work with me on the transition for the next six months.

The DPIRD executive includes:

  • Heather Brayford, Deputy Director General (DG) Sustainability and Biosecurity (former DG Fisheries);
  • Niegel Grazia, Deputy Director General Industry and Economic Development (former DDG Regional Development);
  • Dr Mark Sweetingham, Managing Director Research, Development and Innovation (former acting DG Agriculture and Food); and
  • Melissa Murphy, Managing Director Business Services (former ED Investment Management, Regional Development)

Our priority now is to work with government and our stakeholders to guide the direction of the department with a clear focus on creating enduring prosperity for the State and its people.

We have a role to help grow and diversify the economy and to create jobs.

Collaboration will continue to be a key feature of the department’s operation, as we work with our stakeholders and partners to stimulate innovation and create new technological and business opportunities.

I am looking forward to engaging with stakeholders throughout the sector in coming months as we build an efficient and highly effective modern department that will keep pace with changing needs of WA industries, communities and government.

I wish you a safe and happy festive season and a prosperous year in 2018.

Better bee biosecurity

A row of beehives
The department leads biosecurity surveillance activities in Western Australia as part of the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program.

Beekeeping is growing in popularity within the state and we all have an important role to play in maintaining the health of our bee population.

Here’s what the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is doing to protect our bees.

New bee biosecurity officer

We welcome James Sheehan to the newly appointed role of bee biosecurity officer.

James will be working with Western Australia’s bee industry and the Department’s apiary officers to engage the industry in best practice bee biosecurity.

James grew up on a mixed grazing property in South East Queensland and as a youngster developed a general interest in bees through a family friend and has been keeping a few hives ever since.

Not afraid of the odd sting he commenced work with a commercial Apiarist during his university breaks to earn a few dollars and relished in the experience.

He started with the Western Australian Department of Agriculture in 2004 as an invasive species biosecurity officer, and has continued to enjoy the practical nature of this work.

With his experience, James is aware of the value that good biosecurity practices can bring to businesses and the industry, and he looks forward to applying his skills and knowledge to his area of passion.

James will be working closely with beekeepers to help maintain Western Australia’s area freedom status from exotic pests, through education and assistance with bee pest and disease management.

James’ position has been partially funded by the WA bee industry and the department for the next 12 months.

We look forward to the knowledge, experience and enthusiasm that James brings to this new role.

National Bee Pest Surveillance Program – WA activity

The department leads biosecurity surveillance activities in Western Australia as part of the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program.

The program provides an early warning system to detect exotic bee pests or disease incursions into Australia and supports Australia’s pest free status claims during export negotiations.

Special ‘sentinel’ hives are being placed at key shipping ports and other strategic locations, where imports pose a risk of bringing in exotic bees or pests.

If an incursion of a pest is found, other states and territories can be quickly informed and closer checks for similar pests can be quickly implemented at their at-risk sites.

Interstate quarantine

The department’s Quarantine WA officers are stationed across the state and operate road checkpoints at Kununurra in the north and Eucla in the south-east, and monitor road, rail, air and mail routes.

The importation of any bees or used beekeeping equipment into Western Australia from interstate is restricted and can only be brought into Western Australia under strict quarantine conditions.

Honey, other bee products (i.e. wax, pollen, royal jelly, etc.) and goods containing bee products are restricted, and can only be brought into Western Australia under strict quarantine conditions.

Quarantine risk material will be seized and penalties may apply if these items are not declared to inspectors or placed in a Quarantine WA amnesty bin on arrival in WA.

Last year (2016-17 financial year), 3986kg of uncertified honey was intercepted at road checkpoints and the domestic airport.

Registrations

Beekeeping has grown in popularity in WA. The number of beekeepers has more than doubled in the last five years to more than 2300, maintaining more than 36 000 hives that provide a valuable pollination service to support horticultural crops.

There are 109 registered beekeepers considered commercial, making the majority hobby beekeepers.

In order to maintain high biosecurity standards, all beekeepers must be registered with the department. Application forms can be obtained from the Brands Registrar Office (Bunbury) on 9780 6100.

Upon registration beekeepers are issued with a brand by which to identify their hives.

More information about becoming a beekeeper in Western Australia is available from the department website.

For more information contact Andrea Johnston, Project Officer, South Perth on +61 (0)8 93634131 or James Sheehan, Bee Biosecurity Officer, Bunbury on +61 (0)8 9780 6182.

Department supports indigenous communities

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Madeline Anderson (Yallalie Farm), Darrylin Gordon (Lamboo Station), Daisy Goodwin (ABD) and Lexi Mourambine (Yallalie Farm) at Emeroo Farm.

An officer from the department’s Aboriginal Business Development (ABD) project accompanied indigenous landowners attending the annual Indigenous Cattlemen’s Workshop (ICW) in South Australia recently.

The department’s ABD project supports Aboriginal agricultural businesses in governance, business development, mentoring, planning and training.

Broome-based ABD Development Officer Daisy Goodwin travelled with three young Aboriginal women from Lamboo station and Yallalie farm to Port Augusta where they presented to workshop attendees.

Hosted by the Indigenous Land Corporation, participants, of which about one-third where Aboriginal women, travelled from remote pastoral stations across the country to take part.

The WA representatives travelled about 3277km from Lamboo Station in the Kimberley and 2400km from Yallalie Farm in the Mid-west region.

ABD has worked closely with Lamboo station for more than a decade. Station manager Robin Yeeda has been helped on the property by his niece Darrylin Gordon who may become the station’s first female manager.

The other two women, Lexi Mourambine and Madeline Anderson, are from Beemura Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) on Yallalie farm near Moora.

BAC runs the only Aboriginal-managed backgrounding business in WA which involves managing cattle on behalf of their owner until they reach the desired market weight. Unlike agistment, their profit depends on performance and weight gain.

The 13th annual Indigenous Cattlemen’s Workshop

The ICW was held over three days and topics covered included business management, mental health and suicide awareness, best pastoral practice, work health and safety and natural resource management.

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Workshop participants on Roxby Downs Station.

Each of the ten participating properties completed a presentation on their station’s successes and challenges.

Darrylin Gordon spoke of Lamboo’s ability to decrease their cost of production while increasing production rates due to improved infrastructure and herd management.

Lexi and Madeline spoke of how beef backgrounding works, elaborating on the practices that allowed them to achieve a weight gain of at least 0.5kg per head each day. Key to their success has been their use of perennial pastures and cell grazing.

Participants also had the opportunity to visit Emeroo Farm and Roxby Downs station to learn about work health and safety in the field.

At the end of the workshop, the group agreed that hearing each other’s presentations was the most beneficial part of the week, allowing them to celebrate their strengths and share common challenges.

Darrylin, Lexi and Madeline, referred to as the ‘power trio’, left the workshop feeling inspired and proud of themselves and are already excited for next year’s workshop.

Rangelands Report Card now available

Cattle in the ranglelands
DPIRD’s Report Card on sustainable natural resource use in the rangelands of Western Australia is now available online.

The sustainable productive capacity of rangelands for economic, social and environmental sustainability has come into focus with the release of Western Australia’s first Rangelands Report Card.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development prepared the report, which delivers an evidence-based assessment of the current condition of rangeland vegetation and soil resources and trends over the past decade.

The Report Card on sustainable natural resource use in the rangelands of Western Australia is a landmark resource assessment of the best available data, providing a benchmark to aid future land and water management throughout the rangelands.

The state’s rangelands span about 860,000 square kilometres, from the tropical Kimberley to the arid and semi-arid climates of the Pilbara and southern rangelands.

The assessment was based on a Land Conservation District (LCD) and regional scale.

The Report Card found across the northern rangelands, 57 per cent of the vegetation was in good condition, 29 per cent fair and 14 per cent in poor condition.

In the southern rangelands, the Report Card showed 36 per cent of the vegetation was in good condition, 39 per cent fair and 25 per cent poor.

While there were large variations in condition and trends among LCDs, the regional scale of the assessment masks the very large variations at a paddock scale among individual stations and pasture types.  

It is important to note that rangeland degradation at the paddock scale often occurs first in areas with highly productive vegetation favoured by grazing livestock.

Condition drivers

Rangeland condition is primarily influenced by climate VARIABILITY, seasonal rainfall, grazing pressure and fire.

The interaction between these drivers of rangeland condition, particularly highly variable rainfall, with pastoral business pressures presents an ongoing challenge for land managers to achieve long-term profitability, while maintaining good stewardship of natural resources.

Supporting sustainability

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and other government departments are working together with stakeholders to improve the long term profitability and sustainability of the rangelands for future generations.

In October the State Government acknowledged the Auditor General’s recent report on the Management of Pastoral Lands in Western Australia, which concluded; ‘the ecological sustainability of pastoral lands is not adequately protected by the state’s current system of land monitoring and administration.’

The department is investigating how to make greater use of remote sensing in assessing changes in the rangelands to address this issue.

The department is supporting the state’s rangeland reform efforts to diversify economic activity and land use options for pastoralists to improve businesses opportunities and provide more options for sustainable land and water resource management.  

Activities are underway to explore how to create more flexible pastoral leases that enable pastoralists to diversify their operations and provide greater business agility to respond to seasonal and market variability.  

The department is assisting this endeavour by resource mapping to identify suitable areas for alternative business options.

Carbon farming has been identified as a possible new income stream for pastoralists, providing payment for undertaking management actions to improve rangeland condition.    

However, there are current legal and administrative issues associated with carbon sequestration projects on leasehold land need to be resolved by government. 

Collaboration the key

The Report Card on sustainable natural resource use in the rangelands of Western Australia concludes that global demand for food and fibre will bring new challenges and opportunities to the pastoral sector, with international demand for protein projected to grow, particularly from nearby Asia.

The long term climate forecast for the region is for hotter conditions and, while the changes in rainfall are uncertain, there is reasonable confidence that rainfall variability and cyclonic intensity will increase.

Stewardship of the rangelands will be critical to satisfying these and other demands, backed by credible, evidence-based resource information to aid responsible and innovative land and water management.

It is important that all stakeholders – industry, all levels of government, traditional owners, potential developers and others – work together to build successful pastoral businesses, while protecting and enhancing the condition of our valuable rangeland assets for future generations.

WA Open for Business rebranded

Image of the new website homepage
WA Open for Business has a new name and a new website.

The WA Open for Business team has recently undergone a name change to become Agribusiness and Food Investment.

Although the name has changed, the team will continue to focus on promoting and facilitating investment into WA’s agriculture, fisheries and food industries by supporting investors and local businesses and by engaging with industry. 

Working with and collaborating across government departments to support the development of investment opportunities and the delivery of commercially sustainable projects will remain a core objective of the project.

The new website provides a central source of information for investors looking for opportunities in WA’s agriculture, fisheries and food industries.  

The site is also a source of information for WA companies seeking investment and/or support to make their projects investment ready.

The Agribusiness and Food Investment team have been working on a number of projects to support WA businesses.

Investment readiness guide

Developed in partnership with Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA this free guide is designed to help agribusinesses better understand the capital raising process and how to become investment ready.

The guide includes the foundations of investor readiness such as:

  • components to get investor ready
  • key elements of a successful proposition
  • funding options
  • valuation methodology

The Investment readiness guide is free to download from our website.

Investor ready incentive for food and beverage producers

This incentive program is designed to support WA food and beverage businesses that are looking to become investment ready and develop a memorandum that will attract the right investor. 

Grants of up to $50 000 can be used to fund activities that will support businesses to become investment ready.

The incentive is open to all Western Australian owned and operated premium food and beverage businesses who can demonstrate high growth potential and are seeking to raise capital to grow their business.

Applications open Friday 8 November 2017.

HARVEST accelerator for agtech start-ups

Developed to support innovation in the agriculture and food industries this statewide technology accelerator is focused on fast tracking connections, pathways and funding for late-stage agtech start-ups and small to medium enterprises looking to scale.

The nine-week program will be delivered by AgriStart and will include workshops on pitch-coaching, marketing, business planning, raising capital, commercialisation, tech collaboration and partnering models.

A wide range of guest speakers with expertise in agriculture, business growth, new technologies, digital transformation and investment readiness will present throughout the program.

Applications open Tuesday 12 November 2017.

For more information contact Sarah Williams, Communications Coordinator on +61 (0)8 6552 2011.

Plan to manage Tomato potato psyllid (TPP)

An infographic of the plan and its stages
The Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) Transition to management plan is a proactive approach to managing TPP in Australia. The plan aims to improve the capacity of the horticulture sector to manage TPP, and build confidence around the status of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) associated with TPP.

The Tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) TPP, was detected in Western Australia for the first time in February this year.

This prompted a comprehensive biosecurity response by industry and government, to minimise the impact of the insect pest on West Australian businesses. 

WA is now leading the implementation of an eight-month plan to develop the science, biosecurity and business systems to support growers and industry manage TPP.

What is the TPP Transition to management plan?

The Transition to management plan aims to improve the capacity of growers and industry to manage TPP.

The plan will build confidence around the status of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) associated with TPP which causes Zebra Chip disease in potatoes.

Transitioning to management follows national agreement TPP cannot be eradicated and efforts should focus on management.

What’s included in the plan?

The Transition to management plan runs from September 2017 to May 2018, and includes:

  • scientific research and development to improve our understanding of TPP, its biology and options for control
  • national and enterprise management plans to help manage TPP on properties and throughout the supply chain
  • targeted surveillance for TPP/CLso complex
  • market access and trade.

TPP research and development

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is undertaking a range of research and development activities to improve our scientific understanding of TPP and increase control options available to growers.

TPP literature review

A literature review will be completed to identify the best available research on TPP/CLso from Australia and overseas, and help guide future research investment.

Pre-harvest trials

Pre-harvest treatments help maximise the quality of product intended for markets, and are an important part of managing TPP along the entire supply chain.

Pre-harvest trials will evaluate the effectiveness of using chemical and biological controls for TPP.

Insecticide trials at the department’s glasshouse facilities aim to identify effective chemicals for use in tomato, potato and capsicum crops.

Several insecticides will be assessed, including insecticides already registered for use in tomato, potato and capsicum crops, but not currently registered for use on TPP.

The department has also commenced a joint trial with Biological Services, to evaluate the effectiveness of three different insect species against TPP.

Brown lacewings, ladybirds and a predatory mirid bug will be trialled in tomato, capsicum and chilli crops.

Post-harvest disinfestation trials

Disinfestation of capsicum, chilli and tomato is required for interstate and international market access.

The department is undertaking a small-scale chemical effectiveness trial for post-harvest disinfestation of these crops.

Research by the department will feed into the national TPP research and development agenda.

National TPP management plan

A National Management Plan will be developed to give the community and trading partners confidence TPP is being actively managed in Australian production areas.

AUSVEG will lead the development of the national plan, in collaboration with state and federal governments, and industry partners.  

Enterprise management plans for growers

An essential component of the Transition to management plan is the development, and implementation, of Enterprise management plans for affected industries.

These plans will outline measures to effectively control TPP and demonstrate industry commitment to minimising its spread and impact. Enterprise management plans will be critical in supporting ongoing efforts to renew and maintain market access, and underpin certification and assurance schemes.

Assisted by the Enterprise management plan coordinator, each industry will complete enterprise management plans addressing their entire supply chain and will include:

  • understanding pest and pathogen biology and their identification
  • identification of risk pathways
  • application of control and management options
  • biosecurity awareness and implementation, for example signage, surveillance and sanitation
  • post farm-gate management.

Surveillance

The department is in the final stages of its spring 2017 TPP surveillance program.

‘Sticky traps’ were installed on commercial and non-commercial properties in and around the Perth metropolitan areas with known populations of TPP.

The department had great support from the WA community with more than 1000 properties registering to host a ‘sticky trap’ during the surveillance period.

Each trap collected is inspected by department entomologists and any TPP collected were tested for CLso. About 4000 traps will be processed through the department’s diagnostic laboratories. At the time of publication, there have been no detections of CLso in Western Australia.

A second round of surveillance will be undertaken in early 2018. 

Other states are required to develop surveillance plans for the pest in accordance with national and international standards.

Market access and trade

The department continues to work on mitigating the risk of spread of TPP through appropriate movement controls.

This includes developing nationally harmonised protocols for interstate trade and maintaining confidence of international partners that TPP is being effectively managed in Australia.

Quarantine Area

A Quarantine Area is currently in place which includes the Perth metropolitan and surrounding local government areas.

Movement conditions apply to commercially-produced and home-grown host plants or nursery stock grown within the Quarantine Area.

Prescribed treatment is required for host plants, such as seedlings or nursery stock, where they are moving from within the Quarantine Area to specified local government areas in Western Australia, and are outlined in the published QAN.

Treatment guidelines maintain a satisfactory level of effectiveness against TPP while improving the practicality of spray application and dispatch timing for the nursery and garden industry.

TPP control options

Growers are reminded there a number of pre-harvest control options available to assist with management of TPP in host crops and nursery stock.

Growers have a responsibility to ensure chemicals are used according to the label and permit instructions.

More information

For more information contact Ian Wilkinson, TPP Project Coordinator on +61(0)8 9780 6278 or Gavin Foord, Enterprise Management Plan Coordinator, Foord Systems on +61(0)4 35018189

More information including signs and symptoms of TPP, and control options are available at agric.wa.gov.au/tpp.

Keep an eye out for these pests

water cabage
Anyone who has purchased aquatic plants online are asked to contact the department before taking any action to remove the plant.

The beginning of summer has brought with it a number of pest detections throughout the state.

Local communities can help prevent establishment of these pests by keeping an eye out and reporting any sightings to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

Asian black-spined toad

A single toad was recently discovered in the Perth suburb of Cloverdale.

Surveillance has made no further detections although people in the area, as well as travellers returning from Asia, are asked to remain on the lookout for unusual toads.

Water lettuce

This free-floating weed, also known as water cabbage, was recently traded online in Port Hedland to a number of purchasers.

Anyone who has purchased aquatic plants online are asked to contact the department before taking any action to remove the plant.

Devil’s claw

With summer upon us, growers involved in hay cutting and baling operations are being asked to keep an eye out for Purple flowered devil’s claw plants around areas of water and moisture.

The plant grows in irrigated systems and the seed pod can be easily attached and transported via the claw.

Starlings

Since 26 October, 13 adult starlings have been caught in 13 different lure traps across the south coast region – ranging across 180km between the west of Condingup through to Hopetoun.

Until now, only one starling has been detected in the past four years.

The local community is being asked to report any suspect sightings.

Stable fly

As the weather warms up, producers are reminded to properly dispose of material ideal for stable fly to lay eggs in, such as rotting vegetable crop residues, animal manures, spilled and wet grain feed, and rotting hay.

See the article on stable fly in AgMemo Horticulture news

Reports can be made to the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080 or padis@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Featured staff member - David Weaver

David standing with a hand full of gravel.
David is part of the Whole farm nutrient mapping project which aims to improve fertiliser use on-farm and deliver environmental benefits.

Protecting our waterways or protecting your hip pocket against excessive fertiliser costs are reasons to thank the department’s Senior Research Officer David Weaver for his work.

David is part of the Whole farm nutrient mapping project which aims to improve fertiliser use on-farm and deliver environmental benefits.

Since 2009, 14 100 paddocks have been sampled on 661 farms from Bremer Bay to Gingin to produce nutrient maps farmers can use to tailor their fertilisation schedule.

Testing at a further 350 farms is planned.

The project has just received national industry recognition and assessed as meeting Fertcare® standards, following on from a Fertcare champions of the decade award – achievements that David includes as career highlights.

“It is extremely satisfying when a participating farmer says ‘I believe this is one of the most important programs the department has delivered to farmers in the last 30 years’, or ‘this is the best ag workshop I have ever been to – the info is stuff I’ll take home and put to use immediately’,” David said.

David commenced working with the Department of Agriculture in November 1990 as a Research Officer in Albany, where he continues to work today.

He has worked on numerous projects, almost all of which have had a focus on managing agricultural nutrients to improve nutrient use efficiency and to minimise losses to waterways.

Some of these projects include:

  • Albany Harbours – aimed at understanding how nutrients are transported from agricultural land to waterways to inform activities to reduce water pollution around Albany.
  • Various Natural Heritage Trust projects – using Geographical Information Systems and decision support systems to identify and manage nutrient hotspots in catchments.
  • Making Better Fertiliser Decisions for Grazed Pastures in Australia – collation of nutrient response information from pasture trials around Australia to derive critical values, and development of the Farm Nutrient Loss Index.
  • Watershed Torbay – a national demonstration catchment where the aim was to develop and test approaches to waterways management at a whole catchment scale.
  • Accounting for Nutrients on Australian Dairy Farms – develop improved understanding of nutrient stores and flows on Australian dairy farms using an accounting framework.
  • Fertiliser Action Plan and Fertiliser Partnership – design of state government policies around fertiliser management on the swan coastal plain.
  • Nutrient Management Initiative – a GRDC funded project aimed at improved understanding of nutrient loss and management in cropping catchments around the Fitzgerald Biosphere.

David said he has had the good fortune of having fantastic support, and working with great people in all of these projects.

“Any achievements and highlights are due to the collective efforts of teams of dedicated people, from both technical and professional spheres,” he said.

David’s Project Manager Kim Brooksbank speaks highly  of David’s work and achievements.

“He identifies the problem, designs the solution, secures the funding and builds the team required and then plans and executes the necessary work, and most importantly, leads the farmers involved through the process of behaviour change,” Kim said.

“David understands that the job isn’t done when the report is on the shelf, and the change David and his team, co-lead by the equally talented Rob Summers, has been responsible for is of a scale that hasn’t been seen for generations.

“Their research has shown that there is $400m spent every year unnecessarily on phosphate fertilizers and that 70% of paddocks could be managed to ‘mine phosphorus from the soil until soil phosphorus levels decline to the critical value.”

David is currently working on the Regional Estuaries Initiative, Revitalising Geographe Waterways, and Forest Gravels projects.

The Whole Farm Nutrient Mapping project has a Facebook page for those looking for more information.

Events, grants and scholarships

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Included below is a snapshot of various government supported events, funding, programs, grants and scholarships available to the WA agricultural sector.

Events

Getting value from farm data networks - 12th December 2017, Perth

The eConnected grainbelt project is running a grower group forum on developments in farm data and technology.

Register for sensitive sites - 14th December, online

Western Australian farmers with sensitive commercial production systems can register their property with the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development’s Sensitive Sites service.

The map is updated annually and farmers have until 14 December 2017 to register their property details on the 2017-18 Sensitive Sites online map.

A Public Environmental Review (PER) of the proposed Esperance extension of the State Barrier Fence open 18 December - 29 January 2018.

The PER document will be made available from the department’s website on 18 December. Call the South Perth office on 9368 3333 to purchase a hard copy, or a CD version can be provided free of charge. The website will provide submission details.

Grants - new this edition

Accelerating commercialisation grant

Up to $1M is available for Australian entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, start-ups, commercialisation offices and small and medium enterprises to commercialise novel products, processes and services. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Applications are considered by the committee every 6 to 8 weeks.

Advanced production systems fund

Horticulture Innovation is targeting horticultural growers with this fund to help growers remain internationally competitive and deliver consistent, quality produce. The new initiative will comprise investment in projects that increase farm productivity through greater crop intensification, protection and disruption. Ideas can be submitted at any time via the website.

Building better regions fund

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is calling not for profit organisations and Local Government bodies to apply for funding for community building activities including but not limited to new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, leadership and capability building activities. Projects must be completed within 12 months and applications close on the19th December 2017.

Export market development grants

The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme is a key Australian Government financial assistance program for aspiring and current exporters. Administered by Austrade, the scheme supports a wide range of industries.

HARVEST accelerator for agtech start-ups

The nine-week program to support innovation in the agriculture and food industries and small to medium enterprises looking to scale will be delivered by AgriStart and will include workshops on pitch-coaching, marketing, business planning, raising capital, commercialisation, tech collaboration and partnering models. Applications open Tuesday 12 November 2017.

Investor ready incentive for food and beverage producers

Grants of up to $50 000 available to premium food and beverage businesses to fund activities that will support businesses to become investment ready. Applications open Friday 8 November 2017.

Managing Farm Risk Programme

This funding from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources provides rebates for advice and assessments to help farmers prepare and apply for a new insurance policy that assists with the management of drought and other production and market risks.
These one-off rebates will be for half of the costs incurred by eligible farm businesses, up to a maximum of $2500 (GST exclusive). Closes 15th May 2019.

NACC habitat fencing incentive

Landowners in the Northern Agricultural Region are eligible for an incentive of $3500/km is available per kilometre of fencing to protect areas of remnant vegetation that support threatened species and ecological communities until June 2018. 

Nurturing the next generation of farmers

Nestle is calling entrepreneurs in agriculture from around the globe to develop a pilot training course for the new leaders in Agriculture. Applications close 4th Feb 2018.

Smart farming partnerships

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources through Landcare has grants available for experienced and skilled organisations working in partnership to undertake projects to develop, trial and implement new and innovative tools that support the uptake of sustainable practices across our agricultural, fishing, aquaculture and farm forestry industries. These projects will protect and improve the condition of our important resources of soil, water, plants and animals which underpin productive and profitable primary industries. Applications close 2pm AEST 21 December 2017.

Grants - ongoing

Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) program

Grants are available for projects aimed at promoting cooperation in accessing international markets.

Community water supply program

The Community Water Supply Program (CWSP) provides grants of up to $100 000 for community water supply improvements in dryland agricultural areas receiving less than 600 mm average annual rainfall.

Entrepreneurs’ Program

The Entrepreneurs’ Programme uses experienced Advisers and Facilitators, drawn from industry, to ensure businesses get the advice and support needed to improve their competitiveness, productivity and to seek growth opportunities.

Farm water supply planning scheme

Commercial broadacre farmer experiencing water shortages can apply for rebates to fund an audit and site inspection of farm water supply and improvements.

Producer Innovation Fast-Track program

A new initiative developed by MLA Donor Company (MDC) to catalyse producer innovation. The program provides the expertise, co-funding and support to producers who are innovators, early adopters, AgTech entrepreneurs or future value chain leaders.

Pastoral Water Grants Scheme

Provides grants of up to $20 000 for commercial pastoralists looking to develop alternative watering points to reduce grazing intensity around existing overgrazed and degraded water supplies.

Supplier Improvement Plan

Provides tailored advice to help your business to develop a better understanding of your customer’s needs and requirements, increase your supplier capability, and improve your access to new and existing markets.

Scholarships

GRDC Post-doctoral fellowship

Expression of interests for Post-doctoral fellows are being called. These will need to demonstrate that projects will add value to an existing GRDC project and has the support of the project leader. Applications close 15 January 2018.

Western Australian sheep industry university scholarship program

The WA sheep industry scholarship program is designed to support and encourage individuals who wish to pursue further study by addressing key industry questions relevant to the sheep industry supply chain in Western Australia. Applications close 30 March 2018.