Far North Queensland beef and sugarcane producers will use new technologies to learn about better grazing, land management and sustainability to improve profitability for their industries.
The $4 million E-beef Smart Farm project will include three properties across North Queensland to showcase the latest land management technologies so farmers can see the benefits for themselves.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the project would benefit graziers and beef producers in Cape York.
“The e-beef project will demonstrate ‘WOW’ or walk over weighing technology for cattle, which automatically weighs the cattle daily as they leave the water yard,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Beef producers need accurate information to make decisions about cattle numbers during drought. Holding cattle too long hurts ground cover and farm profits in the long term.”
Mr Entsch said producers in the Rutland Plains and the Gulf Savannah Rangelands would benefit from the project delivered in partnership by Northern Gulf Resource Management Group Ltd.
“Using this technology graziers will be able to identify steers that are ready for sale, meaning they can better manage their herd numbers and pastures,” Mr Entsch said.
“Satellite technology will also be used to monitor green groundcover and demonstrate to graziers the link between cattle weighs and pasture levels.”
Sugarcane growers north of Cairns and around Port Douglas will be able to leverage the growing value internationally of sustainably grown sugar thanks to a $2.25 million Sustainable Sugar Project.
“Queensland Cane Growers is leading this project to help recognise sustainable practices and deliver better prices for our cane growers,” Mr Entsch said.
“The project aims to use block chain technology, which is an encrypted chain of data that cannot be tampered with, to show clearly where sugarcane came from and the sustainability of that farm.”
Minister Littleproud said this data is so important because sustainably sourced food and fibre is in demand and this data could open up more opportunities for North Queensland cane farmers.
“Coca-Cola, for example, has a plan to source 100 per cent of its sugar from sustainable sources by 2020. The new technology would help pin point sustainable sugar in the supply chain, linking them directly with Aussie canegrowers,” Mr Littleproud said.
“This project will help to increase exports and help gain better access to markets to capitalise on our important free trade agreements.”
For more information about the National Landcare Program visit www.nrm.gov.au.