With much of Queensland’s fruit, vegetable and nut production close to sensitive environments such as the Great Barrier Reef, sustainable natural resource management is a critical issue for horticultural growers.
Through Growcom’s Hort360 Great Barrier Reef Best Management Practice (Hort360 GBR) program, Growcom is working with horticultural growers within Reef catchments to boost productivity and profitability while minimising environmental impacts from agricultural runoff entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.
Using our Hort360 software, facilitators are working one-on-one with growers to identify risks and opportunities for their business. Following this process growers are developing action plans, supported by information, technical support and activities that address nutrient, sediment and chemical runoff.
To assist with the cost of implementing on-farm practice change Growcom is devolving incentive payments of up to $5000 to eligible growers within Reef catchments who undertake an on-farm assessment through Hort360.
To date, a number of growers have already participated in this project with successful applicants implementing improvements to irrigation to reduce runoff, improvements to fertigation to reduce loss, erosion control and management to stop loss of sediment, and changes to chemical application to prevent drift.
Other eligible expenses include the purchase and installation of monitoring and sensor technology or software to assist growers in making more informed decisions on irrigation, fertigation and spraying practices.
Incentives are only available until June 2019 or when funding runs out so we encourage growers within Reef catchments to contact Growcom to find out more.
The Hort360 GBR program is conducted in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.