2019 has been a very busy year for all. This December is a great month for farmers to reflect on the past year of their achievements and hardships. 2020 is only around the corner and hopefully the rain will pour.
For 2020, NSW Farmers Yass Branch will still continue to support farmers and continue to host workshops and events for our local communities. We would like to encourage younger farmers to get on board and be a part of a voice for our future of agriculture.
We would like to celebrate the passing of the 'Right to Farm' bill from our government. A farm is a business, a farm is a home and protecting our farmers is vital.
We would really like to here from our members how we can support more of local farmers and the community.
Water for Fodder
The Australian Government has released details regarding the Water for Fodder Program. Farmers in the southern Murray-Darling Basin will be able to purchase water at a discounted rate. Eligible farmers will be able to purchase two allocations of 50 megalitres for each instalment of the program from the South Australian Government for $5,000 each. The water must be used to grow fodder or pasture in the water year it is allocated. The program will be delivered in two instalments:
40 gigalitres of water available this year (2019-2020)
60 gigalitres available in the next water year (2020-2021)
To make sure you are eligible, please check the program guidelines at agriculture.gov.au/water. Applications have already opened.
WaterNSW and DPI Drought
WaterNSW and DPI has concluded their state-wide drought update roadshow. Copies of the presentations and valley specific drought/water availability information is available on the WaterNSW website.
Boost to bore licensing staff
The NSW Government has responded to calls from NSW Farmers to boost staff resources within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's (DPIE) water division to meet increasing demand for bore license applications. NSW Farmers has advocated for the hiring of more hydrogeologists since meeting with DPIE and Water NSW in October to discuss the 'no water' scenario for intensive livestock producers. There was a 33 per cent increase in applications for new bores in September compared to August, demonstrating the desperate need for water in this unparalleled drought. Hydrogeological assessment is required for some stock and domestic bores followed by temporary groundwater trades, permanent trades, new bores or those seeking a review of extraction limits on existing approvals.