ACM gets $50,000 grant to support organic suppliers

By Rodney Woods

Australian Consolidated Milk will use a Federal Government grant to help its organic suppliers better understand soil chemistry to enhance the quality and quantity of their fodder.

The $50 000 grant, as part of the Smart Farms Small Grants program, will allow all 30 of ACM's certified organic suppliers to benefit from soil tests, workshops, face-to-face visits and fact sheets that the company intends to deliver by June 2022.

“The project will allow our certified organic suppliers to learn about the importance of soil chemistry and the link between soil chemistry, soil biology and soil physics and how it leads to fodder growth and animal health in the organic system,” ACM's organic development officer Liz Mann said.

The on-farm program will also help farmers understand how to complete soil tests, how to read the data of those tests, what soil factors are most important and what can be done if amelioration is needed.

“A soil test will be done after amelioration to see the impact,” Ms Mann said.

“The ultimate aim is to improve the quantity and quality of fodder to feed their cows.”

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said 113 projects will share in more than $5 million, as part of the grants program, to equip farmers with new skills and knowledge to improve sustainability and their bottom line.

“Our farmers have always looked after the land and we are giving them a helping hand to adopt best practice natural resource management methods,” Mr Littleproud said.

“It is a critical time for agriculture which is poised to lead Australia’s recovery out of COVID-19.

“This funding will improve the resilience and productive capacity of farms but will also have an immediate effect of stimulating local economies and bringing people together, when the time is right.

“Locals know best and that's why we're supporting them in activities such as rolling out projects to improve soil health and demonstrating how new technology, such as drones, can help farming businesses.

For more information about the grants program, visit: agriculture.gov.au