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Drought Resilience Fund

Newflash 14/10/21 - We have selected the 30 farms that will be involved. 




Following on from previous grant funded initiatives trialing different regenerative farming methods, Heytesbury District Landcare Network has secured additional funding from the Australian Future Drought Fund. The new funds will enable HDLN to continue the existing trials through to August 2022 (a six month extension) as well as working with these and additional farms on implementing a range of drought resilience measures across larger parts of their farm operations. We will expand the number of participants to 30 farms in total.

As before, participation in this new program brings some investment of grant funds (valued at around $5,000 per farm plus relevant expert advice), but it also requires a commitment from farmers themselves (cash, materials and labour). We will clarify the likely costs and the desired outcomes from this investment, depending on the activities you would like to pursue. A list of the various initiatives that you can choose from is as follows. We anticipate supporting a maximum of two initiatives on each farm.


Increasing plant matter yield and soil carbon

plus reduced fertiliser use. 

This could include any of the following:
- low tillage with ground cover (selection of optimal tillage system)
- sowing multi-species cover crops (selection of optimal seeding system)
- spreading compost
- spreading compost + 10% biochar
- spreading compost with biochar added during decomposition
- use of inoculated seed


Paddock management

Such as:
- subdividing paddocks for more frequent rotation (e.g. beef properties)
- extending pasture rest periods through herd movement (e.g. dairy properties)
- using rest periods to create feed wedges and conserve feed (all livestock)


Vegetation planting

Such as
- riparian buffers
- fenceline and paddock windbreaks



Initiatives that achieve water conservation or efficiency and/or improved water quality

In addition, we are hoping that some farms may choose to carry out some foundation work on the following initiatives, which can then be more fully implemented if further funding becomes available.

• methane suppressing fodder supplements for ruminants (also improving feed conversion) including any of the following:
- biochar in grain supplements
- seaweed mix in grain supplements
- biochar in open bin paddock feeding
- seaweed mix in open bin paddock feeding

• reducing emissions from livestock excrement (increasing nutrient retention or producing biogas) including any of the following:
- introducing composting (for farms not already doing this)
- enhanced composting eg with biochar or fermentation
- capturing and using or flaring biogas (design of model for implementation)
- improving year-round activity of dung beetles
- reed cultivation on effluent ponds.

We are also open to any other initiatives that would improve your farm’s drought resilience, or its contribution to addressing climate change, if you have particular suggestions to make.
We hope that you will agree to participate in this new program.

Please would you complete and return the below EOI form and questionnaire. This will not represent a formal commitment at this stage, but will enable us to work with you to develop a program of work that is affordable and which makes sense for your particular farm.

Want to talk further first?

Call Geoff at the office 5598 3755 or leave your message below.

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