Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull has asked the Agriculture Minister to provide funding to the Gippsland Agricultural Group (GAgG) and is hoping for a positive response this week.
“GAgG is comprised of Gippsland farmers from the Latrobe Valley through to East Gippsland and they have undertaken successful trials to see what grows best in lower rainfall conditions such as those we are currently experiencing,” said Mr Bull.
“It’s great work that is already being beneficial to some – and will be beneficial to many – in these dry times, so last Parliament sitting week I asked the Minister to provide funding.
“I have heard on the grapevine she will be in the region this week, so let’s hope she brings some support for this initiative and also some serious drought support, which to date has been lacking.
“The group has had considerable success and those farmers involved have seen significant benefits on their own farms from what they have learned on this trial site.
“One example is a crop called moby forage barley, which they identified from another area – that grows well in winter and in periods of lower annual rainfall.
“It performed well in the trials so local farmers have started cross sowing it with their usual pasture species. It is a way of hedging their bets as if it stays drier than normal, the moby barley grows and if we do get drought breaking rains their pasture will flourish – they will get growth no matter what the conditions.
“But they are also doing important work in a whole range of other areas including soil health and trialling species for grazing and silage.
“GAgG is also expanding and is negotiating to take over an adjoining 100ha which will allow the trials to be expanded.
“The expansion requires infrastructure of about $300,000, including fencing, stock handling facilities and water for livestock, so I want the Minister to ‘tip in’ and allow them to continue doing this great work,” he said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, with Brody Kennedy and Trevor Caithness at the Gippsland Agricultural Group’s Bengworden Road trial site