QUEENSLAND Government funding for rural water use efficiency projects would help Queensland's dairy farmers further improve their productivity and efficiency, and help build resilience in the industry, according to the Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation.
Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps announced $8 million in funding under the Rural Water Use Efficiency for Irrigation Futures program, with just over $1.2 million to work specifically on dairy and fodder industry projects.
QDO CEO Adrian Peake said the Queensland dairy industry was renowned over the world for being one of the most efficient and productive subtropical and tropical dairying environments.
"That efficiency and the productivity of Queensland dairy farmers is no accident - it has come about through investments in programs such as this. This confirmation of the continuation and the more targeted approach for Rural Water Use Efficiency for Irrigation Futures will help the Queensland industry to continue to progress and innovate," Mr Peake said.
He said irrigation efficiency was one of the most important aspects of farm management for Queensland dairy farmers.
"We operate in a highly variable climate and irrigation is a critical ingredient for success on most dairy farmers. At the same time, water is an extremely precious resource, so efficient use of that water is absolutely crucial."
He said Queensland was in a unique situation for its milk, where farmers were being asked for a flat year-round supply of fresh milk, but that the rest of the value chain was not adequately paying the price and recognising the costs associated with supplying high quality fresh milk every day of the year.
"This continues to create huge price pressure upon Queensland dairy farmers, particularly due to the supermarket milk price war.
"Industry continues to lobby for outcomes at the market end via government and the ACCC, but in the meantime this investment on-farm is an important investment from the Newman Government.
"It isn't the solution to our market challenges, but it is a very important and welcome focus on farm productivity and profitability, which industry definitely needs at the moment.
"The reality is that if we are sitting still then we are going backwards. So QDO and the entire industry welcomes this commitment from Minister Andrew Cripps and the Queensland Government."