Grains Best Management Practice - Phase 1
Grains BMP is a voluntary, industry-led program that enables broadacre grain growers to identify improved practices that can help improve their environmental and business sustainability, and the long-term profitability of their enterprise.
The Grains BMP program was developed in 2008, and is owned by a partnership of the Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA), AgForce and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). The partnership’s goal continues to be to establish Grains BMP as the leading industry tool for growers to benchmark and communicate their achievements.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates (2010) showed that the dryland cropping industry occupies a slightly larger area (686,405 ha and 2,308 holdings) than the combined area of the sugar and horticulture (including bananas) industries (562,168 ha and 5,923 holdings). Fitzroy has the largest dryland cropping area, followed by the Burdekin and the Burnett Mary. Since inception, a total of 418 enterprises in all regions have undertaken at least 1 Grains BMP self-assessment of the 5 modules - 517,382 ha of grain production is now under improved management practices; within the Fitzroy Region, 295 enterprises are involved, covering 316,000 hectares.
This project, funded by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) will be managed by the Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) (as the contracting party), in collaboration with AgForce and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).
Through the conduct of the project, grains businesses will have access to the suite of web-based BMP modules, products and self-assessment and voluntary audit and accreditation that foster improved water quality outcomes, with particular relevance to reef catchments and improved profitability.
Through the Grains BMP benchmarking process,, growers can identify gaps in their knowledge and take the necessary steps to incorporate best management practices into their farming system.
Grains BMP has two key objectives.
1. To help growers assess their current farming practices against industry standards and identify actions that will improve their business’s profitability and sustainability.
2. To help the grains industry demonstrate good environmental management to communities and customers by showcasing the sustainable production practices used by BMP growers.
Grains BMP is not commodity based so is applicable to all broadacre cropping (except cotton and sugarcane, which are covered by their own BMPs). It allows growers and industry to demonstrate environmental stewardship, continuous management practice improvement, and farming system innovation.
Grains BMP is grower led. It is delivered through direct one on one facilitation or through small groups of growers meeting over several days to complete their self-assessment in the BMP’s five modules:
• Pesticide application;
• Making the most of rainfall;
• Property design and layout;
• Integrated pest management; and
• Crop nutrition and soil fertility management.
At the completion of each module, growers develop an action plan and prioritise the areas of improvement for their business. Through this approach they are embarking on a journey of practice improvement.
Grains BMP has involved targeted training to help growers improve their understanding of management practices so that they have the capacity and knowledge to make improvements on their farms.
The success of the targeted training and extension hinges on using recognised and respected industry experts. This ensures that growers see value in the training, accept the principles as credible and makes them more likely to adopt practice changes and to consider new ideas.
The Grains BMP Project
Through recent discussions between the Grains BMP partners and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), there has been a general agreement that Queensland Government investment in Grains BMP is needed to enable the program to grow, meet reef water quality objectives and increase industry buy in.
With limited funds available at this point in time, it is proposed to enter into an interim agreement to make minor enhancements to Grains BMP and importantly continue Grains BMP delivery and grower engagement in the Fitzroy and Burdekin regions over the next 18 months while additional investment is sourced.
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Metadata last updated on 2019-01-09 14:45:17.0