National Landcare Program - Soil Extension Grant
Australia’s soils, water, vegetation and biodiversity underpin the productivity and sustainability of agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries, but these natural resources are under threat. Pressures on Australia’s natural resources can limit the viability and productivity of food, fibre and forestry businesses.
About the grant
The program will run from February 2022 to 30 June 2023.
Outcome 1 – Increased adoption of best practice sustainable agriculture Smart Farms Small Grants - Soil Extension Activities will:
- Promote the benefits of increased frequency and comprehensiveness of soil sampling and testing to inform soil management decisions
- Support land managers and farmers to participate in soil testing and interpretation of the results
- demonstrate land management practices to improve efficiency, production and soil health
- Support land managers and farmers to contribute soils data to relevant national databases
Achieving this outcome will:
- Increase the number of land managers and farmers undertaking soil sampling and testing
- Establish baselines for current soil physical, chemical and biological status to provide a basis for farmers to make strategic decisions and identify future management practices, ameliorates and nutrient requirements to correct possible imbalances
- Improve land management practices to protect or improve Australia’s soil health
- Contribute to delivering sustainable, productive and profitable farm businesses
- Improve government programs and services, increase the accuracy of future trend forecasting, and provide information to inform agricultural and natural resource management research and development.
Outcome 2 – Increase the capacity of land managers to adopt best practice sustainable agriculture Smart Farms Small Grants - Soil Extension Activities will:
- Improve land managers and farmers soil testing knowledge and skills (capacity building)
- Increase the capacity of land managers and farmers to interpret soil testing results
- Improve land managers and farmers capacity to undertake land management actions to improve soil health
- Improve land managers and farmers understanding of the value of soil data as an important part of land management decision making
- Improve collaboration and communication between soil scientists, extension officers, advisers, natural resource management and farming systems groups, land managers and farmers.
Achieving this outcome will:
- Improve the ability of land managers and farmers to interpret and appropriately act on soil test results
- Improve decision making on natural resource management as part of whole of farm management which leads to improved condition of natural resources, increased production avoidance of potential losses, and/or improve whole of farm profitability
- Promote soil management informed by the latest research
- Assist farmers and their advisers to monitor long term soil health trends
- Feed into the National Soils Monitoring program to improve the capacity of the Commonwealth to monitor soil condition and contribute to international efforts to improve soil sustainability.
Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
To be eligible to apply for a grant you must be an organisation capable of entering into a legally binding and enforceable agreement with the Commonwealth. To be eligible you must have relevant background and experience in agriculture and/or natural resource management (specific experience relating to soils and their management is essential), and be one of the following entity types:
- Commonwealth Company
- Corporate Commonwealth Entity
- Corporate State or Territory Entity
- Incorporated Association
- Indigenous Corporation
- Local Government
- Non-corporate State or Territory Entity
- Non-corporate State or Territory Statutory Authority
- Sole Trader
- Statutory Entity
- If you are applying as a Trustee on behalf of a Trust3 , the Trustee must have an eligible entity type as listed above.
You must have the following additional eligibility requirements in place before you apply:
- Have an Australian Business Number
- Have an account with an Australian financial institution.
Applicants seeking to engage a suitably qualified person to undertake extension activities must have suitable qualifications, which may include, but are not limited to a bachelor’s degree and/or diploma in a science, agriculture and/or environment field with soil science specific units. A minimum level of a diploma is required.
If you do not meet these additional requirements, you will not be eligible
Eligible grant activities
Extension activities must contribute to achieving at least one of the 2 Smart Farms Small Grants Program outcomes. In your application, you
must identify the outcome your proposed extension service will contribute to achieving as identified above.
Eligible natural resources Whether your proposed project contributes to achieving Outcome 1, Outcome 2, or both Outcomes 1 and 2 , it must contribute to improving Australian food, fibre and forestry business sustainability, productivity and profitability, and must contribute to protecting or improving one of the following natural resources in Australia:
- Soil, including marine sediments
- Water, freshwater or marine
- Threatened species
- Threatened ecological communities listed for the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)
- Ramsar sites
- World Heritage properties
- Native biodiversity (including both terrestrial and marine)
- Sequestration and reduction of agricultural systems’ greenhouse gas emissions or
- Capacity of Australia’s farming, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry systems to adapt to significant changes in climate.
In your application, you must describe each of your proposed extension activities–including employed positions and related activities.
The proposal must be for the following:
- Engaging a suitably qualified person/s with qualifications in soil science or similar field or demonstrated experience in performing soil management extension activities or be in the process of attaining the aforementioned qualifications or experience.
Approved activities—an applicant may choose any number of the below activities however these must be provided by a suitably qualified person
and may involve, but are not limited to:
- Conducting workshops, seminars, roadshows or field days to increase land managers understanding of soil testing, soil test results interpretation, and land management practices to improve soil health
- Creating communications products, webinars or online materials to increase land managers and farmers awareness of, soil testing, soil test results interpretation, and land management practices to improve soil health
- Delivering extension activities that improve the understanding of how soil management contributes to delivering productive and profitable farm businesses, and sustainability outcomes
- Modest business travel expenses (e.g. bus hire) and catering as part of the grant (for example sandwiches and drinks at an all-day field trip)
- Information and demonstrations of contemporary and emerging technologies and practices to improve soil health
Establishing trials, demonstration and monitoring sites to demonstrate soil sampling and testing processes, and associated land management
practices to improve soil health, which will be able to be attended by land managers and farmers, such as:
- Monitoring and managing ground cover to assist land managers to maintain levels above minimum thresholds to reduce soil and nutrient loss through wind and water erosion and improve air and/or water quality
- Surface and subsurface soil acidification and soil pH management
- Management of soil biological activity and nutrient management to reduce off-site impacts of nutrient losses into waterways, reducing nitrous oxide emissions
- Activities for increasing soil carbon to better support farmers to participate in other programs such as the Emissions Reduction Fund.
How to apply
Before applying, you must read and understand these guidelines, the terms and conditions, sample grant agreement and the questions and answers. These documents are found at the GrantConnect and Community Grants Hub websites.
To apply you must:
- complete the online application form on the GrantConnect or Community Grants Hub websites provide all the information requested by 9:00 pm AEDT on 12 October 2021
- address all eligibility criteria and assessment criteria
- submit your application/s to the Community Grants Hub by 9:00 pm AEDT on 12 October 2021.
Should you require any assistance, please contact our office on 07 4151 8898.
The Money Edge | Bundaberg