Projects | NT FARMERS

Mango Business Industry Development

The NT Farmers Mango Business Industry Development project has been funded by the NT Department of Primary Industries & Resources until 30 June 2020. 

The project has a focus with the NT mango industry, however, has extended out to other horticultural crops that may have further domestic and export market opportunities.

Project objectives

Assisting industry stakeholders and commercial operations in the development of cold chain infrastructure, export development infrastructure, freight, quarantine/phytosanitary requirements, providing end to end solutions and operational activities.

Analyse export market development on existing Northern Territory produce for current Free Trade Agreement countries and other potential trading partners and countries.  Assessment of current state of play for horticultural crops that are already exporting out of southern markets, identify gaps, opportunities and assist in facilitating development.

Assisting mango and other horticultural producers with increasing their knowledge in quality and food safety assurance systems through the provision of training and knowledge sharing, providing up to date information on any supply chain changes and research and development extension activities.

Supporting producers to understand their supply and value chain capabilities which will enhance their commercial outcomes and sustainability of all businesses within the supply chain.

The mango industry in the Northern Territory makes up nearly 50% of all of Australia’s mango production and plays a pivotal role in the economic development of horticultural production in the NT and continues to go from strength to strength building capacity across the whole supply chain.

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Katherine and Regional Development

The NT Farmers Plant Industry Development project has been funded by the NT Department of Primary Industries & Resources until 30 June 2020. 

The project has a focus with the development of new cropping opportunities, new area developments and new business development as well as focussing on the Research, Development and Extension opportunities.

Project objectives

The project involves three main components:

1. Working with existing farmers to improve and develop the existing cropping opportunities while introducing new cropping options that lead to a more robust, sustainable and profitable farming system. This involves working closely with existing farmers and being a conduit to facilitate required extensions services that enables a more supportive environment for the Northern Territory farmers to access new markets, diversify and explore alternative crops and products and to improve farming systems, logistics, farm biosecurity and labour practices.

A major part of the project is to work with the Northern Territory Government to progress the development and delivery of the Katherine Agribusiness and Logistics Hub that will enhance the opportunities for expansion of existing industries and the development of new cropping options and industries

2. Establish new crop opportunities by investigating new crops, technologies and farming systems to increase farm productivity. Utilising the climatic and seasonal advantages that the Northern Territory, select new crops that offer opportunities to enhance the development of a profitable farming system.

Working closely with existing farmers, demonstrate production viability alongside identifying and accessing new markets for the crops;

3. Identify new areas of opportunity in the Northern Territory that are not currently cropping and the expansion of existing crops to new areas. In development of new cropping areas there is a need to facilitate the investigation of the economic viability of farming options through liaison with land holders, potential growers and expert stakeholders.

A significant component in the development of new areas will be to explore and assist in implementing diversification options to improve resilience of businesses and industry in conjunction with the diversification on pastoral lands and the Indigenous estate.

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Workforce Planning

Workforce Planning Coordinator Project:

The NT Farmers Workforce Planning Coordinator project has been funded by the NT Department of Primary Industries & Resources until 30 June 2020. 

The project is quite broad and includes supporting agribusiness management;

  • with the necessary tools and information to implement employment practices that comply with workplace relations laws and industry standards
  • coordinating training for upskilling of both management and staff
  • by identifying employers needs & workforce gaps
  • by collating labour force statistics and information from in-field operations to influence policy and regulatory improvements e.g. visa reform.
  • by representing NT Farmers nationally, contributing high quality advice
  • to source international labour

Other tasks include improving career pathways in the NT agriculture industry, undertaking activities that attract Territorians to consider and embark on a career in horticulture or agriculture and promoting the industry to potential employees.

Aisla Connolly, Workforce Planning Coordinator [email protected]

Workforce Planning Coordinator Project
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VegNet Project

Project Purpose:

NT Farmers Association (NTFA) continue to build on industry relationships through engagement-focused extension activities with vegetable growers, assisted by stakeholder involvement.  Earlier vegetable project contributions were essential in achieving best management practices in the Northern Territory vegetable industry.

The aim of this project is to strengthen growers’ business and agronomic models through addressing best- practice gaps and capacity requirements identified through implementation research.

A major industry priority is to improve pest and disease management in tropical vegetable crops by  encouraging the establishment of IPM practices and strategies for profitable production in the NT.

Best practice on-farm biosecurity management continues across all vegetables and row crops, developed and implemented through the CGMMV incursion. This was made possible by collaboration with the NT Department of Primary Industries and Resources, NT Biosecurity staff and Molecular Biology CGMMV R&D team.

Project Objectives

  • To deliver regional capacity building services to the NT vegetable industry
  • To increase knowledge of current R & D and facilitate adoption of R & D
  • Increase the reach of vegetable R & D programs through engaging stakeholders in networks at a regional level
  • To provide linkages to the national industry services and national vegetable training initiatives

The Northern Territory is a growing region for vegetable production in Australia where significant production increases are due to predominately Vietnamese and Cambodian growers. The Territory relies on its market access to southern states during the dry season generally between May to October while the rest of southern Australia is in winter.

These growers produce predominately Asian leafy green, melons, cucurbits such as cucumbers, squash, zucchini and pumpkins, snake bean, okra, capsicums, chillies, eggplants, spring onions, tomatoes and herbs. The industry is estimated to be worth around $50 million dollars to the NT economy with a total of 11,600 tonnes produced in 2017.

The need to demonstrate best practice crop and business management is ongoing to ensure sustainable industry growth into the future. Providing support to growers allows for adoption of practice change. Through extension and R & D delivery-based information, growers can continue developing and expanding the industry in the NT. Providing grower practice change alternatives such as softer chemical use options, to spray programs combined with integrated pest management for more profitable outcomes around pest and disease management. The project also offers training for growers around biosecurity and food safety to meet certification requirements for food production. 

“Beneficial insects found in our Demonstration Plot at Coastal Plains Research Station”
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DrumMUSTER

NT Farmers is contracted by Agsafe limited to provide support services for the drumMUSTER program in the Northern Territory and east Kimberly region of WA.
Any agricultural or veterinary chemical container that displays the drumMUSTER logo is eligible for free collection and the plastic and metal drums are recycled for re manufacture into useful products.

By using drumMUSTER, farmers and growers have the means to keep their properties clear of waste and the service provides a recycling pathway for empty chemical drums.

Before delivering eligible containers to the nearest collection site, ensure they are:

  • empty, with lids removed
  • triple-rinsed until free of any visible chemical residue
  • clean and dry, punctured if they are metal.

Call ahead to make a delivery:

Humpty Doo Transfer Station
Spencely Street, Humpty Doo
(08) 8983 0652
NT Recycling Depot
19 Pruen Road, Berrimah
(08) 8947 2721
Katherine Transfer Station
Novis Quarry Road, Katherine
(08) 8971 2014
Douglas Daly Research Facility
Jungwa Road, Douglas Daly
(08) 8978 2442
Alice Springs Town Council
Commanage Rd, Alice Springs
(08) 89504341
Central Desert Regional Council
Spencer Rd, Ti Tree
(08) 89669911

drumMUSTER is funded by levies collected by AgStewardship Australia, which was established to develop stewardship programs for Australia’s agriculture sector. AgStewardship contracts Agsafe Ltd to deliver the drumMUSTER and ChemClear programs on its behalf.

Farmers often use chemicals for pest management, one-off pest events or they may switch crops, resulting in leftover chemicals no longer needed. ChemClear is an agvet chemical waste management program that helps chemical users to keep their properties free of those unwanted products.

To maintain sound land management practices, farmers are encouraged to keep their land, waterways and landfill sites free of chemicals, by using ChemClear to safely dispose of products.

Farmers register their obsolete chemicals with ChemClear online or by phoning 1800 008 182, then deliver those products to a scheduled collection point advised by ChemClear.

ChemClear collections usually take place once every two years, so it’s important for chemical users to do a regular inventory of their chemical shed and registration of unwanted products for safe collection and disposal.

If you need more information about the drumMUSTER program: email mailo:[email protected]
To find your local collection site click on: http://www.drummuster.com.au/find-a-collecion-site/
To register to dispose of unwanted agvet chemicals go to www.chemclear.com.au

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Current Projects List

Workforce Planning Coordinator – Funded by the NT Government

The role of the Workplace Planning Coordinator is to engage with Government and Industry to facilitate and support improved access to and participation of skilled and seasonal labour in the Horticulture and Agriculture sectors of the NT.

INTERNAL

Economic Profile of Plant Industries in the Northern Territory

The Profile is being developed due to a lack of up to date data on the economic contribution of plant industries in the Northern Territory. Having accurate data is crucial to all areas of work undertaken by NT Farmers Association, but primarily needed for effective advocacy. The Profile will focus on a number of economic parameters which are:

  • Volume and value of production (GVP)
  • Area under production
  • Total capital investment
  • Total annual expenditure
  • Direct employment
  • Total freight

NT Farmers Policy Position Papers

The position papers are being developed to enable NT Farmers to have a clear set of policy positions on a number of thematic areas. This will enable NT Farmers Association to be effective in its advocacy and also helps develop projects that are to be carried out by NTFA on behalf of members. The areas being focused on are:

  • Infrastructure
  • Water
  • Freight and transport
  • Strengthening the farming sectors
  • Biosecurity
  • Labour and workforce
  • Land
  • R&D
  • Health and wellbeing

EXTERNAL

VG12113 Vegetable Engagement Project (NT Only)
Completed July 2016

The Vegetable Engagement Project developed two-way communication channels between the NT Vegetable Growers and the NT Farmers Association, to facilitate best practice needs and the activities required to facilitate the adoption of best practice. The project was instrumental in assisting vegetable growers through two major biosecurity incursions, by maintaining market access and implementing best practice on farm biosecurity.

VG15044 National Regional Capacity Building Project for Vegetables
Commences August 2016 – until July 2019

That National Regional Capacity Building Projects for Vegetables are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the vegetable industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.
The project will build on the success of the engagement project by further facilitating the adoption of best practice in the areas of production, supply chain, and business practices. The capacity building project is part of a national group of projects to achieve the same outcomes across Australia. The project is specifically designed to bring the results of current research in the vegetable field to the Northern Territory Growers.

VG15013 CGMMV R&D Project

The CGMMV Project is a national project headed by NT DPIF to identify the gaps in the knowledge of various aspects of CGMMV. These aspects include, diagnostics, investigating possible transmission of the virus by bees, improved seed screening techniques for the virus and study of the longevity of the virus in tropical soils. NTFA is part of a national project team and is tasked with extending the findings of the research to industry and incorporating any relevant findings into on farm biosecurity best practice for CGMMV.

Action on the Ground Project

NT DPIF and NT Farmers are continuing to look at aspects of Nitrogen nutrition in mango orchards. The goal is to develop recommendations for the most efficient Nitrogen use and the least possible greenhouse emissions within tropical mango orchard management.

Landcare Spray Technology Project

The spray innovation workshops run in conjunction with NT DPIF Katherine will demonstrate the improved efficiency possible by incorporating modern nozzle and control systems management in broadacre or row crop spraying.

Landcare IPM in Vegetables Project

The IPM Project will link with the capacity building project and the Soil Wealth Project to set up and operate a demonstration site that investigates appropriate IMP programs for Top End trellis vegetable crops in conjunction with the DPI Entomology section.

NT Land Use Mapping Project

The Department of Land Resource Management is conducting a detailed land use mapping survey of the Northern Territory, funded by the Federal Government for use in biosecurity planning. NT Farmers Association and NT DPIF have been subcontracted to ground proof the remote data and provide plant industry specific information into assigning individual enterprise land use details.

Soil Wealth Demonstration Site Project

Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection Projects are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the vegetable industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.
The Soil Wealth Demonstration Site and Berry Springs links the NT with the soil wealth demo sites across Australia. It provides support for analysing soil wealth parameters in the NT and aims to assess the current best practice in soil management. Territory Natural Resource Management is providing support for the site as part of its sustainable production practices objectives in their Natural Resource Management Plan for the Top End.
For more information visit: http://www.soilwealth.com.au/
Or see the live demonstrations and photos on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Soil-Wealth-Darwin-129472770747352/
Receive live updates on Twitter too!: https://twitter.com/SoilWealth

Magpie Geese Management Project

CDU is leading a project to investigate the current behaviour of Magpie Geese in Mango orchards in the Top End, in conjunction with NT DPIF and NT Farmers Association. The University is funding a PhD student who will look at the movement patterns of the birds during the mango fruiting period and investigate some of the potential control methods used across the world, and assess whether they are viable options for bird management in the NT.

Workforce Planning Coordinator – Funded by the NT Government

The role of the Workplace Planning Coordinator is to engage with Government and Industry to facilitate and support improved access to and participation of skilled and seasonal labour in the Horticulture and Agriculture sectors of the NT.

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Biosecurity Liason

Biosecurity Liason:

The NT vegetable, tropical fruit and mango growers are a very diverse group and include many South East Asian nationalities. There is a corresponding diversity of awareness regarding biosecurity risk to the horticultural productivity of the region and also how good on farm biosecurity practices can be beneficial.

This project is funded through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, aims to increase engagement with growers and raise awareness of the importance of biosecurity to their business. NT Farmers Association has employed Simone Cameron to fill this position, with her background in farming, combined with her agronomy and teaching experience she will be a great asset to the industry.

Simone Cameron
” Simone Cameron – Biosecurity Officer”
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