Grazing industry to benefit from new climate program

Australian graziers will benefit from an $8 million partnership between USQ, the Queensland Government and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), to better manage drought and climate risks.

USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie joined Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner and MLA R&D Manager Doug McNicholl to launch the Northern Australian Climate Program at USQ Toowoomba this week.

Professor Mackenzie said that it was essential to invest in research to better prepare for the future.

“Queensland has the highest year-to-year rainfall variability of anywhere in the world,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“Arming primary producers with knowledge of predicted climate will greatly enhance productivity and profitability in such a challenging environment. This program will bring together world-class climate scientists and drought specialists to help make better predictions of the season ahead, of multi-year droughts, and the start and end of the summer wet seasons.

“USQ is recognised as a global leader in climate science research and this partnership reinforces USQ’s strong industry links to find solutions to major agricultural problems.”

Mr Furner acknowledged the value of investing in a program with industry as it demonstrated the value of partnerships to deliver the maximum benefit to producers.

“By working together with peak industry bodies and leading scientists and researchers, we can better assist our primary producers and the agri-business sector to manage the negative impacts of severe climate events and take better advantage of good seasons when they occur,” he said.

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USQ has partnered with MLA and the Queensland Government to develop an $8 million Northern Australian Climate Program