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Horticulture producers net rewards from expanded program

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More horticulture producers across Queensland will benefit from an expanded trial of the Australian government’s Horticultural Netting Program, which offsets the cost of installing netting.  

The Horticultural Netting Program – Trial has expanded from the initial trial of apple and pear production to include all horticultural industries except wine grapes. 

Federal Agriculture minister, Murray Watt said investing in netting would have long term benefits. 

“Hail is a serious and costly threat to growers and installing netting will mean Queensland produce is more protected which is good for growers and good for consumers,” Watt said. 

Queensland minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner said the expanded trial would help Queensland growers to protect their enterprises and farm gate returns. 

“With hail and animal predation such an issue, this program will help producers to build greater climate resilience into their operations,” Furner said. 

“It will also strengthen our supply chain to ensure our beautiful Queensland produce is readily available on supermarket shelves. 

“Through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA), producers can apply for a federal grant of 50 per cent up to a maximum of $300,000 to offset the cost of purchasing and installing horticultural netting on existing commercial horticulture crops.” 

According to Furner, this includes the associated infrastructure like poles or costs associated with contractors installing or preparing for installation activities. 

“The Queensland government will administer the Horticultural Netting Program – Trial Expansion in this state on behalf of the Australian government,” he said. 

QRIDA will assess applications in order of receipt, and subject to the available federal funding.   

For more information or to apply, visit the QRIDA online portal. 

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