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In 2018, Coles established a dedicated round of funding for drought relief. Five million dollars was allocated in Round Six of the Coles Nurture Fund to help farmers undertake projects which would help them to combat drought in the long term.
Beef producers Caithness Pastoral will use a $160,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to build facilities which can store 12 months’ worth of fodder on their farm.
The support from the Coles Nurture Fund will enable Trevor and Carryn Caithness to build a 1200 tonne capacity concrete silage bunker, as well as two steel-framed sheds with the capacity to store 800 tonnes of hay or cereal straw.
By enabling Trevor and Carryn to store enough fodder to feed their cows and calves in difficult seasonal conditions, the new storage facilities will help to drought-proof the family business.
Pear growers and packers, Masalki will use a $400,000 grant to regulate the humidity in their fruit cool rooms, reducing water use by up to 80 per cent in their packing shed. The family business will be one of the pear growers in Australia to introduce the new technology.
After conducting extensive research in Italy, brothers Con and Philip Damianopoulos identified the new technology as one of the most effective ways to preserve their apples and pears at the highest quality, while removing the need for large volumes of plastic and water during the storing process.
Cattle producers Tom and Vickie Tyson family will use a $387,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund to purchase a pivot irrigator and renewable energy infrastructure for their bore water pump.
This will mean the Tysons are better able to cope in future drought conditions, allow them to boost their grass-fed beef production to 12 months a year and begin to diversify into sheep and lamb production.
Vegetable growers Brian and Julia Crust family will use a $183,000 grant to line a dam to increase their water capacity by 20 per cent, and install a state-of-the-art irrigation system for water and power efficiency.
By having more water, the Crusts believe they will be able to increase their productivity and be better able to handle drought in the Lockyer Valley.
Paul and Nicole Fitzpatrick will be better able to cope with drought thanks to a new fodder storage shed they will build with the help of a $190,000 grant.
The storage shed will mean the business has a constant supply of fodder all year around and reduce their reliance on sourcing feed externally during times of drought.
The Edson family from Tepko in South Australia will use a $450,000 grant to install a solar system to fully power their piggery, becoming one of the first pork producers in Australia to derive 100 per cent of its electricity from sustainable, natural sources.
The family estimates the solar system will reduce their annual carbon emissions from power usage by 95 per cent.