NEW HOPE: Nigel Corish with wife Vanessa and their children Harriett, 4, and William, 2. Ask A Farmer
NEW HOPE: Nigel Corish with wife Vanessa and their children Harriett, 4, and William, 2. Ask A Farmer

Drought-ravaged cotton farmers set sight on innovation

AFTER devastating drought last year left cotton farmer Nigel Corish without any irrigated crops, a welcome federal boost has ensured security on his family farm for years to come.

As part of the Smart Farms Small Grants scheme, Goondiwindi producers will be part of 40 farmers to benefit from $50,000 worth of sustainability projects, through Cotton Australia.

For Mr Corish, it meant he could use the latest technology to minimise water waste in the notoriously thirsty crop.

“We’re able pretty well map out elevation of each paddock and identify poor performing areas and low-lying levels,” he said.

“We’re using less water to produce more crops.”

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the funding helped ensure Australian farmers could continue to trailblaze with “ingenuity”.

“Goondiwindi is a huge and diverse agricultural producer and it’s exciting to see more innovative practices being implemented by its cotton farmers,” Mr Littleproud said.

“They’ll access resources through an online portal to implement natural resource management practices that benefit their farming practices and the land they work.

“Farmers have always looked after the land and we are giving them a helping hand through this grants program to adopt best practice natural resource management methods.”

Cotton is one of the biggest industries in the Goondiwindi region, worth more than $350 million.

Mr Corish, a third-generation farmer said, during uncertain times, the federal commitment had bolstered hopes that his children would also be able to work the land one day.

“Funding allowed us to do work to improve, in a time where we wouldn’t have been able to do it without — it’s kept our business going,” he said.

“It’s very important to us to keep that generation of farming going and to leave the land in a better way than what we found it.”



Teenage boys arrested with shotgun after car crash

premium_icon Teenage boys arrested with shotgun after car crash

An alleged Saturday night crime spree resulted in a car crash and two arrests by...

KEEP ON CRAFTING: Market lifeline gets the go ahead

premium_icon KEEP ON CRAFTING: Market lifeline gets the go ahead

‘Boost’ for struggling Southern Downs crafters as annual event organisers announce...

Don't miss out on local news: $1 a week for first 12 weeks

premium_icon Don't miss out on local news: $1 a week for first 12 weeks

Deal gives you access to local, regional and metro News sites