Northern Victoria and southern Riverina farmers are encouraged to apply for water under the Federal Government’s Water for Fodder program, when it opens later this month.
Eligible growers can apply to purchase up to two 50 Ml parcels at $100/Ml, with the first 40 Gl of the 100 Gl pool to be available from December 9.
The remaining 60 Gl will be delivered after April 1 next year and following an evaluation of the program.
“At $100 a megalitre, this water is heavily discounted from the current market price which has seen prices the high side of $1000,” Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said.
“This water must be used to produce fodder or pasture — fodder can’t be a by-product.
Federal Water Minister David Littleproud released the guidelines for the program on November 30.
“Water for Fodder will help farmers feed livestock so they can recover quickly when the drought breaks,” Mr Littleproud said.
“It will help farmers keep their herds healthy so they’re not forced to de-stock.”
Berrigan mixed farm employee James Waugh said the announcement of the 100 Gl was "insulting" considering crops were finished.
“If this is available it makes you wonder what else is hidden behind the curtain, so to speak — there just needs to be more accountability.”
For eligibility and to apply, visit: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/water/mdb/programs/basin-wide/water-for-fodder or email: WaterforFodder@agriculture.gov.au