Funding for innovation in pest animal and weed management

The nation’s farmers and land managers can look forward to new pest animal and weed control technologies such as automated traps, thermal sensors, and weed spraying robots, with 23 innovative projects to share in $10.5 million of Federal Government funding.

Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the funded projects under the Control Tools and Technologies for Established Pest Animals and Weeds Programme would strengthen the management of some of Australia’s most significant agricultural pest animals and weeds.

“The Federal Government programme is funding 23 projects put forward by universities; state, territory, and local governments; research organisations; natural resource management groups; and a private company,” Federal Minister Joyce said.

“The funding will be used to develop technologies such as herbicide spraying devices, automated traps, and thermal aerial imaging for pest monitoring and optimise the use of chemicals and biological control agents.

“These new technologies will help to strengthen the fight against pests such as wild dogs, rabbits, foxes, feral pigs, and donkeys, and improve our management of established weeds, such as blackberry, gorse, prickly acacia, rubber vine, parkinsonia, mesquite, and Chilean Needle grass.

“One project undertaken by Invasive Animals Limited in the ACT will develop ‘Intelli-Traps’, which are next generation automation technologies for control of wild dogs.

“It will develop devices that can see, think, and act to target specific pest animals, including a sentinel automated baiting station for wild dogs, which will result in less labour intensive work for land managers.

“A recent survey undertaken by ABARES and funded through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper found that agricultural businesses spent an average of $19,620 a year on managing pest animals and weeds.

“Going forward, this initiative will ensure our farmers and land managers are on the front foot in the fight against pest animals and weeds to limit the impact they can have on our land, produce, and industries.”

The Established Pest Animals and Weeds Measure is a $50 million investment over four years to 2018-19 as part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government’s plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy.

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