Drought-affected farmers in the southern Murray-Darling Basin can buy water cheaply to grow fodder under new federal government guidelines.
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Chrissy and Bill Ashby on the banks of the Darling River near their property Trevallyn Station in Tilpa, far west NSW.

Eligible growers and dairy farmers can apply to purchase up to two 50ML parcels at $100 per ML under the Water for Fodder program. New guidelines were released on Sunday.
The first 40 gigalitres will be available from December 9, Minister for Water Resources and Drought David Littleproud says.
“Water for Fodder will help farmers feed livestock so they can recover quickly when the drought breaks,” Mr Littleproud said in a statement. “It will help farmers keep their herds healthy so they’re not forced to destock.” He commended South Australia for making 100GL of water available, part of which is discounted for fodder and pasture production.
“Using their desalination plant will make sure Adelaide has enough water while freeing up water in the Murray for farmers,” Mr Littleproud said.
THE WATER FOR FODDER PROGRAM:
* Available for primary producers, including dairy farmers, in the southern connected Murray-Darling Basin
* Only for growing fodder and pasture in the water year it is allocated
* Cannot be used to produce fodder as a by-product
* 40GL available from December 9, another 60GL after April 1 and following an evaluation of the program.

It was an involvement with the Dairy Industry Awards which spurred Hanna Stalker’s passion for the environment.
Back in 2016, she and her husband Callum won the Otago-Southland Share Farmer of the Year title and were third in the national final while 50% sharemilking at Otautau.

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