SA horticulture producers will soon be able to access up to $14.6 million to install new or replace damaged netting.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the majority of orchards were not netted and despite the clear benefits to protected horticulture the up-front costs of installing the infrastructure was a major barrier for growers.
"Netting delivers clear productivity boosts to growers by protecting crops from extreme weather and pests," he said.
"Netting increases protection from sunburn, wind and hail - not to mention the birds.
"Perhaps, more importantly, during the ongoing drought and high water prices, netting delivers a dramatic improvement in water efficiency.
"Existing netting shows a reduction of water requirements by about 20 per cent and can increase yields at the same time.
"It's a vital investment in our government's work to grow the value of horticulture production and lift the value of agriculture to $100 billion by 2030."
Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said Apple & Pear Australia Limited estimated the cost of netting at up to $60,000 per hectare.
These funds will go a long way to helping those growers who experienced significant loss.
"That's a very significant investment for growers and we are determined to improve resilience and water efficiency by supporting apple and pear farms," she said.
"These funds will go a long way to helping those growers who experienced significant loss.
"That's why we are making $14.6m available to eligible SA growers in the Greater Adelaide and Adelaide Hills regions and the Riverland district to purchase and installing horticulture netting or replacing damaged netting."
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Additional funds have been made available for the SA apple and pear growers who were hit particularly hard in recent hail storms.
The scheme will commence in 2020 and operate until December 31, 2021, or until funds are fully committed.
Eligible growers will be required to at least match the Commonwealth contribution and the trial program will be capped at $300,000 (GST exclusive) per grower.
Delivery arrangements are being finalised and further details will be available on the department's website shortly.
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