Tax break boost for Granite Belt farmers
GRANITE Belt operations such as Spring Creek Nursery are looking to take advantage of the accelerated tax deduction on capital investment outlined in the Agricultural Competitiveness paper.
The tax law amendment, which enables primary producers to claim an immediate deduction for capital expenditure on water facilities and fencing, has opened the door for nursery owner Peter Burnell to establish and seal off an extra water source for his Texas Rd operation.
"We hope to build and line a new dam to store water after treatment and keep it pristine for anywhere up to six months," Mr Burnell said.
To achieve this Mr Burnell will install a Netpro Evaporation Protection cover.
Mr Burnell already uses 13,000 square metres of Netpro canopy to cover their 1Ha greenhouse.
"Evaporation is a big deal but focus is more about quality for us," he said.
In Stanthorpe the evaporation loss is 1.4m per annum and for every 1Ha a 90% evaporation saving is equal to 12.6ML per annum.
Orchard Services senior horticultural consultant Stephen Tancred said Granite Belt farmers use between three and seven megalitres of irrigation water per hectare of land used for cropping.
A dam loses about 14 megalitres of water per Ha of dam area per year
"An evaporative cover will prevent loss of about 12 mega litres of Ha per dam per year," he said.
"On average each megalitre of water used for irrigation generates about $15,500 of production."
The system promises to improve water quality and reduce algal blooms by limiting UV light and air pollution.
Under the cover there is also a 90% reduction in wind and wave impact.
Netpro will design a system based on each farmer's individual needs; based on a bank level system the install cost can vary between $9 to $12 per square metre.
At the Netpro information day held at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism on Thursday about 20 growers took a drive out to Renato Andreatta's orchard at Pozieres to inspect the bank level system he installed 12 years ago.
Netpro technology has come along in leaps and bounds over the years and now canopies can be installed either at bank level or elevated - based on operational requirements.
Installation get underway with or without water in the dam, support poles can be installed in the dam or using a suspension system; canopy cloth has increased density from 80% to 95% therefore increasing evaporation saving and canopy panel widths have increased, reducing installation costs.