Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program — Landscapes stream

The 2021-22 Federal Budget provides an additional $23 million investment in Natural Resource Management programs. The funding will be under a streamlined Drought Resilience Soils and Landscapes program.

Natural Resource Management (NRM) Drought Resilience Program — Landscapes aims to promote and put in place transformational practices, approaches or systems. These will improve the management of natural resources and build drought resilience of agricultural and broader landscapes.

Applications closed 4 September 2020.

Following a competitive process, 12 proposals will receive a share in funding.

The successful projects will focus on improving NRM to build drought resilience in agricultural landscapes.

Funding recipients

These regional NRM bodies received funding for projects. The successful projects will focus on improving NRM to build drought resilience in agricultural landscapes.

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ACT Natural Resource Management (ACT)

Objective: To support landscape-scale practices that improve drought resilience of riparian areas and dams on agricultural landscapes. These are 2 key sources of farm water.


  • Restore riparian areas
  • Enhance farm dams using techniques to improve water quality and biodiversity
  • Use workshops and field days to share information with land holders.


Hunter Local Land Services (NSW)

Objective: To build drought management skills and capabilities for farmers in the Hunter region.


  • For farmers who already manage drought risks, provide access to a new decision support tool. This will include local pasture forecasts and weather data. These provide early warning of the need to manage stocking rates, feed budgets and groundcover.
  • For farmers who do not already actively manage drought risks, build their capability. This will include:
    • guidelines and workshops on topics such as pasture assessment
    • feed budgeting
    • containment feeding
    • drought decision-making.
  • Support “Hayseeds”, a network of farmers made up of community leaders, social connectors and story tellers. They will promote broad participation in the project.

Murray Local Land Services (NSW)

Objective: To support landholders to improve how they manage on-farm water resources.


  • Workshops and support materials. This includes locally-focused management guides and case studies. These help farmers understand climate forecasts and impacts of drought, and identify how they can manage these impacts on farm businesses and the broader landscape.

Western Local Land Services (NSW)

Objective: To help manage kangaroo grazing pressure, particularly in times of drought.


  • Develop and pilot a model for predicting kangaroo density and resource use at property and paddock scale.
  • Generate extension tools that support understanding and planning for kangaroo grazing pressure management.

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services (NSW)    

Objective: To give landholders the skills and knowledge to improve management of groundcover, water and soil to support drought resilience.


  • Farm dam demonstrations that showcase best practice in water quality and quantity management.
  • Information packages and field days with local landholders to champion the projects.
  • Peer-to-peer learning to build the capacity of local farmers to manage groundcover levels and help minimise erosion and maximise pasture recovery.
  • Set up a network of moisture probes and weather stations on at least 20 properties. These provide real time data that landholders can use to:
    • adjust stocking rates
    • inform future management
    • maintain groundcover.


Territory NRM (NT)

Objective: To support Northern Territory farmers to track and forecast pasture availability. This data will be used in key operational and business decisions.

Approach: To develop a drought preparedness decision support framework to:

  • highlight key decision points
  • support farmers to use paddock level monitoring of pasture biomass
  • help plan operations and schedule decision points based on known and anticipated forage resources.


Healthy Land and Water (QLD)

Objective: To provide the horticultural and pastoral industries with improved skills and knowledge. This helps them prepare for and respond to drought conditions.


  • Innovative demonstration trials
  • Climate adaptation and property planning workshops
  • Inspiring case studies
  • Workbooks and fact sheets.


Northern and Yorke landscape Board (SA)

Objective: To support farmers operating within the transitional country along the Goyder’s Line in South Australia. It will help them adapt to drier conditions and manage more frequent droughts in the Northern and Yorke Region.


  • Deliver extension and other support to improve understanding of the links between landscape function and productivity.
  • Management options to maintain and improve landscape function during dry times.


Natural Resource Management South (TAS)

Objective: To test locally innovative methods to manage groundcover in the dryland and irrigated grazing sectors.


  • Use alternative tillage techniques to establish and renovate pastures and short-term forage crops. These will leverage high soil moisture levels under broadacre dryland conditions
  • Introduce a decision tool using innovative technology to monitor soil moisture and groundcover


Mallee Catchment Management Authority (VIC)

Objective: To support grain and mixed (livestock and cropping) farms in the Mallee region to adopt practices that increase drought resilience.


  • Supporting landholders in the northern Mallee in high risk soil erosion areas. Working with farmers to test and implement innovative cropping, grazing and on-farm practices. These can stabilise and reclaim soils, and build drought resilience.
  • Working with Mallee livestock farms to increase awareness of ways to adopt innovative perennial based fodder systems. It will also provide advice on selecting and establishing
    fit-for purpose perennial species for fodder production.

Wimmera Catchment Management Authority (VIC)

Objective: To improve monitoring and understanding of soil moisture across paddock and catchment scales as a key input for farm and agri-business decision making. This includes when preparing for and in response to drought.


  • Set up a network of soil moisture monitoring probes. These will be integrated into regional monitoring and farm management practices, including remote sensed soil moisture monitoring.
  • A Community of Practice, including peer learning and extension, will support application and use of the improved capability

East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (VIC)

Objective: To work with beef and sheep farmers to build understanding of options to manage drought risks.


  • Using different pasture or forage crop varieties.
  • Maintaining vegetation cover and core breeding stock.
  • Workshops and knowledge sharing to learn from farmers who recovered from drought.
  • Local research trials of plant varieties and demonstrate drought resilience practices. 


South Coast NRM (WA)

Objective: To provide farmers with the knowledge and skills to:

  • address changes in rainfall
  • fundamentally re-frame perspectives on the value of water
  • mitigate negative impacts of drought.


  • Help 30 farmers in water deficient areas on the south coast to develop farm drought mitigation management plans.
  • Prepare shovel-ready projects for future funding programs.
  • Implement on-ground innovative safe-fail demonstration activities.
  • Address key drought mitigation knowledge gaps of 100 farmers.

Northern Agricultural Catchment Councils (WA)

Objective: To support trials and demonstrations of innovative practices to prepare for and respond to drought.

Approach:  To trial and demonstrate:

  • changing the timing of ploughing
  • rapid response groundcover
  • legume cover crops
  • integrated shelter belts
  • bio fertiliser application.

NRM Drought Resilience Landscapes factsheet

Find out more about the program in our factsheet.


Document Pages File size
Future Drought Fund: Improving drought resilience of Australian agricultural lands PDF 2 231 KB
Future Drought Fund: Improving drought resilience of Australian agricultural lands DOCX 2 838 KB
Future Drought Fund: Natural Resource Management (NRM) Drought Resilience Program PDF  2 501 KB
Future Drought Fund: Natural Resource Management (NRM) Drought Resilience Program DOCX  2 851 KB

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Last reviewed: 12 May 2021
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