Rural Aid helps turn flood waste into mulch on Northern Rivers farms

Updated May 4 2022 - 9:48am, first published April 28 2022 - 6:00am
Multikraft spraying in action. Picture: Supplied
Multikraft spraying in action. Picture: Supplied

One of Australia's most trusted rural charities, Rural Aid, has helped Northern Rivers farmers turn rotting flood waste into a healthy by-product for soil improvement, through a partnership with Multikraft Probiotic Solutions.

Multikraft's MicroBalance product was last week sprayed by helicopter onto 33 farms in northern New South Wales.

The probiotic solution is a multi-strain microbial product, that benefits soil health by quickly decomposing flood debris and organic matter into useful mulch.

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Wardell Macadamia grower Robbie Commens described the past few months as 'incredibly overwhelming'.

"We had about a metre and a half of water over all of our trees," Mr Commens said.

But the Rural Aid and Multikraft initiative has given the grower a 'shot in the arm'.

"Invaluable is the only word I can say. It's helped us all stand an inch taller and take a bigger step forward."

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the project was a practical and timely solution for flood-affected farmers.

"Farmers have responded to this microbial spraying project with tears of joy, buoyed at the prospect of seeing their farms recover from the floods more quickly," Mr Warlters said.

"Rural Aid is proud to offer this product to our Northern Rivers farmers, alongside our existing assistance measures like financial support and free counselling," Mr Warlters said.

The product and its aerial application were distributed to Rural Aid farmers free of charge. More than 4500 acres were sprayed across the Northern Rivers.

Bill Hoare, Multikraft's Chief Innovation Officer, said sustainability was at the heart of the debris-spraying project, and of the Rural Aid partnership.

"It's an honour to be able to give flood-affected farmers a boost to their recovery," Mr Hoare said.

"Our microbial solutions are designed to increase productivity and resilience whilst reducing the need for harmful chemicals," Mr Hoare said.

Rural Aid's CEO said the spraying initiative was a fitting way to mark the start of an important new Rural Aid and Multikraft partnership.

"Rural Aid is committed to standing with our farmers for decades to come," Mr Warlters said.

"To maintain Rural Aid's long-term resilience, the organisation has implemented a number of strategies to diversify its income streams. This includes a recent strategic investment into the Multikraft business.

"Rural Aid will continue to investigate opportunities to grow in strength through a combination of investment income, individual donations and also creative corporate partnerships.

"Long term relationships are an opportunity that we look forward to exploring with any businesses that share the vision Rural Aid has for supporting farming families and communities across Australia," Mr Warlters said.