Get up-to-date with what has been, is and will be happening around the Western region. 
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March 2017

Landholders get great value out of sheep nutrition and breeding workshop

A strong turnout of 14 landholders have gained a greater understanding of the importance of sheep nutrition and breeding following a workshop that was held in Milparinka on Thursday 9 March. 

The one-day workshop, which was organised in conjunction with Meat and Livestock Australia, covered a number of important topics including how to best meet your production goals within a rangeland environment.

A key theme from the day was that rather than trying to manipulate the environment to better suit your livestock, it is often easier and more economical to breed and select animals that are best suited to the environment you are working in.

Landholders had great interaction with the presenter, Productive Nutrition’s San Jolly (standing), and amongst themselves which everyone found highly valuable as they were getting first hand feedback from other producers within the region, along with insights from a well renowned private consultant.

Senior Land Services Officer, Mitch Plumbe said those that attended the day were highly engaged and found it to be very beneficial.

“Workshops that focus on topics like what role genetics play in animal production and identifying the traits most important to your enterprise, are highly valuable for all landholders,” Mr Plumbe said.
Further information regarding livestock advice can be found on the Local Land Services Western Region website.

Two weeks to get your nominations in for the Western Local Landcare Awards  

Only two weeks remain for landholders and groups involved in land management and environmental initiatives in the Western region to enter the 2017 Western Local Landcare Awards

Nominations for the awards are open until 31 March, and recognise the work of individuals, groups and organisations that focus on projects which help manage or improve their patch of the Western region. 

Entrants of this year's awards will hope to emulate Dwayne Evans from "Weinteriga Station" Wilcannia. Dwayne was the regional winner of the 2015 Indigenous land management category, then won at the state level to be a finalist at the National Landcare Awards.  

Entrants will compete across eight categories for their share of $4,000 in prizemoney, with winners automatically entered into the 2017 NSW Landcare Awards. 

Application forms and more information can be found on the Local Land Services Western Region website. 

Rangeland rehabilitation project at Euabalong    

Senior Land Services Officer, Paul Theakston has been involved in a rangeland rehabilitation project on cropping country near Euabalong. 

Paul reported there are numerous gullies running through the cropping country which are affecting crop yields and cropping activity. 

The project will see more land built up at water spreading banks to stabilise the gullies and improve water infiltration. 

Paul Theakston and the landholder hopes the improvements they're making will lead to better crop yields and cropping activity for years to come. 


New strain of rabbit virus released across the Western region

A new strain of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus has been released across the Western region to reduce the impact of feral rabbits on agriculture and the environment. 

This work is part of a national project to reduce feral rabbit numbers – a damaging pest species estimated to reduce Australia’s agricultural productivity by over $200 million each year.

Local Land Services Western Region Biosecurity Officer, Grant Davis mixes in the RHDV1 K5 virus with carrots to be used in the release.   

Manager of Biosecurity and Emergency Services, David Creeper wants farmers to continue to manage feral rabbits on their land. 

“We know that rabbit biocontrol is not a silver bullet solution and is most beneficial if applied as part of an integrated and complementary pest management approach,” Mr Creeper said.
“We recommend landholders carry out follow-up control measures after the release of the virus. The release of the K5 virus offers a chance for a conversation with neighbours for rabbit control across the landscape.”

Landholders and other community members can report sightings of rabbits or evidence of disease through the Rabbit Scan online portal and you can keep up to date with progress of the RHDV1 K5 by clicking here.

Contact your Local Land Services Western Region Biosecurity Officer for further information today. 

A questionnaire is coming your way!

By the middle of next month, all landholders in the Western region will have received a questionnaire in the mail for the Regional Landholder Survey that is being conducted by Local Land Services Western Region. 

This questionnaire will focus on a wide range of topics and issues that relate to you, the landholder. 

By conducting this survey, Local Land Services Western Region hopes to gain a greater understanding of what issues are most pressing to you so we can tailor our services to better suit your needs. 

A similar survey conducted in 2014 helped to shape the way programs are been delivered by Local Land Services. 

Some of the interesting findings from the 2014 survey include: 
  • 350km is the average distance to closest market for farm products
  • 66% of landholders run sheep (68% merinos for wool and meat, 31% fleece-shedding breeds for meat)
  • 50% of landholders run cattle, 55% of landholders ran goats
  • 28% of landholders undertake dryland cropping, 8% irrigated cropping
You will receive more information about the survey in the mail and next month’s customer newsletter. 

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Local Land Services MERI Officer Isobel Colson in our Bourke office on (02) 6870 8621.

Time to check in with our vets

Local Land Services Western Region vets Dr Charlotte Cavanagh and Dr Sophie Hemley. 

What supplements do my livestock really need? 
Supplements are commonly sold in loose licks, lick blocks, drenches and injection forms – but what supplements do your livestock really need?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral element in an animal’s body, with the vast majority stored in the bones.

Calcium deficiencies are common in:

  • young growing animals
  • ewes in late gestation (lambing sickness)
  • cows in early lactation (milk fever).

Selenium primarily functions to protect cellular membranes and produce thyroid hormones, however it also works with vitamin E to strengthen the immune system and protect against heavy metal toxicities.

Deficiencies in selenium and vitamin E commonly present as:

  • white muscle disease (muscle weakness) 
  • ill thrift and poor growth rates in young 
  • decreased wool production and infertility in ewes. 

Phosphorus is required for cell membranes, energy production, muscle contraction, appetite and bone formation. 

Deficiencies are uncommon in sheep but can cause cattle to have:

  • reduced growth rates
  • a decreased appetite and be lethargic 
  • poor fertility.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be diagnosed via blood tests and occasionally by post mortem examination.

If you think your livestock are suffering from a deficiency ring your local District Veterinarian or you can find
more information here.

We hope you find this information useful and give us a call to discuss anything further. 

Dr Charlotte Cavanagh, Bourke, 0429 773 021 or Dr Sophie Hemley, Broken Hill, 0417 248 135.

Weeds consultation period extended to 29 March

The public consultation period for the draft Western Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan has been extended by Local Land Services until 29 March. 

Manager of Biosecurity and Emergency Services, David Creeper said the consultation period was extended to ensure the widest feedback possible is received. 

“The consultation period is an opportunity for stakeholders, organisations and interested community members to provide feedback on the management of weeds in their region and across the State," Mr Creeper said. 

“The cost of weeds to the agriculture industry in NSW is significant and we know the community wants greater coordination between government and landholders.”

The draft Western Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan has been developed collaboratively with the Western Regional Weed Committee and Local Land Services Western Region.

The regional plans, factsheets, frequently asked questions, and feedback forms are available on the Local Land Services Open website

Time is running out to enrol for 2017 Local Land Services elections

Ratepayers have until 31 March to enrol to vote for the upcoming elections. 

Enrolling and voting ensures strong local representation, which guarantees local boards are representing the needs of ratepayers.

Ratepayers must enrol to be eligible to vote, with one ratepayer from each holding eligible to enrol to vote.  

Enrol to vote forms are available from any Local Land Services office or can be completed online.

Ratepayers also have an additional two weeks to nominate a candidate for the upcoming Local Land Services elections.

The new deadline to have nominations in is 10 April, which is a fortnight after the original deadline of 27 March.

Four of the nine local board members in the Western region will be elected by Local Land Services ratepayers, and they will join four other members and a Chair who are Ministerially-appointed

Some key dates:

Enrolments - open now and close 5 pm 31 March 2017

Nominations - open now and close 12 pm 10 April 2017

Voting - Opens 8 May and closes 5 pm 31 May 2017

Announcement - Board members will be announced by the end of June 2017.

Apply NOW for funding!

Landholders and community groups are being reminded grants of up to $5,000 are still available for training, education, community and weed management activities.

Through our Western region small land management grants, support of up to $5,000 is available for:
  • training, education and community activities
  • weed management activities.

It is worth noting that the following financial limits apply to the small land management grants program:

  •  Individuals may receive a maximum of $5,000 per financial year. If you have successfully completed a project you may reapply if you have not reached your individual limit.
  • Groups may receive a maximum of $5,000 per property involved per financial year. If a group has successfully completed a project and has not reached the limit they may reapply to the funding category. 
More information is available on the Local Land Services Western Region website.

Weather Report 

Some fast facts about the weather in February - not much rain around the region.  

The February edition of the NSW Seasonal Conditions Summary is now available as is the latest NSW Climate Summary.

Dates for your diary

1080, Pindone and Canid Pest Ejector workshop - Fords Bridge

Local Land Services Western Region in conjunction with the newly formed Warrego Landcare group is encouraging all landholders to attend a 1080, Pindone and Canid Pest Ejector (CPE) workshop that will be held on Wednesday 29 March.

This workshop, which will be held at the Warrego Hotel at Fords Bridge, will ensure landholders in the area gain important chemical handling accreditation for 1080 and Pindone, observe a demonstration of the use of CPE and general guidance on good baiting techniques for wild dog control.

The cost to attend this workshop is $44 plus GST (1080 and Pindone course) and $22 plus GST (CPE course).

Registrations are due by Monday 27 March. 

Contact Senior Biosecurity Officer Robynne Wells-Budd 0439 596 614 or Biosecurity Officer Lisa Caswell 0428 722 045.


Western Landcare Forum - Broken Hill

4 - 5 August 2017  
The 2017 Western Landcare Forum will explore the relationship between healthy landscapes and healthy food, and celebrate the diverse range of produce from our region.
This is an opportunity for you to look at current trends involving food provenance and sustainability, how you can take advantage of these trends and put the produce of Western NSW on the map (where it belongs!).

For more information or to get involved, speak to your local Landcare Coordinator or contact Fiona Harris on (02) 6872 2144 or

Until next time...

If you want more information about anything that has featured in the March newsletter, please contact your Local Land Services Western Region office. 

Please pass this newsletter on to anyone who would benefit or enjoy seeing what has been happening in the Western region.

You can also offer feedback and suggestions on what you'd like to see in future here. 

Thanks for reading and we'll be in touch next month. 

We welcome your feedback about this newsletter.  Please feel free to pass it on to anyone you think may be interested. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, subscribe here.

Local Land Services Western Region
Freecall: 1300 795 299

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