Your monthly update on programs, projects, events and more in the Western region
New opportunities to partake in rangeland rehabilitation programs
We currently have two programs open to landholders, community groups and stakeholders who can receive funding assistance to undertake works that will help to improve agricultural productivity and ecological sustainability.
Opportunity one — rangeland rehabilitation
The rangeland rehabilitation program has a priority area which is the Coolibah-Black Box Woodlands (CBB Woodland) endangered ecological community within the Western LLS region. Successful applicants in this program will carry out soil erosion works that will improve the condition of vegetation in the CBB Woodland.
Opportunity two — Ecosystem Management Understanding
Participants in the Ecosystem Management Understanding program will be shown how to understand landscape processes, conditions and trends with on-ground projects developed that address ecological sustainability and agricultural productivity. The EMU program does not have a priority area however all applicants must be based within the Western LLS region.
Interested parties are asked to read the guidelines prior to submitting an application.
Applications for both programs must be submitted by 12 July. Please note this will likely be the only intake of new rangeland rehabilitation projects for the 2021-22 financial year.
Both this program and the workshop are supported by Western LLS, through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.
Register your interest in the Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks program
Landholders with river frontage in the NSW northern Murray-Darling Basin are encouraged to submit an expression of interest under the NSW Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks program, with a number of EOIs already received. Some of the eligible activities in the program include:
fencing of riverbank zones to control livestock access to environmentally sensitive areas
off-stream stock watering points
complementary measures such as erosion control works, woody weed control and revegetation.
In addition to the above, a re-snagging project will also be run under the program to improve native fish habitat in our rivers. Eligible landholders will be assisted by dedicated LLS support officers to develop their projects and to meet the program's guidelines. Click here to find out more and to submit your EOI.
The Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks program is part of a $15 million investment the Australian Government has committed to NSW and Queensland, with LLS responsible for delivering $7.5 million.
Large-scale coordinated wild dog baiting program completed in May
Well done to the landholders who participated in our autumn wild dog baiting control program which was one of the largest ever undertaken in the Western Division.
The targeted campaign commenced at the start of May with baits from a fixed wing aircraft dropped along predetermined bait lines over largely inaccessible country across 155 properties. This was immediately followed by ground baiting with landholders who are members in 20 pest management and Western Landcare groups collecting baits to distribute on their properties.
The ongoing management of wild dogs is hugely important to primary production, protecting native animals including many that are threatened species, and increasing general biosecurity.
The Western Tracks project team and local landholders are continuing to monitor traps and look for wild dog sign as they work to add tracking collars to additional wild dogs in the project area. To date, there have been seven wild dogs trapped in rubber jaw leghold traps, assessed, collared with tracking collars, and released at the point of capture.
Currently, only three of the seven wild dogs that were collared are alive and the project team are assessing how many of the deceased wild dogs have succumb to the recent wild dog baiting program.
All of the initial seven collared wild dogs were trapped within 50 km of the Paroo river channel and have provided the project team with valuable data (three are still providing data) on their movements around the landscape.
This information will, in time, be collated and made available to local landholders and stakeholders. With the collaring continuing, it is important landholders report any pest animal activity, so the project team have the best knowledge of where the current wild dog activity is for the duration of the collaring.
Trapping for wild dogs an option for landholders following baiting program
Following the autumn baiting program, which was carried out in May, landholders that are looking for a further control tool against wild dogs should consider trapping.
Western LLS is currently offering the services of a professional trapper to landholders for a day for free, thanks to its Professional Wild Dog Controller program.
The 'free trapper for a day' opportunity allows landholders to spend the day with a trapper on their property while they look for wild dog activity and sign. During the day, the trapper will discuss what they are seeing with the landholder and any possible follow-up options. Below is further information on the program:
For further information about the 'free trapper for a day' opportunity or the Professional Wild Dog Controller program in general, contact your local biosecurity officer on 1300 795 299 or www.lls.nsw.gov.au.
Animal health update from your local district vet
Livestock producers urged to prepare for instances of extreme weather
With the first cold snap of the winter moving across NSW this week, bringing with it rain and below average temperatures, our district veterinarians are reminding livestock producers they need to prepare appropriately for the forecast weather conditions, particularly when they are significantly below or above average.
In the case of a cold snap, livestock can be negatively impacted, however there are a number of ways landholders can reduce the impacts.
Where possible, landholders should move their at risk livestock to sheltered paddocks and increase their feed to meet the extra energy requirements the cold weather brings. When temperatures drop, livestock need more energy to stay warm, so producers should consider increasing their feeding levels by 10 to 20 per cent, especially if there is rain and strong winds.
Animals that are most at risk, such as freshly shorn sheep, sick animals, calving cows, lambing ewes and newly born lambs and calves, should be checked regularly while the cold conditions persist.
Landholders also need to consider what their available pasture is to predict any potential feed gap, with the cooler days and shorter daylight hours resulting in slower pasture growth.
Sheep measles — A can of worms
Sheep measles (Cysticercus ovis) is the intermediate or 'larval cystic' stage of the tapeworm Taenia ovis. This occurs in small, white cysts, often found in carcasses at slaughter which causes them to be condemned and cuts profit for producers.
Due to the life cycle of this worm, the dog is the definite host and can carry adult worms, which can be about 2 metres long. Eggs are shed in dog faeces, which sheep can ingest when feeding on pasture. In turn, dogs become infected by eating sheep or goat tissue containing viable cysts.
Foxes and dingoes are affected to a lesser degree. There is no health risk to humans. Control of sheep measles involves breaking the parasite lifecycle:
prevention of sheep/goat meat consumption by domestic dogs
treat dogs regularly with effective worming products (consult your local vet)
control dog movements e.g. locking dogs up at night to reduce scavenging.
Conservation tender to open in the Paroo and Warrego catchments
The Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) is supporting private land conservation in the Paroo and Warrego Catchments (see below map) through a conservation tender. This tender provides eligible landholders the opportunity to bid to protect and actively manage native vegetation on their land.
The tender will focus on securing sites of native vegetation, important wetlands and artesian springs. Eligible landholders will be given the opportunity to set their own price to protect and manage areas of native vegetation and important wetlands and artesian spring sites on their land. Want more information?
This tender has been developed in collaboration with Western LLS, Western Landcare NSW, Bush Heritage Australia and the NSW Government's Saving Our Species Program.
Supporting Regent Parrots — this video highlights the importance of the work we've been doing with landholders and stakeholders to protect the Regent Parrot. To find out more contact Kaye Gottshutzke,
Senior Land Services Officer, on 0429 981 331 or email@example.com.
Before we go...
Farewell, for now, Ben Slingsby
Ben Slingsby, pictured with his two girls, has been working with landholders and stakeholders in the Western LLS region for just over seven years. In this time, he has helped shape the way we manage Travelling Stock Reserves, worked with landholders to improve country and look after Aboriginal Culture and Heritage. Ben is leaving Western LLS at the end of this week, in his words "at least for a little while" to take up an opportunity in Tasmania. So, in the next couple of weeks, he is packing his family and making the trip across the Bass Strait. From Ben:
I want to thank all of the stakeholders, producers and land managers I've had the privilege of working alongside over the years, particularly those who have welcomed me into their homes and onto their properties. Thanks, I'll miss this part of the country, Ben.
Postponed — cropping driving field days
Reminder for any landholders that had planned to attend one of the cropping driving field days in Gol Gol-Wentworth and Euston-Kyalite on 17 and 18 June that these events have been postponed. The events were postponed due to the impacts of COVID-19 with presenters and attendees impacted by the restrictions in place in Victoria. For further information about the postponed events, contact Luke Stacey, Senior Land Services Officer, on 0419 518 307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest NSW Wild Dog Fence Extension project dashboard update
While the project team continue to work toward the next phase of construction commencing, there is a lot happening behind the scenes with regards to procurement, assessments, approvals and stakeholder engagement. To get a quick snapshot of some of this work, have a read of the latest update:
Recently, Project Manager, Justin Schick provided an update at the Pastoralists Association of West Darling AGM in Broken Hill. If you're a member of a group or organisation and would like Justin to provide an update to you on the project, please get in touch via www.lls.nsw.gov.au/WDF, (02) 5852 1215 or email@example.com. Individuals are also welcome to reach out to the project team.
Thanks for the feedback on the Western Local Strategic Plan 2021-26
From 10 May to 6 June the Western Local Strategic Plan 2021-26 was on public exhibition with landholders, community members and stakeholders invited to provide feedback. The comments that were received while the plan was on public exhibition will now be considered before the Western Local Strategic Plan 2021-26 is submitted to the Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall for final endorsement. The draft of the plan has been workshopped since the second half of 2020 with key stakeholders and advisory groups of Western LLS.
NSW Government mouse support package
The NSW Government has announced an additional $100 million to help support landholders dealing with the ongoing impacts of mice. The funding will allow primary producers experiencing financial hardship due to mice to claim a 50 per cent rebate on purchases of zinc phosphide, up to $10,000. The Department of Regional NSW and the Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) will develop the rebate framework, including how primary producers will be able to claim the rebate and the eligibility criteria. This rebate is expected to be available from July 2021.
Landholders are continuing to register to receive free bromadiolone to treat grain for perimeter crop baiting to help combat the mice plague currently affecting parts of regional NSW. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines authority (APVMA) is still working through the NSW Government's application for the use of bromadiolone-treated grain to control mice around paddocks. Click here to receive updates about this service.
Given the high levels of mice activity NSW has dealt with over the past few months, producers should be mindful that stored hay, or the hay you are buying in, could have some level of contamination from mice. It is important producers consider their options before using or purchasing potentially contaminated hay, as it can carry risks, such as livestock avoiding hay due to smell, leptospirosis in cattle and botulism in livestock.
Leptospirosis (Lepto) is a disease transmitted through mice urine via direct contact or contamination of water and food sources. Strains of the disease can cause abortions and reproductive losses in cattle but not normally in sheep. Cattle can be vaccinated against Lepto, but this requires two injections six weeks apart. There is no vaccine available for sheep, but Lepto is not thought to cause clinical disease in sheep.
Botulism is a disease seen in animals that eat dead decaying carcasses, including mice carcasses, or contaminated food sources. Symptoms include paralysis and sudden death, with very few animals recovering. There is a vaccine available for both cattle and sheep, but it also requires two injections, so if you are planning on vaccinating, thinking ahead is key. For more information contact one of our district vets or your local vet.
There are a number of resources from the Grains Research and Development Corporation and CSIRO available to assist landholders to control mice.
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