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South 

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Circular


September 2015

Breeding sheep for the future

Matt Lieschke
Senior Land Services Officer - Livestock
Goulburn
At the recent Grasslands conference John Webb Ware from the Mackinnon Project reminded us of the key profit drivers of grazing systems, including genetic improvement. As managers, genetics is something that we have full control over and is a relatively easy ‘lever’ to pull. However, the difficult part is working out exactly what breeding direction you are going to head in.

What traits should I be focusing on? Will these changes make me more money? What information or tools should I use to help me reach my goal? Led by Phil Graham and Ashely White from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), these questions were explored at a recent workshop held near Crookwell - a joint initiative between South East Local Land Services, Tablelands Farming Systems and DPI.

Where’s your money coming from?

The workshop kicked off by asking producers to think about where their current enterprise sits and where they want to be in 10 years time. Producers were reminded that when thinking about the future it’s important to have a clear understanding of what’s really driving profit as this should dictate how much emphasis you place on various traits. Interestingly, the proportion of income from wool, meat and cast for age animals is very stable, even when commodity prices change significantly.

Read the full article: Breeding sheep for the future

RamSelect tool now available


RamSelect helps you find the best ram for your flock. Simply tell the program how much emphasis you want on various traits and it will select the rams that fit the bill. This can be done for Merino, Terminal, Maternal (e.g. Border Leicester) and Dohne rams. If the stud has provided their ASBV information to Sheep Genetics prior to sale day, you can produce your own personal sale catalogue before you get to the ram sale. Watch the video below to see it in action. Further information: ramselect.com.au

Rural Resilience Program 

Ted O’Kane, Rural Resilience Officer
Department of Primary Industries 
Goulburn
Exploring the crucial relationship between the personal, business and productive aspects of farming is central to the work of the recently established Rural Resilience Program (RRP). It strongly emphasises the often under-stated importance of personal and community wellbeing that underpins a healthy and viable farming sector, in good times and in bad.
 
The RRP sees resilience as a ‘process’ for farmers and their families rather than an outcome or a personality trait. It also recognizes that the deep well of resilience farmers typically possess can be severely tested by adverse events. Specifically, the RRP team works in partnership with farming communities and service providers across NSW to strengthen networks, exchange information and deliver initiatives that build personal and business resilience.
 
Read the full article: Rural Resilience Program
The RRP is keen to work with farmers to develop and support new and existing groups and networks, particularly in the areas of preparedness and business risk management. The program can assist with guest speakers, business skill development, workshops, training and other ways to support personal and business resilience.

Further information:

Local disease watch

Bill Johnson
District Veterinarian
Goulburn
Animal Welfare

The welfare of animals on farms continues to improve, but occasional cases of animal neglect and mistreatment still occur. There has been a noticeable shift in attitudes in recent years with most reports of animal welfare concerns now coming from adjoining landholders. They are no longer prepared to turn a blind eye to possible animal welfare issues.

The end of winter tends to be a tough time for farm livestock, and RSPCA inspectors and police officers from all parts of the region have sought advice from district vets on possible animal welfare problems in livestock this month.  Most cases involve weight loss in calving cows and lambing ewes, where owners have either over-estimated the value of pastures, or have been caught out by on-going worm or liver fluke infestations. Owners have been quick to cooperate once they have been made aware of the problem.
 
Read the full article: Local disease watch - September 2015

2015 Landcare Awards

Peter Pigott
Regional Landcare Facilitator
Berry
Photo: South East delegates at the 2015 NSW Landcare Conference

Landcare in the South East is celebrating two wins at the 2015 NSW Landcare Awards, part of the NSW Landcare Conference in Orange this week, with Andrew Britton and Bill Pigott recognised for their outstanding contributions over the past decade. 


Andrew Britton won the Australian Government Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator category for his work initiating and running the award-winning Small Farms Network in the Shoalhaven, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.  Andrew is a worthy winner, working with close to 600 network members to enable sustainable land management outcomes in a region that has attracted many new landholders seeking a rural lifestyle.  

Bill Pigott won both the inaugural Gerald Carnie Memorial Award and the Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award. Bill’s involvement in Landcare ranges from his local Bushcare site on Moyen Hill, to leadership roles with district and regional Landcare networks and representing the region on Landcare NSW’s Council. 

Read the full article: NSW Landcare Awards 2015

Building Bridges to Boorowa a winner too
 

North Sydney Council was awarded the NSW Landcare Award - Government Partnerships With Landcare Groups for the Building Bridges to Boorowa program. The next Building Bridges to Boorowa tree planting weekend will run from 11-13th September 2015, which will be the 16th consecutive year North Sydney Bushcare have planted trees at Boorowa. The group plants more than 3,000 trees each year in Boorowa. 

New threatened species funding

Melissa Henry
Land Services Officer - NRM
Boorowa
South East Local Land Services is taking part in a $1 million Saving Our Species program to protect critically endangered populations of the Yellow-spotted Bell Frog and the Southern Pygmy Perch in the Gunning area.  
 
The Yellow-spotted Bell Frog (top left) and Southern Pygmy Perch (top right) are heavily affected by loss of habitat and high levels of sediment within our waterways. South East Local Land Services is calling on landholders to assist us in saving these species, which are nearing extinction.
 
South East Local Land Services has received $125,000 to work with landholders in the Blakney Creek and Jerrawa Creek catchments to improve riparian habitat for these species in the agricultural landscape. Works include strategic grazing management within riparian areas through fencing, planting of native vegetation (terrestrial and aquatic), earthworks and feral pest and weed control.
 
Read the full article: New threatened species funding

Soil carbon under pastures

Susan Orgill
Department of Primary Industries
Wagga Wagga
Well-managed perennial pastures are thought to represent the maximum opportunity for agricultural soils to accumulate C; but what represents a well-managed pasture? Over the past 6 years, extensive field surveys and monitoring have been trying to identify land management practices to increase soil carbon under perennial pastures in the Monaro region of southern NSW.

While there are factors that make this region unique, the key messages that are emerging from this work are applicable to pastures in the tableland regions of NSW, as well as mixed farming systems. The management practices investigated in the Monaro region include: liming, nutrient management, introduced perennial pastures, pasture age and occasional minimum disturbance cropping.

Read the full article: Soil carbons under pressure

Soil for food, fibre and the environment day – a celebration of soils

NSW Department of Primary Industries and the ACT Regional Landcare Facilitator are bringing together local soil scientists and researchers, farmers and others with a keen interest in soil to explore current research and on-farm practices.

Further details: Soil for food, fibre and the environment day

Canid Pest Ejectors

Ben Serafin
Biosecurity Officer
Yass
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is now registering Canid Pest Ejectors (CPE) for use on all lands across Australia. This means that in NSW, private landholders will be able to use CPE’s to control foxes and wild dogs. Until now, they have been used inside NSW National Parks and in wild dog and fox management plan areas. 

Canid Pest Ejectors (CPEs), formally known as M44 Ejectors, consist of a spring-loaded piston-ejector with a capsule of 1080 poison inside a bait head, which is ejected into the animal’s mouth when it pulls on the bait head. Foxes and wild dogs are the only species in the Australian landscape capable of setting off the devices.

Along with being target specific there are a number of other benefits of CPE’s such as –
  • Lethal until pulled
  • Cannot be cached
  • Faster ingestion rates 
  • Reduced labour costs (CPEs can be left longer before checking)
  • Surface presentation of bait heads
  • 1080 protected within a capsule 
  • Weather resistant
  • Once CPEs disabled, landholders can immediately access those baited areas.
Training will be required to use CPEs and which South East Local Land Services staff will provide in conjunction with the Vertebrate Pesticide Induction Training currently required for landholders to use 1080 baits. If you would like more information or would like to register your for CPE training, please contact your nearest Local Land Service office.

Events 

Bush Heritage - then and now - Surfside
9 September
Explore the bush to learn about native plants, and also learn how weeds can be identified and controlled. Bush tucker, medicines and crafts will be explained and demonstrated, together with Didgeridoo playing techniques. 

Berry Small Farm Field Day
11 September

South East Local Land Services will have a marquee at the Berry Small Farm Field Day. Please visit us to learn how we can support you as a local land manager. 

1080 and Pindone Baiting Course
24 September - Bigga
25 September - Goulburn

Landholders wanting to use 1080 or Pindone baits to control pest animals, such as foxes and rabbits, that do not have a current AQF3 certificate should attend this course, or an AQF3 course to allow them to legally use these baits on their properties. The course gives participants information on the chemicals being used, how to use them, safety precautions and legal requirements.

NSW Weeds Conference - Cooma 
12-15 October
The theme of this year's conference is “Weeds – The Future, Innovation and Adaptation”. The program includes weed detector dog demonstrations, drones, weed mapping software, new herbicide products, formulations and applications and more. 

Soil for food, fibre and the environment day - Sutton
16 October
NSW Department of Primary Industries and the ACT Regional Landcare Facilitator are bringing together local soil scientists and researchers, farmers and others with a keen interest in soil to explore current research and on-farm practices.

Backyard Beekeeping Workshop
17-18 October 
A two day backyard beekeeping workshop to support new and experienced beekeepers in the Shoalhaven and promoting best management practices in biosecurity for pest and diseases.

Feedback

South East Circular is a monthly email newsletter containing information about our services, biosecurity alerts, technical articles and notices of upcoming events, training and funding opportunities. It also celebrates the innovations and achievements of the wide variety of land management partnerships, projects and programs across our region.
All comments can be sent to: enquiry.southeast@lls.nsw.gov.au.
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Local Land Services South East
enquiry.southeast@lls.nsw.gov.au
1 300 795 299