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South 

East 

Circular


August 2015

NSW Grassland Society Conference


John O'Connor
Senior Land Services Officer - Livestock

Amanda Britton
Senior Land Services Officer - Pastures

The recent NSW Grassland Society Conference and days on Beef Genetics and Prograze covered a range of topics which again highlighted some important general rules that are worth recapping.

The importance of pasture nutrition as a driver of animal production systems was covered by several speakers at the Grasslands conference and the simple summary is: understanding where your soil P levels sit in relation to the critical threshold for optimal pasture production is vital in order to make sound decisions around fertiliser use. Soil phosphorous (P) is one of the most important managerial "levers" we have control of. P is a primary driver of both grass and legume production. Nitrogen (N) is another key driver of plant growth but due to legumes usually fulfilling the role of supplying N in a grass/legume pasture we usually do not consider applying it.  Soil P is commonly the first most important nutrient  to focus on, and the one that gives the biggest return to your business in situations where it is below critical threshold levels.

Improved genetic potential in animals will be expressed in animals with adequate nutrition, so offering nutrition that is well matched to livestock requirements and targets is essential to reap the benefits of good breeding.

Read the full article: NSW Grassland Society Conference

Photo (top): South East Local Land Services staff at conference - Amanda Britton, Fiona Leech, John O'Connor, Matthew Lieschke, Luke Pope and Andy Taylor.
Landcare Muster 2015
Peter Pigott
Regional Landcare Facilitator
47 participants representing 30 different landcare groups and partner organisations from around the South East LLS region gathered in Braidwood on the 5th of August to discuss issues and ideas common to Landcare in the South East.  It was clear that Landcare’s ability to bring people together was at the heart of what is valued about the groups and networks working hard with land managers to bring about improvements to landscapes and communities.

The feedback from the day was overwhelmingly positive with participants finding the muster relevant, informative, well organised and worth attending. The muster activities improved understanding of key issues facing landcare and helped to increase knowledge and skills to address those issues.  A warmer day would have given this muster a near-perfect score!

The muster was co-hosted by South East Local Land Services and three regional landcare networks: Murrumbidgee Landcare, South East Landcare and Lachlandcare. The strong turnout included representatives from each of the 13 Landcare districts in the South East LLS region and from the neighbouring Landcare ACT networks.

Read the full article: Landcare Muster 2015

Alternative fertilizers performing well

Fiona Leech
Senior Land Services Officer - Mixed Farming Systems
After 6 years of applied research a selection of alternative fertilisers are performing well in a pasture fertiliser study involving three properties on the southern tablelands in native perennial based pasture country deficient in phosphorus and sulphur. The project is one of very few in eastern Australia to have investigated with scientific rigor a range of alternative fertilizer products for use on perennial grass based pastures.

It is well recognised in the tableland grazing areas of NSW that both phosphorus and sulphur are key drivers of pasture growth. Pasture responses measured in the trial over the 6 years have largely been according to a products ability to supply available phosphorus and sulphur.

Products tested include animal manure; burnt sewage sludge; crushed rock with added phosphate; food and garden waste compost; humus compost plus lime plus soft rock phosphate and gypsum; humus compost tea extract plus molasses and liquid fish; reactive phosphate rock treated with a proprietary microbial culture, lime and gypsum; liquid foliar fertiliser containing a mix of macro and micro nutrients and microbes with a granular fertiliser containing high phosphorus.

Photo: pasture growth in spring 2012 at the ‘Glenroy’ trial site. The response to fertilization with the conventional fertilizer (single superphosphate) is shown by the plot on the left, and is compared with pasture growth in the unfertilized control (plot to the right).  Note also the difference in subterranean clover content of the two pasture treatments.

Read the full article: Alternative fertilizers and pasture productivity

Alternative Fertilizers and Pasture Productivity Field Day

1 September 2015

The field day will see the presentation of 6 years (2009-14) of key pasture, soil and economic results from the Native Pasture and Alternative Fertilizer Project near Binalong and Bookham, NSW.

Full details: Alternative Fertilizers Field Day

Local disease watch
Alex Stephens
District Veterinarian  
The range of problems seen by district veterinarians this month is typical for this time of year. Most of the issues affecting livestock are related to the winter decline in pasture quality and quantity and the district cycle of calving and lambing.

Foot abscess is a painful, debilitating infection of the deeper tissues of the foot, causing severe lameness in sheep, goats and cattle. Two types of foot abscess are described in sheep: toe abscess following injury to a weak or overgrown claw; and the more common heel abscess when infection gains entry to the foot through damaged skin between the claws.  

Read the full article: Local disease watch (August)

Feral Fighters spring campaign

 
Feral Fighters logoThe Local Land Services Feral Fighters program aims to reduce the effects of invasive species on industry, communities and the environment. During spring South East Local Land Services will target foxes and wild dogs. If you are a land manager with an interest in participating in strategic, coordinated group control programs you are encouraged to participate. When you register to become a Feral Fighter you will receive during the spring campaign:
  • free training in the use of vertebrate pesticide
  • an aerial map of your property for planning purposes
  • the first 30 fresh meat baits free of charge
By becoming a Feral Fighter you are making a commitment to effective invasive species management. If you registered during the autumn Feral Fighters campaign you do not need to reregister. 

For more information contact you nearest South East Local Land Services office.

Annual Land and Stock Returns due 31 August 2015

It is very important that you lodge your return even if you do not have stock on your property. The information in the return helps Local Land Services to build a state-wide biosecurity picture about agricultural use and livestock numbers. This data is vital to us, particularly in the event of an emergency disease outbreak. Local Land Services works to strengthen and maintain animal biosecurity to enable producers to be more productive and profitable.

If you have any further questions about your return, please contact your nearest South East Local Land Services office and a customer service officer will be able to assist you. Please lodge your Annual Land and Stock Return by 31 August 2015.

Managing widespread weeds

Bronwen Wicks
Department of Primary Industries
Widespread weeds and their long-term management are one of our great challenges. The  issues are complex and change with time, but are always with us. Whilst the local community are our primary, long-term weed managers their importance as a collective, and their need for support in this role, is often overlooked.  

This project is piloting an approach to widespread weed management which deliberately focuses on the local community of people in a district. It is being run in three locations in south-east New South Wales: Numeralla, Tilba Tilba and Bungendore. The intent of the project is to support the community to collectively set their own weed management direction and objectives at the local level, and thereby develop a shared understanding of local weed issues and priorities. The project support includes providing relevant information, access to resources and skilled people, field day, social events, and a series of related workshops.  One of the outputs of these workshops will be an agreed community widespread weed plan. There is also opportunity for space unplanned outputs, which will be guided by participant’s interests.

Absentee landholders have been identified as a particular interest group in local communities. We are very interested in absentee landholder perspectives on weed management and how they can be involved in collective weed management at the local community level. We are also interested in how absentee landholders obtain information about land management in general, and weed information specifically. What is the form of communication that best suits you?

If you are interested in this project contact Bronwen Wicks on 02 4824 3739 or bronwen.wicks@dpi.nsw.gov.au.
Tools, training and technology
Peter Pigott
Regional Landcare Facilitator
While volunteer and landholder passion are the lifeblood of Landcare, they are greatly helped along by a few well selected resources. South East Local Land Services has been working with the NSW Landcare Support Program to roll out the Landcare Support Resources project in the region.  This project funds small scale resources for Landcare groups including training, tools and communication materials.

In the Eurobodalla, Landcarers have been able to draw matching investment from Eurobodalla Shire Council to purchase a long-desired information trailer to use at field days and other events.  Other networks to receive resources through the project were Upper Snowy Landcare, Far South Coast Landcare, Wingecarribee Landcare and Bushcare Network and Bowning Bookham Landcare.

 

Read the full article: Tools, training and technology

Events 

NSW Weeds Conference 

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. Full program and online registrations at: www.weedscooma.com.au

Platypus surveys in Cooma-Monaro

August-September

Cooma Waterwatch will be conducting a range of platypus surveys on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of August and early September. You can and take part and kids are welcome. For details and bookings contact Cooma Waterwatch on 0429 778 633 or antia@coomawaterwatch.org.au.

Alternative Fertilizers and Pasture Productivity field day

1 September

The field day will see the presentation of six years of key pasture, soil and economic results from the Native Pasture and Alternative Fertilizer Project near Binalong and Bookham, NSW. The project is one of very few in eastern Australia to have investigated with scientific rigour, a range of alternative fertilizer products for use on perennial grass based pastures. Full details: Alternative Fertilizers Field Day

PROGRAZE courses

Winter 2015

PROGRAZE® is designed to help producers develop skills in pasture and animal assessment, and use these skills to improve the productivity and sustainability of grazing systems. PROGRAZE® is presented to individual groups via a series of eight half-day workshops. Workshops are generally held 4 - 6 weeks apart. Full details: Prograze courses - Winter 2015

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