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South East Circular

Edition 21, July 2016

Annual Land and Stock Returns vital for market access

Land managers across the south east region who pay Local Land Services rates or have a Property Identification Code will shortly receive their Annual Land and Stock Returns. 

Land managers are being encouraged to lodge their returns online at by 31 August.

The returns are essentially a census for livestock on 30 June each year and include all stock six months of age or older, regardless of whether it belongs to the landholder, is agisted or on the property for any other reason.

Pigs of any age should be counted, as well as flocks of 100 or more poultry. The collection of this information is essential for ensuring the continuation of vital market access for NSW producers.

It is important to complete an Annual Land and Stock Return—even if you have no stock.

If the Annual Land and Stock Return isn’t lodged by 31 August, an animal health rate and meat industry levy will automatically be applied to next year’s rates notice.

For more information please contact your nearest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299 or visit

Feeding cows and calves this winter

Matthew Lieschke
Senior Land Services Officer, Livestock
The winter months on the Tablelands present challenging conditions for both pastures and livestock. Pasture growth is severely restricted by low temperatures and livestock performance is often limited by the lack of height in our pastures.

Supplementary feeding is often required to plug a nutritional ‘gap’ however an efficient feeding program needs to be well planned and targeted to keep costs at a minimum.

Further information: Feeding cows and calves this winter

Local disease watch 

Bill Johnson
District Veterinarian
Heavy burdens of liver fluke killed both sheep and cattle this month. Adult liver fluke are blood-sucking parasites that live in the bile ducts of grazing animals including sheep, cattle and goats. Eggs are passed in faeces, and larvae infect small fresh-water snails that inhabit slow-flowing water in creeks, swamps and springs. Animals pick up new fluke when grazing these wet areas of the paddock.


Tests have shown a resurgence of liver fluke on many properties that have been fluke-free for the past decade or so. Fluke reduce growth rates and milk production, and large numbers can kill. In the cases investigated, the yearling cattle were heavily infested with liver fluke, and one died from the effects of the constant blood loss. Ironically, the sheep died following treatment for liver fluke. Masses of dead fluke clogged the livers of some sheep, causing liver failure.

Not all properties and not all paddocks will have habitat suitable for liver fluke snails. Blood tests and dung tests can help diagnose liver fluke in winter. Be mindful that about one third of livestock properties in eastern NSW have liver fluke. So if you purchase stock, they may have fluke even if there is nowhere on your farm for fluke snails to live. Treatment options include oral, injectable and backline products. Check the label before you buy; most fluke treatments have lengthy export withholding periods, and some are not suited to milk production.

Also in this disease watch: pregnancy toxaemia in sheep, three-day sickness, pink-eye in sheep and changes to Johne’s Disease management. 

Further information: Local disease watch - July 2016

Digging into soil health

Sari Glover
Senior Land Services Officer (NRM)
Maintaining soil health is one of the many keys to sustainable and profitable agriculture. Knowing your soils can help you to understand the nutrient requirements for crops and pastures, water storage and drainage capabilities and resilience and recovery from adverse climatic events.  Soils should be managed with careful consideration for their individual characteristics, landscapes and climate.

The best way to understand your soils is to dig a hole and observe the physical characteristics. Look at layers of soil, different colours, textures and structures. What do the plants tell us?  Looking at where the roots are growing in the soil may provide an indication of physical or chemical impediments. You can perform some basic assessments and then obtain further information via a laboratory soil test.

Further information: Digging into soil health

2016 Weed Control in Winter Crops Guide Available

Fiona Leech
Senior Land Services Officer (Mixed Farming Systems)
The 2016 Weed Control in Winter Crops Guide is now available from South East Local Land Services. The publication is free and a very useful up-to-date information source for farmers to determine appropriate herbicide choice for various weed issues occurring in winter crops.

Good weed control management in winter crops is a vital part of successful and profitable crop production. Yield losses caused by weeds can vary enormously from being almost negligible to a complete loss. Weeds lower crop yields by competing for soil moisture, nutrients, space and light and can carry diseases which attack crops. This competition reduces grain yield and quality, and can impede harvesting.

Further information: 2016 Weed Control in Winter Crops Guide

Russian Wheat Aphid

Fiona Leech
Senior Land Services Officer (Mixed Farming Systems)
Russian Wheat Aphid (RWA) (Diuraphis noxia) is a major field pest of wheat and barley in many grain producing countries. Yield losses of up to 80% in wheat and 100% in barley have been reported overseas. RWA injects toxins into the plant during feeding which stunts plant growth. Heavy infestations may kill plants.

Russian wheat aphid was first detected in wheat growing regions in South Australia in May 2016, and has now been detected in the Wimmera, Mallee and Northern country districts of Victoria. At the time of writing there have been no confirmed detections of RWA in NSW however it is expected that aphids will spread to other regions.

Further information: Russian Wheat Aphid

Stronger together, another successful Landcare muster

Peter Pigott
Regional Landcare Facilitator

Over 60 people gathered in Braidwood on 20 June for the annual Muster for Landcare in the south east.  This event brings together Landcare networks and partner organisations to hear updates from around the region and to learn more about an issue or opportunity relevant to the sector.  In 2016, the NSW Biodiversity Reforms were on the muster agenda with information and a range of perspectives on offer through a workshop organised by Landcare NSW with funding from the NSW Environmental Trust.

The muster, building on the Landcare-Local Land Services partnership at the state level, took another step towards the ‘stronger together’ ethos of the partnership by holding the inaugural meeting of the South East Regional Landcare Committee.  This new committee does not replace regional networks for Landcare groups, but instead provides a platform for Landcare networks across the South East to make decisions relating to opportunities and issues arising at the Local Land Services region scale.

Further information: Stronger together, another successful Landcare muster

Take the lead role in your future with the South East Local Leaders Program

Do you live in south east New South Wales? Are you interested in accessing some of the best leadership thinking and practice available, acquiring practical leadership tools and skills, a deep understanding and knowledge about leading change? Are you looking for strong networks with like-minded people and an opportunity to work on a project that you are passionate about? Would you like to link your ideas with support and inspiration from others?

The South East Local Leaders program and alumni network offers all this with an added guarantee of a seriously fun journey - dealing with the tough stuff is not always about hard work! 

Further information: Take the lead role in your future with the South East Local Leaders Program

Keeping healthy hens

Dr. Kate Sawford
District Veterinarian
The Braidwood office of South East Local Land Services recently organized a workshop for those keen on having a healthy flock of backyard poultry. There was great enthusiasm for the event with full registration and many more requests to attend.

There are many things to consider before acquiring poultry including housing, feeding, watering, manure management and disease prevention.

Poultry need protection from wind, rain, heat, cold, draughts, wild birds and foxes. People need access to nest boxes, feeders and drinkers. When designing a coop consider floor space requirements and the need for perches, nest boxes, feed troughs, and water troughs. Remember that woodwork can harbour parasites such as mites and is more difficult to keep clean.

Further information: Keeping healthy hens

Oyster shells help fight river bank erosion

Leesa Swan
Senior Land Services Officer (NRM)
Oysters aren’t just good to eat they are being used in an innovative, cost effective and eco-friendly technique to combat bank erosion along the Crookhaven River.

Jerringa Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), Riverwatch, local oyster growers, a dairy farmer and South East Local Land Services, with $6,000 in funding from Catchment Action NSW, recently joined forces to build a sausage-like structure made from jute matting and waste oyster shells along a 50 metre stretch of the river bank.

The project aims to protect the bank from wave and wind action, reduce sedimentation and improve water quality for oyster growers. 

Over 5,000 kilograms of disused oyster shells were used to build the structure.

Further information: Oyster shells help fight river bank erosion

Image:  Leesa Swan, South East Local Land Services with Adrian Connolly and Craig Wellington from Jerringa Local Aboriginal Land Council build an innovative sausage structure made from discarded oyster shells and jute to help protect an eroding bank along the Crookhaven River.

Local Strategic Plan

A five-year strategic plan that was prepared by South East Local Land Services is now available online. The South East Local Strategic Plan 2016-21 helps to identify strategic programs to improve the health, productivity and resilience of landscapes and communities in the south east region.

Download: South East Local Strategic Plan 2016-21

Enrol to vote in 2017 local board elections

Ratepayers must enrol before being eligible to vote in the Local Land Services Board elections.

Three of the seven South East Local Land Services Board members are elected by ratepayers via a voting system open to all rate payers in the region who have enrolled to vote.

Further information: Enrol to vote in 2017 local board elections



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.

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Local Land Services South East
1 300 795 299