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South East Circular

Edition 19, May 2016

South Coast Primary Industries Dinner 2016

The 2016 South Coast Primary Industries Dinner, organised by South East Local Land Services, was held last Thursday at Crooked River Wines, Gerringong. 

The dinner, now in its third year, has established itself as an invaluable event, connecting producers, allowing them to learn from each other.

This year's dinner showcased diverse producers that have proven adaptable and successful in meeting the challenges of local, national and international markets.

Jo-Anne Fahey of Glenbernie Orchard told the 100 plus audience that challenges were not insurmountable and were actually opportunities.

“We have increased the brands we sell, expanded our value-added products and at the same time explore opportunities on our farm, locally and offshore,” Ms Fahey said.

“Trying to tie all these things together is quite challenging, but it’s also about spreading our risk.”

Michael McNamara runs Percora Dairy (Robertson), which combines a sheep dairy and cheese making.

“We didn’t realise the technical difficulties of the enterprise we were embarking on, and only now are we just on top of our production systems and cheese making,” Mr McNamara said.

The effort has paid off with a gold medal at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and collaborations with chefs such as Jamie Oliver.
Maxwells Treats
Watch a video interview with Sarah Lewis from Maxwells Treats (above), for other interviews go to our YouTube channel.
Sarah Lewis from Maxwells Treats told the story of her family's multi-generational business and how it has change over the decades, particularly the work in years setting up and their retail presence in the Treat Factory in Berry.

“We are not on the main street of Berry but that has been a blessing as we have worked hard to make it a tourist destination,” Ms Lewis said.

Goodie Felice of Crooked River Wines said exploiting the potential of tourism is the key for South coast producers.

“What we have here is second to none and we need to let people know about it,” Mr Felice said.

Mr Felice said events such as the South Coast Industries Dinner were invaluable as an opportunity for producers to network and collaborate.

Funding for the event was provided by South East Local Land Services and the Australian Government through its National Landcare Program. 

Those producers unable to attend the 2016 South Coast Industries Dinner can still sign up to networking opportunities through South East Local Land Services.

For further information, contact Jason Carson on 02 4877 3210 or

Top photo: Michelle Bishop, Goodie Felice (Crooked River Wines) and Carole Johnston (Kiama Council)
David Mitchell (Chair, South East Local Land Services), Annette Wright and Jeanne Highland
Karin Maxwell and Sarah Lewis from Maxwells Treats
Jo-Anne Fahey from Glenbernie Orchard speaks about her business
Cressida and Michael McNamara from Percora Dairy talking about their sheep dairy and cheese-making

Electronic ID in cattle

Matthew Lieschke
Senior Land Services Officer, Livestock

Electronic identification is not something new to the cattle industry, but how can producers take advantage of National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) tags to improve their operation? Around 20 producers recently gathered at the Braidwood property 'Glenaruel' (owned by the Hassall family) to explore this very question. 

The workshop, a joint initiative between South East Local Land Services and AJM Livestock Solutions walked producers through a series of steps to help them determine if investing in an electronic ID (eID) system is a good business decision. Key questions included:

  • How many stock do you run?
  • What information are you currently collecting? How is this done?
  • What information would you like to collect in the future? Why?
  • What equipment do you currently own? (e.g. do you already own a set of scales?)

It quickly became clear that setting up an eID system is not cheap and is much more than buying the equipment. You also need to invest quite a bit of time and effort to collect, manage and utilise the information. However, participants acknowledged that eID has some clear advantages, including:

  • Reduced labour and human error in recording information
  • Less time spent in the yards and in the office (in terms of managing information)
  • Less risk – having all your information in a book was considered to be a big risk
  • Greater ability to monitor weight gains/ individual animal performance
  • Greater ability to plan ahead and meet market specifications (when selling over the hook) marketing decisions

For Jono Hassall, implementing an electronic ID system at Glendaruel was initially a result of being EU accredited and the need to have accurate stock movement records to maintain access. However, Jono admits that the system has led to a range of extra benefits and has paid for itself many times over. Jono and the team at Glendaruel are now using eID for a range of reasons, including monitoring individual growth rates. This is seen as major benefit when it comes to making forward selling decisions and making sure stock meet grid specifications before leaving the property.

One of the traps when implementing an eID system is the temptation to collect too much data. Alison reminded producers that there is no point collecting data unless you are going to use it. Collecting data for the sake of it is a waste of time and money! Before investing in eID equipment it’s critical that you have a very clear understanding of what information you are going to record and how it will help you improve your operation. 

For further information contact:

Matthew Lieschke
02 4824 1913
0428 271 127

Photos: Around 20 beef producers attended an electronic ID workshop at Braidwood.
Marcus Lyons (property manager) and consultant Alison Hamilton (AJM Livestock Solutions) explain the eID system at Glendaruel.


South East Local Land Services would like to thank the Hassall family and staff at Glendaruel for hosting the field day. The workshop was supported by Meat and Livestock Australia through the More Beef from Pastures program.

South coast livestock news

John O'Connor
Senior Land Services Officer (Livestock)
The Autumn season on the south coast has generally been quite good, but at this stage most people are looking to the sky and hoping for reasonable rain before it gets too cool. The recent seasonal outlooks have provided some insight into what the likely rainfall may be in future and what management issues livestock owners may have to address.

One of the persistent talking points at these meetings has been liver fluke, and the value of drenching, after the host snail hibernates, with a product that can control juveniles as well as adults. This means the animal should be 'clean' during winter, and the pasture should not have any new fluke coming onto it from the snails. Any fluke picked up during winter grazing should be an adult by spring and  can be controlled with a spring treatment for adult flukes (which is a less costly drench).

Cost of production workshop at Berry - 17 May
It is important to understand your cost of production whether prices are high or low. While the current prices are good and should allow much needed reinvestment in pastures or infrastructure, it is worthwhile having a good handle on where money is going and what may be altered. To help producers make the most of the good beef prices, we are running a day with Nathan Jennings from North Coast Local Land Services. Nathan has developed a spread sheet that allows producers to analyse their business costs in detail  and will explain how to get the best out of it during this session. If you are wanting to better understand your cost of production this should be a good session. To get the most from the day call me to get a copy of the spread sheet and bring your numbers along.

Southern beef field day at Bega - 19 May 
A field day will be held at Tim Collin’s farm near Bega on 19 May. The guest speaker is Jeff House who will discuss improving beef production and output of your herd, e.g. herd management to maximise fertility, producing and marketing beef, bull selection, heifer selection and live animal assessment.

Help for new landholders 
A seminar to assist new landholders understand the requirements of livestock owners and systems that they need to use will be held at South East Local Land Services office at Berry, Batemans Bay and Bega during winter and spring. The feedback from these previously has been positive.
If you are interested in any of these events contact me at  or 0412 359 084.

Local disease watch

Bill Johnson
District Veterinarian
Three-day sickness in cattle
Laboratory tests have confirmed the arrival of three-day sickness (bovine ephemeral fever) in the southern Illawarra district. Three-day sickness is a viral infection of cattle which is spread by mosquitoes and biting midges. The disease has become established on the north coast of NSW, Hunter valley and coastal Queensland, and occasionally spreads south to cause outbreaks in our area. Sentinel herds used to monitor the spread of bluetongue and other insect-borne diseases confirmed the disease was again moving south this year, and cases have now been seen in cattle south of Kiama. Cattle in this area have little immunity to the virus, so widespread outbreaks may be expected between now and early June if weather favours insect activity.
Affected animals have a high temperature, stop eating, are depressed and lame, have watery discharges from mouth, nose and eyes, and often lie down and refuse to move. As the name implies, recovery usually occurs in a few days with routine nursing. Bulls and fat cows often suffer more severe symptoms and some animals require veterinary treatment. The disease causes costly losses of milk production and body weight, and sometimes results in abortions and infertile bulls.
Sheep producers whose flocks were diagnosed with virulent footrot have made significant progress. Quarantine has been lifted on fifteen properties already, through combinations of inspection, culling and treatment. Another twelve properties are on track for release by the end of the year.
A study is underway in South East Local Land Services to attempt to better understand the source of current infections. Some flocks bought infected sheep, some are neighbours of infected flocks, while the origin of the footrot in a small number of flocks is less obvious. At the same time, two university research projects are closing in on a better laboratory test for virulent footrot, and a more effective vaccine. At the present time, footrot vaccination is not available in NSW. Trials using a new customised footrot vaccine have taken place in Tasmania and South Australia, with encouraging results.
Cattle lice
A recent case of sucking lice on cattle served as a reminder that now is a good time to treat cattle for lice. Lice eggs prefer a bit of cold weather to hatch, giving rise to the age-old recommendation to “wait ‘til after the first frost” before you treat. This target date seems quite late coming this year, with night-time temperatures continuing well above average throughout April. It is preferable to use a lice-only pour-on rather than a pour-on drench that also treats lice, especially in adult cattle. A repeat dose of most products is required to kill lice hatching from eggs a few weeks later. You may also find that a first cousin, biting lice, builds up over winter, to give a typical moth-eaten appearance to the coat in early spring.
Liver fluke
Positive liver fluke tests are coming in from all parts of the district, showing how widespread fluke and fluke snails are again becoming in our creeks, swamps and springs. One property hadn't seen liver fluke for fifteen years. Blood tests detect fluke more reliably in sheep and cattle at present, although several faecal tests have also been positive. Using a drench effective against immature liver fluke is recommended.
Worms in beef cattle
Annual weaner cattle sales are over. Whether you’ve made a purchase, or have retained some home-bred weaners, how well you control worms over the next six months has a major impact on your bottom line. A series of recent trials in tablelands herds showed a 50 kg liveweight penalty from poor worm control in weaners. For those hoping to have yearling heifers heavy enough to join in spring, or to reach feedlot entry weights with steers, achieving good worm control is essential. Over-reliance on drenching leads to drench resistance. Grazing management aimed at reducing worm pick-up in early spring helps minimise worm burdens in young cattle and extends the benefit of drenching. Identify now the paddock in which you intend to graze your weaners in August, and keep it free of cattle under two years of age until then. The Meat and Livestock Australia Cattle Parasite Atlas is a great source of information on cattle worms.
Pregnancy toxaemia in sheep
Several autumn-lambing flocks have been affected by pregnancy toxaemia. Ewes were in good condition at joining, so twinning rates are high. Pasture growth after summer rain ensured ewes remained fat throughout pregnancy. Unfortunately pasture quality and quantity have now declined dramatically and some producers have been unable to feed sufficient supplements to counteract the feed deficit. The result is ewes on the point of lambing becoming weak, listless, off their feed, and often dying. Early treatment saves some ewes, using mineral and energy supplements. Seeing the first case is a warning of the need to improve the energy intake of the mob, either with a move to better pasture, or a grain supplement.
Worms in sheep and goats
Warmer than normal, and dry sums up the weather. Despite this, worm egg counts on several sheep and goat properties have climbed steeply in the past few weeks, still predominantly barber's pole. Lambs in a mob drenched four weeks previously had egg counts nudging 30,000 eggs per gram, so either the triple combination drench did almost nothing, or not all lambs got the drench. To sort it out, the owner is conducting a drench check test, collecting dung samples 10-14 days after another drench.
Keeping barber's pole egg counts in check is important at this time of year. If we do get that promised autumn break soon, those eggs will hatch, and larvae will build up and survive on pasture to cause problems through winter.
Several producers have asked about tapeworm treatments in lambs, having seen the white fleshy segments in faeces. Sheep tapeworms use a pasture mite to complete their life-cycle, so it is intriguing to see those mites apparently flourishing under such harsh pasture conditions. Treating sheep just for tapeworms is pretty much a waste of time, especially as most drenches that claim to aid in control only do part of the job.
Weaner sheep are doing it tough, having lost weight recently in flocks that aren't hand-feeding. This impairs their ability to cope with worms hatching out when the break comes. Supplementary feeding now to reverse weight loss could save lives in winter.

2016 Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide

Fiona Leech
Senior Land Services Officer, Mixed Farming Systems

The 2016 Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide is now available from South East Local Land Services. The guide, produced by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), is a free publication and very useful for farmers who are growing or considering the growing of crops. It is designed to help select the most suitable variety as well as providing updated technical information from the latest research, extension and industry programs in relation to winter crop production across NSW.

This annual publication contains valuable up-to-date information to assist in crop variety selection and their preferred sowing times; determining the growth stages of cereal crops to aid timely management decisions; how to manage grazing cereals including critical nutritional comments relating to livestock productivity and health; identification of insects in grain options for their control; the use of cereal, canola and pulse seed dressings; the use of cereal foliar fungicides registered in 2016 on winter cereals; and the use of canola and pulse foliar fungicides registered in 2016. 

The guide contains valuable agronomic, storage, harvest and marketing information on all the major winter crops; wheat, oats, barley, triticale, cereal rye, canola, chickpea, faba bean, field pea and lupin. Each year results for the NSW component of the National Variety Trials are collated and presented in the guide to help farmers make more informed variety choice decisions based on dry matter and grain yield performance. 

There is also very useful information included on disease tolerance or susceptibility of all winter crop varieties. As part of this, photographs are presented to help producers understand the meaning of the Stripe Rust ratings used to classify Stripe Rust tolerance in winter cereals.

The 2016 Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide is also available on the NSW DPI website 

Please call into or phone any one of the South East Local Land Services offices listed below to pick up a copy or ask to have a copy mailed out to you.

Bega - 02 6491 7800 (David O’Donnell)
Berry - 02 4464 6000 (Amanda Britton)
Boorowa - 02 6385 1018 (Melissa Henry)
Braidwood - 02 4842 2594 (Rebecca Bradley)
Cooma - 6452 1455 (Jo Powells)
Goulburn - 02 4824 1900 (Michelle Borland)
Moss Vale - 02 4877 3210 (Adam Hook)
Yass - 02 6118 7700 (Fiona Leech)

Green Army takes on the Far South Coast

Shannon Brennan
Senior Land Services Officer (Rivers)
The Bega Valley based Green Army has been providing significant practical assistance to a range of local environmental and community projects across the region over the past six months. The Green Army is funded through the Australian Government’s Green Army programme and hosted by Conservation Volunteers Australia and Palerang Council.

The crew has been working with a number of partners including South East Local Land Services, Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) and community groups to tackle some problem sites by helping them to clean them up and plant native trees and shrubs to improve the environment and habitat for wildlife. The crew of eight young people were managed by experienced crew leader, Gunther Meessmann.

The team has been working on a range of on-ground environmental activities including weed control, revegetation, walking track maintenance and minor construction works with a focus on managing threats to endangered ecological communities.

Their efforts have greatly assisted projects such as the Bega River Reserve, Bemboka Travelling Stock Reserve and Common, Narira Creek at Cobargo, Springvale Landcare sites at Buckajo, public reserves at Merimbula and Tathra, and the Bundian Way at Eden.
Outcomes achieved under the Green Army programme have combined well with current Local Land Services, BVSC and community projects that are underway within the region.

Green Army team members gain valuable skills and experience and often succeed in finding employment in the natural resource management sector.”

The current crew will continue until the end of April when another crew is due to commence. The new crew will continue to provide a complementary service to environmental and community projects in the area.
The local Green Army team help with planting at the Bega River Reserve (from left to right): Harre Holmers, Buddy Gottaas, Gunther Meessmann, Connor Witcombe, Shannon Brennan, Joe Walker and Lachlan Rubly.

NRC pest animal review

In March 2016, the Natural Resources Commission (the Commission) released a draft report on its pest animal management review.

The NRC review found that if we are to successfully control pest animals, a cross-tenure approach is needed which is supported by effective on-ground professional coordinators, good strategies and plans, strong enforcement and world leading research.
The Commission’s draft recommendations address new and emerging risks of pest animals by focusing on risk pathways, surveillance and education, whilst ensuring funds to respond to these risks are readily available.
Pest animals are a shared problem that needs shared solutions from all members of the community.

The Commission invites public submissions on the draft report. This is a great opportunity for landholders and community members to voice their concerns and share their local knowledge to help tackle pests.
Pest animals know no boundaries and no one is immune from the major impacts they have on agricultural production and on our valued native wildlife. Pests are causing considerable stress to farmers and communities and are costing landholders too much money to manage them.
Currently pest animals cause $170 million in loss each year in NSW, while 40 percent of NSW listed threatened species are affected by pest animals.
Local Land Services encourages landholders who are impacted by pest animals to make a submission by visiting the Commission’s website at:
Submissions close at 5.00 pm on Wednesday, 18 May 2016.

NSW Biodiversity Conservation legislative framework

The NSW Government has released the Biodiversity reform package for a period of public consultation. More information on the reforms, including the draft amendments to the Local Land Services Act 2013, is available at

Grazing permits for TSRs

Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs) are parcels of Crown land reserved for travelling stock use.  Local Land Services manages TSRs in NSW and issues grazing and apiary permits for TSRs under certain circumstances. South East Local Land Services will shortly be seeking expressions of interest (EOIs) for TSR grazing permits. These permits will be available from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 with the possibility of a twelve month extension to 30 June 2018 (subject to suitable conditions).

Application form and guidelines will be available from the 13 May 2016 and EOIs may be submitted up to close of business 3 June 2016.

Further information: Grazing permits for TSRs

Landsmart App

The LandSmart app provides information about smart land management practices on rural properties to help land managers - particularly city-based or absentee landholders - look after their land sustainably and responsibly. Developed by Greater Sydney Local Land Services, it is now available as a free download in the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store.

Managing a property remotely can be challenging and could result in weed, pest and productivity issues, and might even affect neighbouring properties. This app helps landholders look after their land by providing useful information at their fingertips. Topics include soil, groundcover, pest animals, weeds, native vegetation, conservation, farm biosecurity and other information on being a responsible rural landholder.

You can also find your nearest Local Land Services office to receive further information and support, and nearby Landcare groups. Go to or search "LANDSMART" in the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

New phone numbers for Moss Vale

Our Moss Vale office has a new phone system and with it new phone numbers. The general number to reach the office is now 02 48773211. The direct numbers for staff have also changed (see below), however the fax number remains the same.
Jacqueline Holland   02 4877 3206
Geoffrey O'Connor   02 4877 3207
James Crooks   02 4877 3208
Charles Signorelli   02 4877 3209
Adam Hook   02 4877 3210



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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