Mid Lachlan Landcare

Wrap up of seed collection project

Our seed collected in partnership with John Holland Country Regional Network has been collated and handed over to Tom North, National Seed Bank Curator at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Work will begin on the woodland species Creamy Candles (Stackhousia monogyna), Black-anthered Flax Lily (Dianella revoluta) and Smooth Flax Lily (Dianella longifolia) to better understand their seed storage behaviour and germination biology. The research will be conducted by Honours student Gabrielle Vening from Charles Sturt University, who’s project aims to develop improved germination protocols that will assist conservation seed banking and make the species more viable for use in restoration activities.

Field Day highlights importance of Grazing Management Principles

Almost 70 landholders attended a recent Grazing Management Field Day held in partnership with South East Local Land Services at Boorowa. Dr. Terry McCosker and David Marsh were our guest speakers at “Allendale”, the Marsh’s family farm.

David spoke passionately about how he changed his management practices towards regenerative agriculture in order to improve on-farm ecosystem health that supports a profitable business and maintains a healthy, stress-free lifestyle. Over many years he has developed his farming techniques by constantly questioning conventional farming practices through observation and critical thinking.

Dr. Terry McCosker, an internationally acclaimed teacher and co-founder of RCS Australia raised a number of topics with the audience but stressed the importance of understanding and implementing Grazing Management Principles including:

  1. Planning, monitoring and managing
  2. Providing adequate rest for plants and pastures
  3. Matching stocking rate to carrying capacity
  4. Managing livestock effectively

Both Terry and David stressed the importance of planning and in particular the use of grazing charts which provide a management tool that assist landholders to make good decisions, remain in control, maintain profitability and manage livestock and ecology.

If you would like more information about the field day or to become involved please email us at midlachlanlandcare@gmail.com

 

Wrap up of Local Area Meetings in South East Local Land Services Region

Grazing Project Officer Scott Hickman, recently held the final round of local area meetings for the South East Local Land Services Grazing Management Project. Planning for spring grazing management was the key topic discussed, in particular grass management, and animal production and health. Thoughts were also shared about planning for variable conditions during the upcoming summer.

Still to come is a field day to be held on 5th November with Dr. Terry McCosker and David Marsh at “Allendale” Boorowa. Everyone is welcome.

Thanks to everyone for coming along to the meetings and our previous field day with Dick Richardson. For more information about this project, please contact South East Local Land Services.

Yass-Bookham Local Area Meeting

Yass-Bookham Local Area Meeting

Crookwell Local Area Meeting

Crookwell Local Area Meeting

Boorowa Local Area Meeting

Boorowa Local Area Meeting

 

Woodland plants targeted for seed collection

Mid Lachlan Landcare is pleased to announce our new project with John Holland Pty Ltd Country Regional Network. Over the next few months, in partnership with Young District Landcare, we will be locating and collecting seed from three woodland plant species considered to be significant components of White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Woodland, one of Australia’s most threatened vegetation communities and local to our area.

Creamy Candles (Stackhousia monogyna), Black-anthered Flax Lily (Dianella revoluta)  and Smooth Flax Lily (Dianella longifolia) are being targeted because they have shown to have a poor response to germination. Collected seed will be tested for germination and dormancy at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. It is hoped that the tests will inform on ways to improve germination so that these plants can be included in planting and direct seeding activities in future restoration projects.

Native orchids and wildflowers on spring display

The amazing diversity of our local woodland environment was on display for our field day near Cowra yesterday. In partnership with Young District Landcare, the field day was held at “Kooragindi”, a 100 acre bushland property in the Ilunie range. “Kooragindi” is under a conservation agreement with the Nature Conservation Trust and is protected in perpetuity. Owners John and Fiona, a photographer and artist respectively, kindly opened their property for over 30 people who were able to see and learn about a range of flowering orchids as well as other native plants and woodland birds. The weather was beautiful and the location was fantastic – a good day was had by all.

 

Field Trip to the Mid Lachlan Landcare district

Mid Lachlan Landcare had the pleasure of hosting a field trip for delegates at the recent NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference held in Orange. The conference theme was “From the Ground Up” and was celebrating the International Year of Soil. MLL’s field trip visited productive farms where solutions to a number of NRM issues are being applied. Our farmers were able to showcase how we can design farms to have multiple on and off site NRM benefits while also producing healthy food and maintaining viable businesses, and how specific techniques and actions are being used to restore ecological function. The field trip also described how MLL is undertaking real capacity building with a range of partners and clients, and included a visit to the internationally renowned Age of Fishes Museum to get up close and personal with local fossils which showed how changes in climate can affect the progress of species.

Huge thanks to our speakers and helpers on the day – Ian Packer, Andrew Wooldridge, Ian Cooley, Scott Hickman, Wendy Bowman, Warren Keedle, Shaley Allen, Casey Proctor and Vanessa Cain.

Planting completed for the John Holland Squirrel Glider Conservation Project

Almost 2,500 mid-storey and shrub species of plants have been installed for the John Holland Squirrel Glider Conservation Project at Bendick Murrell and Crowther along the Blayney to Demondrille non-operational rail line. The seed was collected from local provenance and will provide habitat and foraging opportunities not only for Squirrel Gliders but also for a range of woodland birds including the beautiful but threatened Superb Parrot. Chris from John Holland Pty Ltd rolled up his sleeves and joined in the planting activities with the crew from Oz Plants in Cowra during a week of very cold temperatures. Forecast rain later this week and warming temperatures at the onset of spring should ensure a good start for all the plants.

 

Visiting Earth and Enviro Students undertake MLL’s Landcare Tour

Science teacher Bronwen Roberts from Brisbane Waters College on the central coast of NSW has been bringing her HSC Earth and Environmental Science students to the Mid Lachlan Landcare district since 2012.

After staying overnight in Canowindra, the group undertook MLL’s Landcare Tour, which includes farm and site visits which demonstrate landscape processes and land management issues, as well as a visit to the Age of Fishes Museum.

The tour was conducted by Wooly and Emma Sawyers. Emma is a graduate of Cowra High School who has just completed a degree at the University of Canberra. Emma is volunteering her time and expertise to MLL and presented valuable content to the group.

Grazing Management Field Day with Brian Wehlburg

Our recent  field day at “Talinga” Woodstock attracted 60 people from as far as Merriwa and Sydney.

Our guest speakers were Brian Wehlburg, a certified holistic management educator that delivers grazing management courses to a diverse range of groups. He also runs his own pasture grass-based beef, pork and egg enterprise. Gus Hickman also spoke to attendees, providing an insight into the transformation of “Talinga”.

At the field day, Brian talked about the importance of covered soils all year round and having a range of grasses and plant species in our landscapes. He also talked about the challenges faced when moving away from repetitive systems towards natural processes. The focus should be on working with the landscape and farm ecology.

Brian highlighted the importance of reducing production costs by utilising things that are provided to us for free such as sunlight, oxygen, water, soil and biology. By enhancing those processes with the use of grazing animals, they assist in landscape regeneration and contribute to profitable farming businesses. Brian explained that to make sure our businesses and ecology are moving forward, constant monitoring is required, he said “It’s critical to be managing our businesses and landscapes by a plan, monitor, control, and re-plan process”.  He also stressed that planning is an essential component, all levels of management should be consulted in order for clear goals to be set.

Gus Hickman spoke passionately about the journey his family has made at “Talinga” over the last 20 years. Moving towards a bio diverse landscape has helped improve their profitability, build resilience in the landscape, and provided a sense of achievement and enjoyment.

Mid Lachlan Landcare’s Grazing Project Officer, Scott Hickman commented that “Brian is passionate about working with nature and making nature better by using grazing animals, ensuring we leave something for future generations but also making sure people can run a profitable business that has flow-on effects to whole communities as well.”

Following the field day, a paddock to plate dinner was held at The Oxley Wine Bar in Cowra for those attendees interested in marketing and selling their own brand. On the menu was a range of local produce including free range, holistically managing chicken from Carbeen Pastured Produce at Cudal and holistically managed lamb from “Oatleigh” Canowindra. Forty people attended to hear Brian’s story on his own Kindee Valley Farm products and his reasons for marketing his own produce.

Brian’s key points on marketing and selling are:

  • Have a story to tell – the farm, the family, why your product is worth buying
  • Know your consumer – farmers markets, demographics, what do they care about?
  • Educate your consumer – recipes, cryovac/fresh products
  • Good relationships are essential i.e. With your courier and butcher
  • Be clear in your goals – a lot of time and effort is required, research everything before you start

Mid Lachlan Landcare would like to sincerely thank Brian for providing his time and knowledge. Thanks also to Gus and Anna Hickman for hosting the field day and to The Oxley Wine Bar for preparing and hosting the dinner.

If you would like more information about this field day or would like to be involved with Growing the Grazing Revolution please contact Scott Hickman 0427 450 416 or email oatleigh@westnet.com.au

Squirrel Glider forage plants coming along nicely at community nursery

Seed collected locally for the John Holland Squirrel Glider Conservation Project is germinating and growing nicely at the Weddin Community Native Nursery in Grenfell. Threatened Squirrel Gliders have a varied seasonal diet with wattle plants playing an important role in providing some of their food requirements. Acacia gum is an important winter food source with pollen and arboreal invertebrates, which are attracted to the wattle flowers, providing essential protein.

A key activity to assist in the recovery of Squirrel Gliders is to retain or reinstate food resources, particularly sap-feeding trees and midstorey feed species such as Acacia. This portion of the project has the potential to provide critical foraging habitat by providing plants which are now largely missing from the local landscape not only for Squirrel Gliders but a host of other species which rely on native shrubs for nesting and feeding.