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Ruralweekly

JUNE 2017 EDITION NO. 8

Goat breeding market growing FULL STORY PAGE 2


2 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

welcome IT is common knowledge sheep and cattle are backbone industries in Southwest Queensland. This winter edition of Grazier and Farmer takes a look at how some producers have innovated to meet environmental and economic needs. We take a look at how graziers and farmers have diversified their operation and taken a journey to discover what best suits their land and needs. From St George pomegranates grown on red Mulga soil on a cotton farm to a Cunnamulla farmstay on a working sheep property, locals share their experiences of business idea creation and passion. Even producers in the sheep and wool game talk about the steps they have taken to combat predator attacks through barrier fencing and the new opportunities they are now reaping. Down Cooladdi way Allambie Kalahari Reds are being bred to handle the drought conditions – a common challenge that often hinders livestock production. Innovation and creativity are explored in this issue to inform and entertain. We look at solar technology and the long term cost savings it brings. Whichever page you turn I hope you find ideas and ways of life that bring new thoughts and strategic plans to the forefront of your business. Enjoy.

contact us EDITOR Martin Volz Phone: 07 4672 9927 Email: editorial@westernstarnews.com ADVERTISING Greg Latta, Tori Johnson, Stacey Hewlings, Western Star Phone 07 4672 9927 Email greg.latta@westernstarnews.com GENERAL MANAGER Erika Brayshaw Email: Erika.brayshaw@apn.com.au All material published in Grazier and Farmer is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission for the publisher. DISCLAIMER: The information contained within Grazier and Farmer is given in good faith and obtained from sources believed to be accurate. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. The Western Star will not be liable for any opinion or advice contained herein.

Kalahari Red bucks in arid Mulga country

PHOTO CONTRIBUTED:

Goat demand growing beyond the cut The goat market continues to transition from a money-for-meat market to a money-for-breeding market A PAIR of Paroo producers are preparing to serve the breeding needs of goat producers around Australia. Brett McDonald and Cathy Zwick, Allambie Kalahari Reds, Cooladdi, started breeding trials with Red and Black Kalahries, Anglo-Nubians and Rangeland goats 16 months ago and created a stud aimed at helping other goat meat producers fine-tune genetics lines. The goat market continues to transition from a money-for-meat market to a money-for-breeding market. Mr McDonald and Ms Zwick first drafted rangeland goats and selected the best breeders before introducing African genetics. The stud, Allambie Kalahari Reds, was born with a focus on growing a flock which is heat tolerant and handle drought well. Maintained within electric-fenced paddocks, the goats have a higher grazing line on Mulga trees compared to the dorpas the pair also run. This results in a systemic mulga harvesting system where pasturelands are maintained, not competing for space in a growing jungle of mulga. "We wanted to prove to ourselves that they could reproduce in a paddock situation without supplementary feeding, and they’ve done that very successfully," Ms Zwick says. Allambie Kalahari Reds, still in its infancy, is growing the

Kalahari Mother CONTRIBUTED

feeding

twins PHOTO

flock for future sales with 700 breeders. While wild dog management is a top priority for any grazier, Mr McDonald and Ms Zwick have paid particular attention to breeding goats with dark, earthy colours to combat predator attacks. Allambie Kalahari Reds hosted a Meat and

New born twins well camoflaged. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED: Livestock Australia (MLA) field day last month. The day included key note presentations on predator fencing alternatives and how goat genetics can play a role in not only diversifying agribusinesses but also making the most of the naturally dry conditions of Outback Australia.

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GRAZIER & FARMER 3

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

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4 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Select Carbon undertaking a forestry survey. Select Carbon work with producers to find the best equilibrium for livestock and forest growth.

PHOTO CONTRIBUTED:

Carbon farming options WHEN it comes to knowing what options are available to make the most of vegetation on your property, carbon farming may be an option. Select Carbon’s Nathan Moore says it is important for graziers to know what options are out there regarding carbon farming and to ask questions. "There has been slow progress in terms of locals finding out about the methods available," Mr Moore says. Select Carbon manages projects for landholders. "Essentially the projects we manage involve a change in management practices." Mr Moore explains. "For growth of forestry to occur either the rate of clearing or stock numbers are reduced." Carbon credits are achieved

according to forest regeneration on property. Before management practices undergo transformation, Select Carbon undertakes a free feasibility study to identify what forestry can grow and model how much carbon will be stored, typically over a 25 year period. Select Carbon then works with the landholder to fulfill the contract. Mr Moore says that feasibility studies also take into account the economic and environmental challenges of

drought. "We can include a buffer in our modelling," Mr Moore says. For example, the contract may register to sell a reduced percentage of carbon credits, leaving a buffer for the landholder, in case extra credits are required for dry periods when forest growth may not be as vigorous. In recent years the Government has bought credits from landholders under the Emissions Reduction Fund at an average price range from $10-$12 a

Essentially the projects we manage involve a change in management practices

— Select Carbon’s Nathan Moore

credit. "It has been favourable for our clients," Mr Moore says. "There are misconceptions that you are locking up your land but projects are allowed to have livestock on them, as long as grazing pressure and clearing is reduced." He also says that landholders need to think through what option is best for their operation. Select Carbon had previously held an information session in 2016 at the Charleville racecourse complex, and is looking into further information sessions in South West Qld. "Most graziers are concerned about the condition of their land and want agri-health. Carbon farming is positive in terms of looking after an area and bringing income back in."

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GRAZIER & FARMER 5

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

Interfacing technology

We work in conjunction with Observant remote monitoring to monitor and manage water infrastructure and pumping systems with full interface to our solar pumping systems. Remote monitoring is a cloud based system with satellite, mobile, uhf and wireless connections which allow accessibility in any location in Australia with the capabilities to link 10 devices to a base station.

technology can pump water at a rate of 2000 gal/hr at 200 PSI. "The proof is in the pudding it is reliable," Mr Beale says. Making life for graziers and farmers less stressful, the solar technology can be interfaced with Observant hardware; the included software measures water levels in tanks and reservoirs. This allows for full control of the pumping system and alternative power sources . The system operates through radio, wireless or mobile reception signals to the home computer with a satellite option to be released next month. Mr Beale says the focus at CRE is

on providing graziers and farmers with access to equipment that helps them cut time and fuel costs. "The system absorbs pressure and demand on water being pumped. It is time management 24/7." One of the other innovations CRE showcased at the field days was a rain gauge that interfaces back to the computer recoding rainfalls. On top of making water data more accessible, a user can login to the system and find faults, reset the system, utilize a camera function, system flow and pressure monitoring. It also includes the ability to manage pumping schedules.

Including: •Tank level monitoring and pump control off tank level •Flow monitoring and data logging •Weather monitoring •Pump scheduling •Electric fence monitoring

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CRE has been working on solar pump prototypes in recent years

CHARLEVILLE Refrigeration and Electrical (CRE) showcased their solar innovations and interface software at Leading Sheep technology field days in St George and Morven. The team at CRE has been working on solar pump prototypes in recent years. It is now selling versions of its own solar technology to aid landholders meet water demand and save costs in the long term. The technology can be added onto any existing water pumping system or installed as a new standalone or mains power/generator supported system. CRE’s Randall Beale says the solar


6 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

LNP names Callide candidate TAROOM’S Colin Boyce will contest the seat of Callide for the Liberal National Party at the state election Jacinta Cummins The current member and former deputy premier Jeff Seeney has held the seat comfortably since 1998, but is retiring at the next election due by May. Mr Boyce was announced as the successful candidate on June 14. Mr Boyce has lived in the Taroom district all his life and served as a councillor on the Taroom Shire Council from 2005 until 2008. His wife Terri was elected to the Banana Shire Council in a by-election in March. A member of the LNP since 2010, Mr Boyce beat four other challengers including a former advisor to Barnaby Joyce, Melinda Hashimoto, and Deputy LNP Leader Deb Frecklington’s brother, Ross Stiller from Guluguba, in the preselection battle. In an echo of Mr Seeney’s slogan "All about country towns and country people", Mr Boyce is seeking election so he can represent country Queensland’s interests in George Street. "I’m frustrated by the number of politicians who don’t have real world experience and don’t understand or care what the ramifications are for regional areas when decisions are made in Brisbane," he said. "What works in Brisbane and is needed there doesn’t always apply to regions like ours. "We need to be able use common sense." Common sense is something Mr Boyce believes has been missing from Labor’s approach to redrafting vegetation laws which

he said would be disastrous for the region. He vowed to defend the rights of farmers to sensibly manage their land. "As a farming family, I know the importance of protecting my family’s assets and income. "I will stand up to the greenies and Labor Party to protect our regions’ farming communities." Mr and Mrs Boyce have three children and run cattle on their family farm. Mr Boyce also owns and operates an engineering business with his sons Tom and Scott which services the farming and earthworks industries. The Callide electorate is considered a safe LNP seat, but One Nation has been predicted to pose a threat in some country areas by poaching voters who are single issue voters or those disenfranchised with the LNP. One Nation announced Elise Cottam as its candidate for Callide in December, but dumped her after she refused to buy her election promotion materials through a company associated with Senator Pauline Hanson’s chief-of-staff James Ashby. Sharon Lohse is now running for One Nation against Mr Boyce. The redrawing of electoral boundaries means Callide will expand to include Miles and Chinchilla in the south and across to Bell in the east. The statewide redistribution will increase the number of Queensland state electorates from 89 to 93.

Colin Boyce, from Taroom, has been named as the LNP Candidate for Callide. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Champion chooks For any child, checking out all the animals at the annual show is a must

Kim Ward shows off her prized champion pair of pullets.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

What goes on behind the scenes to get prized chickens into the spotlight? Charleville’s Kim Ward breeds Light Sussex chickens as a hobby and shared the breeding and grooming process with Grazier and Farmer. First, Mrs Ward says it is vital to buy from a good breeder who looks after chooks the right way. "You need to feed a mix of grain, copra, pollard, sausages and silver beet," Mrs Ward says. While her chickens are spoilt with a menu that rivals some family dinner tables, the process does not stop there. "After I pick which chooks I want to show I bathe them with soap and dog whitening shampoo, trim their nails and blow dry them." Mrs Ward has had a lifetime of experience with chooks too. "I’ve liked chooks since I was little," she says. "I really got into breeding and showing 14 years ago."

I really got into breeding and showing 14 years ago

— Kim Ward

That experience paid off at this year’s show – Mrs Ward took out 1st prize hen, 1st and 2nd prize rooster, champion pair of pullets and champion breeding pair at the Charleville Show. She chooses to breed White Sussex for their stark black and white appearance. "It is pleasurable to get eggs and also to get meat," Mrs Ward says.


GRAZIER & FARMER 7

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

Sheep numbers up workers hard to find ❝

Students are taught how to get out of bed and work

— Ian Bateman

helping mould young men and women with a positive work ethic but he does not stop there. Upon graduation Mr Bateman helps students find fulltime employment. Mr Bateman also works with Australian Wool Innovation to provide improved wool training. Those students work at shearing sheds wherever they are in operation. Part of Mr Bateman’s work has concluded – federal funding for the shearing school at Brewarrina has finished, the last intake of students graduated June 29. "The next school should run in August but I have been told there is no funding for it." Mr Bateman’s son manages their family-run shearing contractor business, Bateman Shearing, from Bollon.

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Ian Bateman shearing sheep near Bollon.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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Contractor, wool-handling instructor and youth mentor Ian Bateman, from Bollon, predicts that as the state flock grows there will not be enough shearers and wool classers to keep up with demand. "One property owner from Longreach cannot find shearers anywhere," Mr Bateman says. He says it boils down to a simple fact: "If we do not train people, no one can do the work." For the past 10 years Mr Bateman has been training youth in all aspects of station work as part of a Federal Government initiative. The 16 week course, held at The Merriman Shearing School near Brewarrina, includes a bootcamp in bookwork, paperwork, fencing, shearing, crutching, pressing wool and lamb marking. "We take 20 students from age 16-26," Mr Bateman says. "After the first three weeks were down to 15, one’s that don’t want to achieve pull out." Mr Bateman says his strict welcoming to the program teaches kids to be men and women. "Students are taught how to get out of bed and work." The remainder of the course – a 13 week internship – sees students earn $650 a week. Mr Bateman draws a lot of satisfaction from


8 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Better than ever before FarmFest 2017 has been hailed as the biggest in its history

PURE BRED: Emily Gorton from Kandanga Valley Stud in Gympie with Lauchie, a 20 month pure bred Charbray Bull PHOTO: MICHAEL DOYLE

FARMEST 2017 was hoped to be one of the biggest in its history, with new streets in the venue opening the door for new exhibitors to showcase their products and services. Innovation and cattle was emphasised this year, with new machinery and a large livestock area being hailed as a success by organisers. While the infamous wind of FarmFest made its usual appearance, the event experienced clear and fine days. With the good weather and the promise of a one of the biggest FarmFest’s in history, thousands of people filed through the gates in Toowoomba. Group manager of Fairfax Regional Events, Kate Nugent, said crowd records were broken this year. "We had over 60,000 through the gate and Tuesday was one of the biggest first day crowds seen in the last 14 years," Mrs Nugent said. "Also, the Thursday was considered one of the leading days it has seen in its history. "With the clear weather we had a fine day, there is no doubt that FarmFest 2017 has been hugely successful." Mrs Nugent highlighted the events success, with over 2000 companies on site, as well as strong feedback she said had been received by the organisers. "I am going to make a grand statement and say this year was the biggest," she said. "This is because of the focus on

innovation and new technology this year which was exciting to see. This year’s FarmFest placed a high importance on demonstrations. With the large number of companies on display across the three days and the record crowds, expectation was high for a large number of sales. "This event provided enormous opportunity to showcase services and products," Mrs Nugent said. "We had a strong focus on demonstration this year for the first time in a long time. "There was a lot of expectation to see accelerated sales and leads and that is what we heard back from exhibitors. "We have raised the bar at FarmFest and it is just such a big show which now has a big influence on the Australian agricultural industry." "FarmFest has been able to deliver on leads and those leads if converted can generate tens of millions of dollars of sales for our Queensland agriculture industry."

We had over 60,000 through the gate and Tuesday was one of the biggest first day crowds seen in the last 14 years — Group manager of Fairfax Regional Events, Kate Nugent

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GRAZIER & FARMER 9

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

No job too big or too small We have one of the biggest ranges of hose and fittings west of Toowoomba WHEN Managing Director of Enzed Surat Basin Shannon McDermott moved from Toowoomba to Chinchilla back in 2010 to establish his own business all he had was a second-hand truck and $25,000 in the bank. Almost seven years later and with plenty of ups and downs, Mr McDermott and his team have grown Enzed Surat Basin into a thriving hydraulic supplies business with five full time staff and two franchisees. It is currently one of the top five performing Enzed franchises in Australia. "We have two franchised Hose Doctors now, they lease our trucks... one is based in Roma and he’s really kicking some goals out there, he recently won an award for the best performing hose doctor in the country for the last quarter," Mr McDermott said. While it may have been a slow and steady growth for Enzed, Mr McDermott, who trained as a marine technician in the Navy, now supplies to QGC and Origin. But despite doing business with the big end of town, he said he wants people to know: no job is too small for his local team. "We have one of the biggest ranges of hose and fittings west of Toowoomba, without a doubt, and if we don't have a part we can get almost anything out here overnight," he said. "Hose and fittings are predominantly what people know us for and what the core of our business is, but we do a lot of other hydraulic and pneumatic system component supplies, and repairs as well. "We supply components for all aspects of fluid transfer applications from large industrial and agricultural type applications to individual

Roma based Hose Doctor- Lance Tainton fuel and oil transfer pumps and hand-held grease guns. "When people come to our store they are quite surprised at the range of products we have to offer." Mr McDermott said as a premier distributor of major corporation Parker Hannifin's products, Enzed is uniquely positioned to supply top-quality products locally. "Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading motion and control company; it offers such a diverse range of products," he said. "ENZED's hoses and fittings are only a

PHOTO:CONTRIBUTED snippet of the range and with the opportunities the local resources sector offers we are providing access to Parker's diverse range locally." Extended opening hours and specialized staff training are also areas of focus for Mr McDermott. "A lot of what brings people to us and keeps them coming to us is that we have great staff who are available 24/7," he said. "Someone rings us at 10 at night or two in the morning with ‘hey my machine’s broken’ and depending on drive time, we’ll be there

straight away. We always have someone on call 365 days a year. "We go the extra mile here in the shop too. Our business hours are 7.30am-5pm but some of our staff love the place and are usually here from 6am-6pm most weekdays. "We focus a lot on staff as well, we put a lot of effort into training them and improving on their skills. We have been nominated for the training and education awards for small employer of the year and we’ve made the finals."

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10 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Reece Campbell with a Warrego Bullarab Nitro. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Warrego Bullarabs are bred to display athleticism, speed, courage, alertness, intelligence, presence and temperament. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Hunting on the Warrego Genetics play an important role in breeding livestock

The same rings true in the canine world. For Reece and Danielle Campbell, breeding Bullarabs – a hunting dog - is not only a passion but also a business. Raised and trained on their property near Augathella, the Campbells started selling stud dogs around Australia after filling a void in their own demand for hunting dogs. "The idea came out of necessity as we could not find suitable breeders of quality Bullarabs with the volume and consistency we required to peruse our own interests in commercial wild boar harvesting," Mr Campbell says. Warrego Bullarabs was born and sales, in the $770-$2500 range, take place around Australia. "We also receive an amount of

interest from around the world," Mr Campbell says. "We like to believe that our dogs are our best advertising and encourage further promotion by word of mouth." The Campbell’s have a long history of breeding dogs over the past 28 years. To breed the best Warrego Bullarabs, the graziers secured breeding stock from well-respected breeders around Queensland. "We then began combining certain individual dogs to develop our own hybrid line that we were happy to work and live with," Mr Campbell says. Warrego Bullarabs display athleticism, speed, courage, alertness, intelligence, presence and temperament. "The bullarab is a

well-balanced, grounded dog," Mr Campbell says. Alongside running a property the Campbell’s spend around four hours a day training, cleaning kennels, exercising, socialising and caring for their dogs. Warrego Bullarabs are bred following a breeding program that shows the best traits in the pups. The dogs go on to perform both commercial and recreational hunting. "Recreational is a great way to enjoy the bush with family, friends and dogs and to satisfy primal hunting instinct of man and beast and the thrill of the chase," Mr Campbell says. "Hunting also helps to control feral animals in our environment."

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

GRAZIER & FARMER 11

Hot market: pomegranates Dry weather and drought are constant challenges for Australian farmers In the St George region, producers are continuing to trial new methods and plants to grow in a bid to make the most of available water. One such grower, Ian Brimblecombe, has planted 1000 pomegranate trees as an alternative to cotton in dry seasons. "I’ve got to grow something so when there is not much water around I can rely on pomegranates," Mr Brimblecombe says. "When the river doesn’t run, I have no cotton crop in the ground." The crop of pomegranates was planted last June and have surge past one metre in height. It will be another two or three years before Mr Brimblecombe harvests the first full crop. The pomegranates are grown on red mulga soil and do not like too much water – a saving grace during dry seasons. The trees are pruned twice a year, in summer and winter. "The trees get a lot of suckers so you have got to prune," Mr Brimblecombe says. "They love hot weather and haven’t been watered in 4 weeks." When asked why he chose to trial pomegranates Mr Brimblecombe says he consulted a list put together by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. "My criteria was something that would survive drought and need little water," Mr Brimblecombe says. For this cotton grower, diversification may pay off in the form of a fruit that is get plenty of hot attention on cooking shows.

The trees get a lot of suckers so you have got to prune

— Ian Brimblecombe

LEFT: Ian Brimblecombe says the pomegranates grow well in red mulga soil.

RIGHT : Mr Brimblecombe shows how much the fruit trees have grown in one year.

The crop is covered

PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED


12 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bio Diversity Forum in Injune

Bill Douglas, Mt Lonsdale Mungallalla and Tim Emery, Roma. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED Goetz Graf demonstrates how lighting fires on a property can be influenc ed by the landscape and the weather conditions son, Rural Fire Service Roma and Jonathan Barford, DAF Forest Products Roma.

Rick Whitton, Myrtleville, Injune and Col Paton EcoRich Grazing:

Liz Paton, EcoRich Grazing, Teresa Eyre, Queensland Herbarium, Sam Lloyd, South East Queensland Biodiversity Consortium.

.

Rodney Wilson, Rural Fire Service Roma and Jonathan Barford, DAF Forest Products Roma.

ROWAN DOUGLAS, MT LONSDALE AND GOETZ RAF, QUEENSLAND FIRE EMERGENCY SERVICES


GRAZIER & FARMER 13

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

Show roundup from around the region

Showing off horses at the Charleville Show Roma Show president Puddy Chandler, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud and Member for Warrego Ann Leahy at the Roma Show. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

A family enjoy ice-creams at the Charleville Show

Some of the winners from the sheep showing at the Mitchell Show

Showjumping at the Wallumbilla Show.

The Wallumbilla Show is fun for young and old.

Roma’s Miss Showgirls entrants Tori Johnson, Katie Sands, Sarah Dionysius and Katie Garbutt.

Mitchell’s Miss Showgirl entrants greet the showgoers.


14 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

NEXT GEN: Toowoomba's Gary King, who is launching his new store Universal Drones, wants to make the Garden City the agricultural drone capital of Australia.

PHOTO: TOM GILLESPIE

Region’s drone potential New drone store owner wants to make Toowoomba the agricultural drone capital of Australia GARY King has watched drones go from gimmicks to hi-tech military equipment and now stocking fillers for kids at Christmas. Now he wants to make Toowoomba the home of agricultural drones. The businessman and former army officer will open Universal Drones on James St next week. On top of being one of the largest retail

shops in Queensland for drones, the business will feature a secure research and development facility, flight simulation and testing rooms to let customers try out the machines. Mr King said half the business would be aimed at farmers and primary producers, who now used hi-tech drones to spray crops, scan large areas for water points and weeds and even muster livestock. "I’ve been working with drones since 2002 and we have the largest agricultural drones in Australia in terms of size and weight," he said. "We’re talking about crop spraying, analytical crop count, your water analysis. "Our focus is about 50% agricultural, then we work with parallel industries and also consumer products. "Our goal is to have Toowoomba as the agricultural drone capital of Australia within two

years." The store will have some of the largest agricultural drones available, with machines weighing up to 50kg and a wingspan of nearly 3m. Mr King, who worked with Theresa Zhang of Laguna Apartments to invest millions into bringing the latest in drone technology to the new store, has also hired 10 staff from Toowoomba to run all the departments, including the research and development facility. "There is no company in Australia that’s doing serious R and D on drones," he said. "Basically, in the back of our store we’re going to have an R and D facility that will find out how we can advance drone use. "In the past four years there have been 7400 changes in drone hardware technology, (but) computers in that time have only made

180 changes. "That would mean the industry would still be going, but it wouldn’t be able to continue to progress until the software side picks up." Having worked with drones and model aeroplanes since 2002, he said education on the laws and rules around the activity needed to catch up with the fast increases in technology. "It’s also about educating people about the rules and laws, because more people are wanting them and the laws are still catching up," Mr King said. "We want to educate people across south-west Queensland and educate them about what you can and can’t do, because people honestly don’t know." Universal Drones opened its new store to the public on Saturday morning, with a special preview for guests the night before.

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GRAZIER & FARMER 15

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

Drawing a world of travellers to Charlotte Plains

AMONG the vast flats and mulga country around Cunnamulla, one lady has diversified her sheep and wool operation with tourism. Robyn Russell, who was born here on Charlotte Plains but lived most of her life away, is back combining the things that she likes best. When she is not busy chasing sheep around the 70,000 acre property on her quad bike or drafting alongside a station hand, she manages a farmstay. Tourists from around Australia and the world travel here to experience an authentic station at work, which currently runs 4600 sheep and 180 cattle. The property, which has been in family hands for 94 years, also includes bird, horse and camel watching, relaxing in pools from a running artesian bore and learning how the sheep industry operates. "I am so passionate about foremost running the property and secondly offering the visitors an authentic experience enlightening them about life in the bush," Mrs Russell says. "A big thing for me is to bridge the gap between country and city. I offer good hospitality and make people feel comfortable," Mrs Russell says. Mrs Russell first hosted travellers on her and her late husband’s cattle property near Clermont during tough times in drought. "I came back here to Charlotte Plains and I just thought it was a golden opportunity," Mrs Russell says. When asked how she keeps up with farm duties and offering top notch hospitality, Mrs Russell says

Picnic in the mulga showing tourists drought effect

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

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16 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FROM PAGE 15

it all boils down to the same formula. "Really, many women do this and become resilient," Mrs Russell says. "It helps if you are brought up on a property." She says the most popular activity for guests is sitting in cowboy spa’s and watching sunsets while sipping wine. "It is a la natural." Accommodation options include shearing quarters and powered and non-powered camping sites. A mini-museum was also created documenting the last century of life on Charlotte Plains.

Bye gone days home of memorabilia. Robyn Russell with UP3 Charlotte Plains sign

Robyn Finngan & wooly on Quad

Visitor children learning about shearing PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

Izzy with Charlotte Plains sign

Home of memorabilia display

Jamie Hazeldean Outback adventure at Bore

Budgerigars on ground.

:


GRAZIER & FARMER 17

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

Farmhouse digitizing the homemade revolution FARMHOUSE Direct is bridging the gap for agri-producers and the sea of online shoppers, located as far away as Northern Asia. Farmhouse, an online farmers market selling everything from potatoes to lamb, was developed by Australia Post as part of their diversification process into the movement of goods. Introduced in both Charleville and Roma at Australia Post’s Go Online and Grow seminar late last month, Farmhouse’s Monique Barwell presented important findings shaping how consumers and retailers go about business in a digital world. Consumers are focused on finding the best prices and variety and more often than not are buying products through their smart phones. As a result of the digital craze gripping most parts of the globe, Ms Barwell says "producers are literally selling in their sleep." To make sure graziers and farmers are also selling in their sleep, Ms Barwell says creating online sites with mobile optimization is key. Farmhouse Direct provides producers with an online platform, take care of how best to market products for its clients; also providing support in online environments. Australia Post ships products with preferential postage rates. Australia Post’s Carmel Williams spoke at the Charleville presentation, highlighting that businesses that don’t embrace online models are in a situation where they may lose customers. During the past five years Australia’s eCommerce sales have growing $8 billion to a total $14.7 billion.

Australia Posts Anita Britcher, Sommariva Olives Karen McLennan

and Michael McLennan and Farmhouse Directs Monique Barwell

CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

Courtney Bylett, Richard Walkksh and Angela Stirton were thinking about mobile optimization. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED: Andrea Rockett, Renee Jansen and Jo Cuskelly caught up to discuss all things Google.

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18 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Farmhouse Direct FROM PAGE 17

Lindsay Newby, Carol Butler and Mena Tawfik enjoyed the informative event. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED:

Carmel Williams and Debbie Sinclair enjoyed hosting the event.

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GRAZIER & FARMER 19

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

New methods lead to better numbers Showcasing the cream of his sheep crop at Charleville’s State Sheep Show VICTORIA Downs Will Roberts was showcasing the cream of his sheep crop at Charleville’s State Sheep Show. Mr Roberts says it is important to support local shows. His stud regularly exhibits at annual state sheep shows. "A lot of people show hospitality in other area’s so it is important to do the same for them," Mr Roberts says. Like other wool growers exhibiting at the event Mr Roberts says cluster fencing will save and rejuvenate the sheep and wool industry. "We’ve got to protect animals [sheep]," Mr Roberts says. Wild dogs have challenged the Victoria Downs flock in the last decade but Mr Roberts says he can now see a silver lining. "We marked 15 per cent of progeny in 2014," Mr Roberts says. "In 2016 we marked 100 per cent. People can judge for themselves if cluster fencing is working or not." Improved progeny survival rates are having direct flow on affects. "All sheep costs are per head," Mr Roberts says. "The more they cut, the higher the return." When asked if he thought Victoria Downs would be forced to transition into a sole beef operation, Mr Roberts says no. "I never thought we would get out of sheep. We were lucky wool prices were so high." For now the Roberts are focused on getting a 50/50 wool/beef split in their business.

I never thought we would get out of sheep.

— Will Roberts

Will and Candice Roberts with one of the champion rams.

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20 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Control at your fingertips Next generation chaser bin gives the operator complete control in their palms THE PROCESS of utilising new technology to further improve the farming industry is never ending. Innovation is at the heart of the new era of farming in Australia, and as farmers from across the country descended on Toowoomba for FarmFest this month, a new generation of chaser bins caught the eye of many in the industry. Finch Engineering has attempted to revolutionise the chaser bin, by placing complete control of the machine in the operators hands. The new bin is controlled by a small remote that allows the operator to be in the best spot while the grain and fertiliser is being delivered through the seed cart. This new technology removes the need for

the farmer to be near a manual lever, which will improve the accuracy and safety of work on the farm. Brett Edwards, national sales manager of Finch Engineering, said the new chaser bin, a seed and fertiliser option with remote control, would take the guess work out of the operation. "This is an electric over hydraulic set-up with a remote control that fits into the palm of your hand which allows the Farmer to fill a seeding cart with the chaser bin while standing in the best vantage spot," Mr Edwards said. "This eliminates the need for an operator be stationed near a manual lever which can be impractical and unsafe. "The operation of filling the seed cart is now more accurate as the operator can be right where the grain or fertiliser is being delivered, hence taking any of the guess work away." Accuracy and safety are at the heart of improving the process, while the remote control also aims at increased profitability for farmers. "Additional benefits of remote control also include enabling the operator to be well clear of the machine in certain applications while still

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be able to start and stop grain delivery as required," Mr Edwards said. "The remote control feature also enables the filling and planting process to be carried out by just one operator, thus reducing costs and making this whole process more efficient." For Mr Edwards, there is not another product on the market that can complete the task with as much efficiency and ease. The ability to have one person control the process saves farmers time and also man power, as it would usually take two workers to complete the task. Freeing up one worker reducers the amount of "down-time" there can be on a farm, and also savers farmers in running costs. For this reason, Mr Edwards believe the innovation behind the new machine can change the way farming is conducted. "This is just like the evolution of life, if you sit around and do not develop your machines they will not survive," he said. "This bin is 100% perfect for harvesting and 99% perfect for planting. "While this used to be a two man job with one on the tractor, now one person has control over the whole machine."

"It is a simple solution to many problems faced by farmers." "Many farmers do not have the man power for two people to operate these machines. When they do, there is a lot of down time for one of the workers as they are only refilling the bin." The remote control system is fitted to the side of the bin and operates the internal "Split Cut-Off Plates" which controls grain or fertiliser flow to the auger. The remote control is wireless can operate up to four separate compartments, and is simply charged with a USB cable. "Farmers also have the option of adding other hydraulically operated components to this block if required," Mr Edwards said. Mr Edwards said the feedback Finch Engineering has received has been from testing completed at the end of last year and at FarmFest this month. "Last year we did a research and development with farmers and the feedback we got was just fantastic," he said. "We had many farmers come to us at FarmFest wanting this and ordering bins for their farms."


GRAZIER & FARMER 21

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

Merino outdo meat sheep AT the Charleville Show in May, some of Queensland’s best wool producers got together to exhibit their stud sheep at the annual State Sheep Show. Hailing from Cunnamulla, Jack Peskett, of Coban Merino and Murrawondah Poll Merinos, exhibited nine of his best sheep. "My family have been showing sheep for three or four generations," Mr Peskett says. "It is all about sizing your sheep against other studs and creating ram sales." There was a positive outlook among wool growers are the State Sheep Show. The continual creation of cluster fences and renewed wild dog control programs have helped boost Queensland sheep numbers. "Once the wild dog problem is under control, people will go into merinos," Mr Peskett says. "There is more value with Merinos than crossbreeds. Adding wool and meat together, Merino’s outdo meat sheep." He also says a fallback on wool is a safety net if there is not enough feed around for meat sheep. Mr Peskett’s family run stud includes 6500 sheep in total. Highlights of Coban and Murrawondah stud sheep include heavy-cutting, large-framed sheep. "They are dual purpose sheep," Mr Peskett says. "You have got to get wool and frame right." Coban is inside a cluster fence, which Mr Peskett says he predicts will be helpful in the long term in order to boost numbers.

Jack Peskett with one of his prized merinos at the Charleville State Sheep Show.

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westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Queensland’s Quality Sheep THE Queensland State Sheep Show saw an increase in competition on last year with 15 studs exhibiting in Charleville. Supreme Exhibit, Supreme Merino Exhibit and Supreme Poll Exhibit were awarded to an out of state Alfoxton Stud from New South Wales. Queensland Ram of the Year was awarded to Mt Ascot. Queensland Ewe of the Year went to Victoria Downs, as did the Poll Merino Breeders group award. Queensland Pair award was presented to Mt Ascot while New South Wales Towalba took out Merino Breeders Group honours. Queensland State Sheep secretary Candice Roberts says the event is a good opportunity for Queenslanders to see how their sheep hold up against outer-state competition and promote themselves. "Queensland studs are standing up against southerners but it would be good to get more interstate studs exhibiting up here," Ms Roberts says. She says a highlight of the event was that many local Queensland studs are seeing their breeding program goals achieved. Away from the competition the event provides a social platform for producers to mingle and for urban types to learn everything sheep and wool. "It is good for people in town to see the sheep," Ms Roberts says. "They were amazed by the size and learn what sheep are for. People are surprised to see how much wool is on them and it is good for kids to see and learn how clothes are made." Looking to the future, Ms Roberts says it would be good to see Queensland studs selling more rams down south and for southern studs to have better knowledge of the quality livestock Queensland studs are producing.

Ben Wilson, Peter Hacker, Will and Angus Hacker checking out the latest in technology :

Heather and Roger Wilson checked out the exhibits.

Angus Dawson and Peter Campbell had a good one at the social function

Anipro Liquid Supplements John Hughes, Josh Lockwood, and Colin Brosnan enjoyed talking at the event.

PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED: Bruce Lines and Geoff Duddy thought the quality of showings was excellent

Tom Lilburne, Angus Munro and Matthew Baker caught up at the State Sheep Show

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017 westernstarnews.com.au

GRAZIER & FARMER 23

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Grazier and farmer june 2017  

Grazier and farmer is a quarterly publication inserted into Roma Western Star, Balonne Beacon and Western Times. Grazier and Farmer focuses...

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