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SEPTEMBER 2018 EDITION NO.13

Droving through the tough times STORY PAGE 10 AND 11


2 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

From the editor’s desk SPRING’S here and while the season hasn’t improved, things are still happening in agriculture across the region. There’s never a dull moment. The new prime minister headed to Quilpie to learn more about drought and the toll it is taking on those on the ground. Meanwhile, Buy A Bale continues to help growers out thanks to the generous support of the wider public, who’ve really gotten behind our industry during the big dry. We check in to see how the first carrot harvest at St George is going. The Victorian-based growers say the quality of the crop has exceeded their expectations and that the move to St George has been a great one for their business. We also see what sentences were handed down to three men who were convicted of stealing goats when the goat market was near its peak in late 2016 and early 2017. Check out the social pages for all the action from Charleville’s 150th birthday bash. As always, if you’ve got a yarn which you think needs to be told please get in touch with us as we’d love to cover it when we’re on the road out your way. Enjoy this edition of Maranoa Grazier & Farmer. Until next time, Jacinta

contact us EDITOR Jacinta Cummins Phone: 07 4672 9900 Email: editorial@suratbasin.com.au ADVERTISING Greg Latta 07 4672 9927 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. Front page photo of Rex the dog, taken by Jess at Dusty Creek Photography

REAL CONCERN: Ian Staines owns property adjoining the Barakula Forest and is worried tick-carrying cattle could compromise hundreds of thousands of acres of thick forest. PHOTO: JACINTA CUMMINS

Farmers fear tick outbreak

Potential infestation could go undetected for years Jacinta Cummins A GULUGUBA grazier has slammed the government for allowing cattle with ticks to be transported through the tick-free area after two cattle came off a truck transporting ticky cattle on September 8 and escaped into the Barakula Forest, exposing local cattlemen to the cost of ticks and the risk of cattle deaths from tick fever. Ian Staines owns property adjoining the Barakula Forest and is worried that the cattle could light up the entire forestry north of the wild dog fence comprising hundreds of thousands of acres of thick forest and poor

fencing where ticks could go undetected for years and spread to adjoining properties, resulting in a huge infestation more than 100 kilometres south of the tick line. “This could result in a sleeper problem of ticks becoming established but going undetected for several years,” Mr Staines said. According to a Biosecurity Queensland spokesperson, the Braford cattle were on a truck going from the Nebo district to a saleyard in Southeast Queensland and came off when the driver was checking the load at the Great Dividing Range truck stop on Saturday. The incident was reported to Biosecurity Queensland and a staff member met with the

truck driver and examined the remaining cattle the same day when they arrived at their final destination. It was found some had ticks. The spokesperson said the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries could not alert neighbouring property owners until Monday morning when it had the full story. Mr Staines found out via text message from a neighbour but he was not contacted by the department until Tuesday, September 11. Departmental staff arrived at the site on Wednesday, September 12. The cattle were located on Thursday, September 13.


GRAZIER & FARMER 3

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Finding the right blend It can be difficult making vintage pieces fit with a modern look

WHEN renovating a home or remodelling a room, one challenge you may face is how to make the old work with the new. If there are vintage elements which you wish to keep, combining them with more contemporary additions can bring your home’s design into the 21st century. A good tip for successfully marrying features from different eras is to reference the older style in your new inclusions. New additions should work in harmony with any permanent existing features that you’re keeping. In the Queenslander home featured, Lauren Pearse, from Rylo Interiors, recognised the age of the house, and out of respect for its history, worked to blend in the extensions with the original look of the building. To achieve this, Lauren carried over the traditional visual elements of the building on the exterior of the extension. The interiors, on the other hand, were designed to be more suited to modern living. Contemporary lifestyles in Australia ask for plenty of space for the family to congregate or entertain. Kitchens, lounge rooms, and dining rooms of the past may have been separated out into their own rooms, but nowadays, an open-plan living space is more desirable. By using an open-plan interior design and adopting the vintage style for the exterior, the end result is an inviting, liveable extension that looks like it has always been there. For more ideas and inspiration about what to do with your interiors, visit your local Andersens showroom or go to andersens.com.au.

MARRYING FEATURES: Lauren Pearse, from Rylo Interiors, recognised the age of the house, and out of respect for its history, worked to blend in the extensions with the original look of the building. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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4 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Parmas help farmers Molly Hancock

ROMA businesses have rallied to help those effected by the crippling drought by lending their support to Rural Aid’s Parma for a Farmer initiative. The Commonwealth Hotel, the White Bull Tavern and Roma Grind Cafe have raised more than $2000 for the Buy a Bale program. “For the Comm this initiative has gone well as we have offered it with the traditional parma and the American parma and the same down at the White Bull,” Commonwealth Hotel and White Bull co-owner Ben Cannon said. “We have raised $800 at the White Bull and just over $1034 here at the Commonwealth. Roma Grind owner David Kirkbride said he had been keen to lend his support. “We don’t usually have a parma on our menu, so we decided for two weeks to do it as a special and have sold around 120 parmas and raised $614,” he said. “People just loved getting behind it.” The two business owners said they were working together for a great cause. “Parmas have always been a popular choice on the menu but I think people wanted to know how they could help and this was a way they could easily,” Mr Cannon said. Mr Kirkbride said it was a way for people to help out those in need. “People don’t realise how much of an impact it has on local businesses when it is dry,” he said. “This is our way of giving a bit to those feeling it the most and those are farmers.”

GOOD CAUSE: David Kirkbride from Roma Grind and Ben Cannon from the White Bull Tavern and Commonwealth Hotel have joined together to raise money for drought-affected farmers with the parma for a farmer campaign. PHOTO: MOLLY HANOCK

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GRAZIER & FARMER 5

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

The weigh-in at Boar Busters.

READY TO GO: Children at the Balonne Boar Buster event.

Aerial shot of the annual Boar Busters event.

Balonne round-up This year’s event eradicated more than 900 pigs from the region WHAT began as a way to boost tourism dollars into the South West region has grown to become a popular family event to protect the bio-security and produce on farm land. The annual Balonne Boar Buster cleared about 1000 wild boars from the region at the weekend event in August, with competitors travelling from as far as Toowoomba and Brisbane to help eradicate the feral animals. Organiser and founder of the event, St George Police Liaison Officer Adam Osborne said wild boar hunting was the norm for the area. “Initially I wanted to bring people out here to spend money in the region, it’s been in drought for a long time and there’s no doubt there are so many people doing it tough,” he said.

“Wild boars do so much damage, especially to chickpeas and dryland cropping that is already suffering from the lack of rain. I’ve heard of wild pigs destroying whole crops overnight and farmers having to re-sow two days later because it’s all been ripped up.” Property owners in the region register to let the hunters onto their sites all the way to the New South Wales border, and set guidelines for what is allowed on their property. “We want to show people that hunting can be done in a managed way,” he said. “The first year was set up at my property, with a $1000 prize that I put in to attract people, now we see $20,000 in prizes and a huge number of families joining us for the weekend.”

Charities like the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Angel Flight also receive donations from the cost to register. The 2017 event had 1036, or 32 tonnes of dressed pigs caught by the final weigh-in, with this year’s official tally just shy of last year’s count. Mr Osborne said a few utes had broken down before they could make the count on August 12, which would have tipped the numbers over the 1000. “We find the people that come to our event don’t cause trouble, though you get a few first-timers to the bush as part of the event,” he said. “About 100 feral cats were caught as well, and we set up games for the young kids to

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6 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Innovation in the field Universal Drones setting the standard in drone technology in the rural sector

SAVING lives, creating jobs and increasing on-farm efficiencies is the future of drone technology in agriculture. Owner of Universal Drones Gary King regularly hears how the technology and equipment is taking off with producers, farmers and graziers all finding innovative solutions in the field. “Drones are now an established tool of the land, not just a toy,” Mr King said. “There are so many practical uses, but safety and time-saving is what we see a lot of. Farmers can do tractor and grain auger inspections without having to get on the machinery itself, reducing fatigue and the risk of accidents.” Checks for vermin control and biosecurity can be assessed with the use of drones, while spraying and seeding, checking bores and water levels in dams, and assessing large cropping areas can be undertaken

with the help of drones. The operator can do regular checks on pregnant livestock or sick, distressed, injured or track down animals that escape, without the need for travelling long-distances across their property to do so. New custom orders have seen producers go large-scale with their products, with Mr King saying the future of drones is in driver-less cropping. “In the future I think you’ll see equipment that will replace crop-sprayers that need a pilot, and instead be operated from the ground. We’re already working toward a product that can spray 27,000 litres of chemicals. This will mean properties don’t need an airport.” Mr King has seen such high demand for custom-made equipment in the Western Downs and beyond that Universal Drones is

Drones are now an established tool of the land, not just a toy.

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set to expand to open a new store in Chinchilla in early September, sharing a site with environmental company Australian Agricultural & Environmental Solutions (AA&ES) at 25989 Warrego Highway. Customers from as far as Quilpie, Charleville, Taroom and Injune will now be able to pick up equipment and learn about products from the Chinchilla store. “We talk to people about using drones for mustering livestock and monitoring feral pests including wild dogs, pigs or

kangaroos.” “Expanding to Chinchilla really shows how in demand and versatile our products are, and one of my favourite things to do is to show people who may be unsure of just what these products can do,” he said. “We’ve challenged people to do their morning farm checks and routines and have shown them how to save time and energy with drones. It’s all about understanding how cattle and crops work and putting that knowledge into practice for monitoring, and movement.” The team from Universal Drones regularly attend trade shows to talk to producers, farmers and graziers about the products, with custom-made drones on the rise. Phone Universal Drones on 4613 3154 to find out how you can make the most of drone technology.

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GRAZIER & FARMER 7

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Three men sentenced for goat theft Jacinta Cummins

POLICE WARNING: $59,000 worth of goats were stolen from the region.

THREE men have been sentenced after being found guilty of stealing and transporting goats in the St George, Dirranbandi and Bollon areas in late 2016 and early 2017. A 47-year-old Dirranbandi man pleaded guilty to charges of suspicion of stock stealing, fraud and Biosecurity Act Offences in the St George Magistrates Court on August 21. He was suspected of stealing $17,000 worth of goats. He received a 12-month sentence which was wholly suspended for three years. Joshua Wolff, 36, of Bollon was suspected of stealing more than $42,000 of goats and was found guilty of similar charges in Roma Magistrates Court on September 5. He was sentenced to two years in jail which was wholly suspended for three years. A 28-year-old St George man also received a $5000 fine but no jail sentence for like offences. Since they were charged, the Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural) in Roma has not had any reports of goat thefts from St George, Dirranbandi or Bollon.

The convictions prompted police to warn producers to tag their goats to prove ownership in case of theft. According to Detective Sergeant Scott Jackson of the Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural), goats have got to be held in the same regard as all other stock. “Even if they are feral, these goats may be the only source of income for some families, but without proper identification such as eartags it can be difficult to prove ownership if they are stolen,” he said. “A few simple steps, like ear marking with a registered goat or sheep earmark, management tags and suitable fencing maybe enough to reduce the temptation of stock thieves. “If we catch someone with stolen livestock, we can prosecute them for it, but unless we can prove ownership of the stock, the owners won’t be reimbursed as the money goes to the government.” Det Sgt Jackson said the thieves appeared to be targeting properties bordering stock routes. Det Sgt Jackson said it was a timely reminder that you cannot remove anything from the stock route without a permit.

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8 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Carrot crop is a winner at St George Lamattina group grows around 1000 tonnes of carrots a week Jacinta Cummins

Carrot farm manager Harry Mumford’s son Tyson Mumford with a bunch of carrots from the first carrot harvest at Rocky Lamattina & Sons St George farm. PHOTO: HARRY MUMFORD It is pulled by a Kenworth prime mover with a 113 tonne GVM. The B-Quad carries 20 bins of carrots weighing 62 tonnes. The first leg of the trip is to Bourke where a

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new driver takes over with another driver change at Griffith. The carrots arrive at the processing facility within 17 hours of being harvested. They are washed, packed and delivered to

customers within 36 hours of being picked. Angelo said the company decided to go with the B-Quad because it manoeuvres better and also because it offered the best weight distribution over the axle groups.

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THE first carrot harvest is underway at Rocky Lamattina & Sons’ St George farm with the crop on track to yield 5500 tonnes in the first season. Company director Angelo Lamattina said the quality was above expectations given the rushed planting. Lamattina only purchased the cereal cropping farm mid last year and planted it with carrots in March. One of Australia’s largest carrot growers, the company grows around 1000 tonnes of carrots a week at its two other farms in Wemen and Kaniva in Victoria. It established the St George farm so it could produce a consistent product year round; carrots are grown at Kaniva in the summer and Wemen in the spring while St George offers a mid-winter growing window. The St George harvest started on August 12 with good results. “It’s been a very good season,” Angelo said. “Talking to the locals the weather has been a bit cooler than usual and it’s also been drier than usual so we had colder nights, but apart from a few ducks and kangaroos early on there were no issues with the crop. “It’s all good news really; the move to St George has definitely paid off. ”The carrots are trucked to Rocky Lamattina & Sons’ facility at Wemen to be washed and packed. The company looked at processing them in St George, but considering the small harvesting window this was not practical. Instead, they decided to use a B-Quad to transport them to Wemen for processing. The B-Quad is made up of three A trailers and a B trailer and is the first non-mining one to be operated on Australian roads.


GRAZIER & FARMER 9

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Rewards for your top ideas $286,000 in grants for young innovators AUSTRALIA’S young agricultural scientists, innovators and researchers are being invited to submit their agricultural research project ideas for a chance to share in up to $286,000 in grant funding. Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the Science and Innovation Awards recognised the regional innovation that drives rural industries. “Research and innovation will help us capitalise on global food demand,” Minister Littleproud said. “Innovation drives productivity in Australian agriculture and helps us push towards the NFF’s vision of a $100 billion agricultural industry by 2030. “Each winner from the 13 industry award categories will receive a grant of up to $22,000 to help with their work or study in Australia’s agricultural industries. “Since 2001 the Science and Innovation Awards have helped more than 230 18-35 year olds turn their ideas into reality. “Last year’s winner of the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources’ Award recipient was PhD student Rhys Pirie, who grew up on a cattle farm near Harden, NSW. “Rhys’ project focused on ways to turn organic waste like livestock manure, sugarcane mill mud and cotton gin trash into low cost and efficient fertilisers. “I encourage passionate young scientists, researchers and innovators to submit the ideas they have to improve the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of their industries.”

SCIENCE AWARDS: Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud is encouraging young regional scientists to submit their research ideas to the Science and Innovation Awards. PHOTO: MATT TAYLOR Applications close on Friday 12 October 2018. The recipients of the awards will be publicly presented as part of the Australian

Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Outlook 2019 conference in Canberra.

For further information on the awards, and on how to apply, visit agriculture.gov.au/scienceawards.

WHAT THE FEDERAL EDERAL BUDGET MEANS FOR YOU: • Tax relief of up to $530 for middle to low income earnerss. • $121.6 million to boost Australia’s biosecurity, protecting g our producers’ clean, green status. MP • $84 million for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. • $53.9 million to improve regional students’ access to Yoouth Allowance. • $51.3 million for more agricultural counsellors to help prroducers enter new export markets. • $40 million in capital grants funding for aged care facilitiies in regional, rural and remote communities. • Extending the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small business.

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10 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Drovers hit the road in search of feed Drovers have been looking far and wide for vegetation for their stock since early May

ON THE MOVE: Boss Drover Cas Rogers watching out over her mob.

Working Dog Rex keeping an eye out.

WITH no signs of the drought breaking anytime soon and even less feed for cattle, drovers have been on the road with mobs from as far away as southern New South Wales and as far west as Blackall. Cas Rogers from Mount Isa has been on the road with a mob of black cattle from New South Wales since early May. Another drover has had a Hereford mob from the same owners on the road out around St George. Cas had been droving before, but this is her first time as the boss drover. “My husband and I are contract musterers, but work had dried up so I was looking for a challenge and saw an ad on Facebook for a

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drover,” she says. “I was going stir crazy not working and thought ‘Well I can handle cattle and ride a horse and it can’t be that hard, so next thing I had a mob’.” The cattle were trucked to Wandoan where she picked them up. Since then, after initially going south the mob turned and travelled north to Theodore. Cas’ crew were the first drovers in a long time to get a mob down the range between Taroom and Theodore, against the advice of locals. “Everyone said that there were cliffs and that the cows would just split up, I was really stressing but it came off pretty well,” she says. “It was a piece of cake compared to what I expected.

”When I ask her if droving as easy as she assumed, she tells me without hesitation that it’s the worst thing she’s ever done. “I actually do love it, but I originally thought it was just about cattle work when it’s also about politics and diplomacy and talking to locals,” she said. “Being outside and working with dogs and horses is great, it’s dealing with people and politics which can be the hard bit. “I’ve never had people speak to me like I have had on this trip, it’s incredible. “I had this one guy up in my face and I was just like ‘Whoa, whoa, you need to get down out of my face and let’s have a conversation like two adults’.” “I wonder if he would have done it if I’d been a bloke.

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GRAZIER & FARMER 11

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

I am looking forward to being in my own bed and having a real bath when I get home. It’ll be heavenly!

— Cas Rogers

“People are also just impatient, they don’t want to take five minutes to drive through the mob safely even though we don’t have them stretched out for miles. “They say you’re not a drover until you have assault charges against you but that’s not how I operate. “You smile and bite your tongue, but sometimes you can’t help it, you get a bit snakey back.” “My first weekend, I rang one of my mates and said I had no idea what the bloke (Banjo Patterson) who wrote Clancy of the Overflow was saying when he said he’d like to go droving because this is terrible. ”The iconic poem tells the story of a city dweller who met Clancy, a drover and a shearer, and now envies what he imagines is Clancy’s idyllic existence in the country in comparison to his own life in “the dusty, dirty city”. “It can be a tough gig, you see the worst of people like that but then you’ll see the best of people,” she says. “You’re always with your dogs, you’re with your animals, you’re outside and you have a great relationship with your cattle, but I am looking forward to being in my own bed and having a real bath when I get home. “It’ll be heavenly!”

Cas Rogers organising dinner

PHOTO: DUSTY CREEK PHOTOGRAPHY

Bevan Rogers preparing for a stock check. PHOTO: DUSTY BOOTS PHOTOGRAPHY

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12 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

PM adds school fees to relief list

SCOTT Morrison traded the streets of Canberra for the red, dusty grounds of Quilpie for his first official week in the job to discuss the ongoing drought in south-west Queensland. The new Prime Minister has dramatically widened the scope of the national drought plan by hinting at paying school fees for the children of struggling farmers. Drought support and resilience is a main focus for the Federal Government and, at the invitation of Maranoa MP David Littleproud, Scott Morrison has become the first Prime Minister to ever visit Quilpie. “When he was the Treasurer, he approved boosting drought support to $1.8 billion and now, as the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has seen how important this investment is to bush communities – like in Quilpie and Longreach in my electorate – up close,” Mr Littleproud said. Mr Littleproud and Mr Morrison visited Quilpie’s Stephen and Annabel Tully’s 180,000 acre property to see and hear first-hand about drought effects and the resilience of local farmers. “We’ve been in drought six or seven years so it was great to have the PM see first-hand what proactive measures including wild dog fencing and other pest and weed management activities,” Mr Littleproud said. “It’s one thing to try to explain something like drought or dog fencing to someone but it’s always so much better when they see it first-hand. “Mr Morrison came to learn and didn’t pretend to know it all, he listened,” he said.

HEADING WEST: The new Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, visited Quilpie in his first official week in the job. He is pictured with Agriculture and Water Resources Minister and Maranoa MP David Littleproud, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie and grazier Stephen Tully. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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GRAZIER & FARMER 13

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

DUSTY FIELDS: The drought conditions made for interesting play at the Ellerston Onassis Polo in the Outback event.

Quilpie’s sporting past Polo has a long history in the country region, and the community is still supporting it today THE Ellerston Onassis Polo in the Outback event in August was the first polo tournament in decades for Quilpie, but it was the people that came out that struck Ellerston Onassis Polo Club manager Glen Gilmore. Driving 1250km from Scone, New South Wales, for the weekend tournament, he experienced the best the town had to offer. “It was a very successful event that was well supported by the community. I’d spent a

bit of time out west but you forget how generous, giving and nice they are… they’re just a great style of people,” he said. “Distance means nothing to them. I know of people who drove home 200 kilometres at night to do work on their property and were in the car and back another 200 kilometres the next day.” Players from Toowoomba to Goondiwindi came out for the event at The Lake from

August 17–19, co-hosted with the Quilpie Digger’s Race Club, celebrating the town’s sporting past. While Goondiwindi beat Quilpie in the final, Mr Gilmore said both teams played exceptionally well and he enjoyed the day. “The field was prepared a couple of months beforehand by race club president Sam Bartlett, Jack Barnes and Steve Halls, and they spent a lot of time getting it all going,” he said. With the drought continuing to have a lasting impact on communities including Quilpie, this event was a far cry from the lush green grasses usually associated with the sport.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Mr Gilmore said polo had a long history in the region, with his father Stuart winning in the 1980s. “There’s a lot of history and it was so good to see the old trophies and chat to players whose fathers were also part of the sport,” he said. The last time polo was played in Quilpie was in the early 1990s. Mr Gilmore said he was encouraged to see more women joining the sport, something that was spurred on by a background in horse racing and interest in competitive sports. “The sport is growing and more people are getting involved. We’re hoping this event fires up the teams for the future.”

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14 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Meet Cotton Australia’s new chairman Hamish McIntyre steps up to a new role with industry trade body

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expected to be half the size of this year’s crop.” However, Mr McIntyre said he has a positive outlook for the future of Australia’s cotton industry. “The outlook is looking good for the production of natural fibres, whether it’s cotton or wool, due to the increasing issues with microfibre plastics in the world’s oceans.”

The outlook is looking good for the production of natural fibres, whether it’s cotton or wool, due to the increasing issues with microfibre plastics in the world’s oceans. The production area for cotton should expand to the northern regions of Australia, according to Mr McIntyre. “Our industry also has large scale growth potential in northern Australia,” he said. “Commercial cotton trials conducted this year have performed well. “So we’re looking at a change in land use up there.”

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IN THE CHAIR: Hamish McIntyre is the new chairman of Cotton Australia.

WORKING on a farm at St George during the school holidays is what first piqued Hamish McIntyre’s interest in cotton. That interest has led him to become the new chairman of Cotton Australia. “Our family has been growing irrigated and dryland cotton since the early ’90s, irrigated and dryland cotton,” Mr McIntyre said. “My first introduction to the crop was working for our neighbours, David and Betsy Turner, on the school holidays. “I did study agronomy at Gatton Ag College once I finished school and worked as a dryland agronomist in the Goondiwindi and Moree districts.” Mr McIntyre then returned to the family property in the Toobeah district to manage their grazing and irrigation development. “In 1996 I went on to manage a large-scale cotton irrigation development at Dirranbandi for the Cameron family,” he said. “My wife and I have since grown our family business to include irrigated cotton farms in the St George district as well as dryland farming, cattle breeding and feed-lotting.” Mr McIntyre has been on the board of Cotton Australia for seven years, and was deputy chair for three years before taking over the role as chairman. “I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “We have a challenging season ahead due to water shortages throughout our growing regions. “Without general rain our production is


GRAZIER & FARMER 15

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Clear up confusion on Mulga MP calls for feed source clarification from Govt MINISTER for Agriculture David Littleproud has called for the State Government to clear up confusion around its land clearing laws, which many farmers say stop them from using Mulga as a feed source. “Farmers in western Queensland have pushed Mulga to use as a feed source for stock during drought for generations,” Minister Littleproud said. “Now they tell me they’ve had a third of that feed source cut during this drought by the Queensland Labor Government. “Losing that much input would hurt any business in any industry. “Queensland Minister Anthony Lynham tells me this is incorrect and I take him at face value. “If this is the case, then I ask him to take Jackie Trad the real architect of these laws and Premier Palaszczuk to go out and sit at farmers’ kitchen tables and explain it to them. “Tell them they’ve nothing to fear from feeding Mulga scrub to their stock. Talk to them face to face. “They need to go and sit down with people Jacquie and Cameron Tickell from ‘Rylstone’ in Charleville and clear up the confusion, if that’s what it is. I visited them during the drought tour on June 5. “Or Stephen and Annabel Tully who the PM and I visited this week in Quilpie. “If Queensland farmers can continue to farm the way they have for generations then fantastic, tell them about it. “If the Queensland Government doesn’t go and clear up the confusion, the Federal Senate could possibly set up an inquiry into Queensland’s vegetation laws.”

SOURCE FOR STOCK: Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud is speaking out about Mulga.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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16 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Golden Hobbles Campdraft

Barney O'Brien.

TAKING STOCK: Brendan Harrison shows his horsemanship skills at

the campdraft competition.

Ben Weller.

Riley Kerr.

Lexi Fitzgerald.

Peter Knudsen.

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PHOTOS: JOSH MACREE


GRAZIER & FARMER 17

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Charleville celebrates 150 years

Bob and Sue Richardson.

LAUNCHED: Frances Harding and family at the book launch of The Accidental Australians.

PHOTOS: JORJA MCDONNELL

Dulcie Neilsen and Dot Sheppard.

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18 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The making of champions Years of the right breeding selections makes grand cattle MATT Ahern knows that his winning Romagnola cattle at this year’s competitions date back to making the right breeding and selection choices 10 or 15 years ago. It’s this knowledge that gives him great pride when judges praise his entries. “Knowing that generations of your influence on breeding has stood up and wins at shows, that’s as good as it gets,” Mr Ahern said. While succession planning was already underway, Matt and his wife Anna took over Romagnola Beef Genetics at their Roma property Bulala after the Anna’s father passed away in 2006. Anna had been working with her mother and father since graduating from university in 1993. A move to Roma for the family coincided with Anna and Matt starting a long distance relationship travelling between Brisbane and Roma. The pair married in 2003 and had been working on the property since, learning the ins and outs of how to breed the best cattle to handle the dry Australian climate. This year has seen them come away with a swag of awards, from Beef Australia to the EKKA Show’s Champion Bull and cow. Mr Ahern said the niche business sells about 50 bulls a year from Warrnambool to the Northern Territory. “We’ve always considered the shows as a shopfront to our bull breeding program. Romagnolas aren’t a mainstream breed, but they really handle the tough conditions across the country,” he said. The couple sell their bulls privately, meaning they don’t have to prepare their cattle for the

SWAG OF AWARDS: Anna Ahern at Ekka.

PHOTO: AMY WHITECHURCH

sale and can instead meet demand and use the shows to gauge their standing against other breeds. The key to breeding success in Romagnolas is a realising there are no shortcuts, with a focus on the female lines. “It’s as much about the animals you don’t continue breeding with as the ones you do. You’ve got to keep you focus on where you want to take the breed,” he said. “Many of our clients are looking for cattle that can handle tough conditions, that don’t need to be propped up with excess feed, cows that can calve every year without too much assistance, cattle able to walk long distances

and graze on what’s available.” Both Matt and Anna also work outside the farm, and while that makes work on the property tough at times, it has meant the pair has been buffered somewhat against the financial impacts of the ongoing drought. “The drought really can sneak up on operators, and it becomes a cycle. We’ve had to offload some cattle, but it’s at a time when many are, reducing prices, which when you add to huge costs of fodder, it catches up to you,” he said. “It can get quite scary and no one is immune to it. It’s been like this where we are for three years, but further west it’s been six. You just

can’t guess what’s ahead with the weather.” Mr Ahern said with little rain across this year’s winter, the effects were being felt across the country. “It’s great that we’re finally seeing recognition in the media about just how tough and unpredictable the weather is. Fundamentally though it is up to you to make the best decisions you can for your livestock and your future. “Make the decision early based on facts not based on the hope that it will rain.” Consistency over the years has been the proven mark of success for Romagnola Beef Genetics.

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GRAZIER & FARMER 19

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

CHANGES WANTED: LNP’s Ann Leahy wants changes to the vegetation laws.

Vegetation code out of order LNP takes up the fight against ‘draconian’ vegetation management laws THE LNP has again taken up the fight against the draconian Labor Government’s Vegetation Management in the State Parliament. The removal of the thinning code and the tightening of the fodder harvesting code have come at the worst possible time for those in the mulga lands. At a time when many are struggling to source feed and keep their stock alive the imposition of these unworkable codes is the last thing that landholders need. The LNP have fought to stop this new regulation in State Parliament, that makes harvesting mulga for fodder unworkable and

impractical and abolishes the code for thinning. The utilisation of mulga trees to provide fodder for domestic stock, during drought, has been part of routine management on many grazing enterprises in south west Queensland’s mulga lands for over 100 years. The landholders and farmers are angry, frustrated and disappointed by this Labor Government and they have every right to feel this way. Mulga fodder harvesting is not tree clearing there is plenty of science to prove this and it is all being ignored by the State Government. To over regulate mulga fodder harvesting

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under the guise of ending broadscale tree clearing is wrong. Fodder harvesting of mulga is about managing a cycle of vegetation regeneration. To put it simply it is like mowing the lawn – like the lawn the mulga is still there after it is cut – it regrows it regenerates and in many cases regenerates more mulga than before. At this time of drought when there are feed shortages throughout the eastern states – it is heartbreaking to see a bale in every tree of mulga that landholders just can’t access – because of this hostile Labor Government. This restrictive and unworkable regulatory

regime impacts not only farmers trying to keep their stock alive during a drought but it has a massive flow on effect to stockmen and women, fencing contractors, small business in towns like the local butcher, the tool shops, the feed supplier, the general store, the tyre repair shops to name a few. Again I have had to call out Labor Ministers in the Parliament who think that fodder harvesting mulga will somehow destroy the Great Barrier Reef. This State Labor Government are not good a reading maps nor do they understand managing the mulga lands. – ANN LEAHY


20 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Roma Saleyards set to host stock expo National event will give opportunity to highlight half a century milestone Molly Hancock ROMA is gearing up for the saleyards’ most spectacular year to date in 2019. Not only will it be celebrating 50 years of operation, they will also be hosting the Australian Livestock Markets Association National Expo. The expo will incorporate the association’s annual general meeting and will be an opportunity for saleyard and lairage owners and operators to visit Roma, participate in a tour of the saleyards during

its redevelopment works, as well as touring beef enterprises within the Maranoa. “2019 is going to see the combination of the replacement building of the new multi-purpose precinct at the saleyards to coincide with the saleyards existence of 50 years,” Councillor and portfolio chair for Roma Saleyards Peter Flynn said. “The Roma Saleyards was first built in 1968 and the first cattle sale took place in March 1969. There has been a lot of cattle and a lot of money through the saleyards in that period.”

Cr Flynn said an event of this calibre was traditionally hosted on the Eastern Seaboard and was a great achievement for the Maranoa. “The ALMA expo we have just come back from this year at the end of July, the range of speakers with regards to not only the saleyards, but the agricultural industry and the selling effects through the industry was outstanding and I believe we will be able to have at least the same quality speakers, if not better,” Cr Flynn said.

“So for us to have the achievement of securing the expo for 2019 to coincide with the 50-year milestone is a very highly worthwhile achievement. “One of the highlights we hope to bring to fruition will be at the fat sale on the Thursday morning we will be having a live streaming sale and that particular sale will be streamed live into the ALMA meeting.” The date of the 2019 Australian Livestock Markets Association Expo is set held in July 2019, with an expected crowd of 200 guests attending.

EXPO THE GO: Peter Flynn is looking forward to the ALMA National Expo being held in Roma next year.

PHOTO: MOLLY HANCOCK

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GRAZIER & FARMER 21

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Mitchell grazier to step aside from AgForce role Replacement will be first female president Marguerite Cuddihy & Molly Hancock. AFTER 16 years in the business and four years as the AgForce general president, Grant Maudsley has decided to step down. Durong cattle producer Georgie Somerset will replace him later this year after Mr Maudlsey chose not to re-nominate. Mrs Somerset will become the first female general president of AgForce. CEO Michael Guerin welcomed Mrs Somerset to her new role and paid tribute to Mr Maudsley, a Mitchell cattle and grain producer who has been involved at various levels with AgForce for 16 years. “It‘s been an exciting and challenging time in Queensland agriculture over the past four years, with drought, vegetation management and an aborted Defence Department plan to compulsorily acquire farmland among the issues confronting our members,” Mr Guerin said. “Grant has been a prominent voice and tireless advocate for Queensland agriculture, and has been at the helm while AgForce streamlined our organisational structure. “It’s a reflection of his strong leadership that

our membership numbers have been increasing steadily and there is renewed interest from primary producers right throughout Queensland seeking involvement in AgForce boards and regional councils.” Mr Maudsley said it was a privilege and honour to serve in various capacities for AgForce and he looked forward to continuing to serve as general president for the next two months before stepping back to give a new team the opportunity to take AgForce forward. “I feel a great sense of pride in how AgForce has strengthened over the past four years, how the industry has united on common causes, and how individual producers have felt more empowered to speak up on their own behalf or through our organisation and others,” he said. Mrs Somerset runs a family beef cattle farming business in Durong with her husband, Robert, and also serves on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation board, is a director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Queensland, and Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service. The changeover will take place after the AgForce annual general meeting on November 20.

TIME FOR A CHANGE: AgForce general president Grant Maudsley will step down later this year after four years in the top job. PHOTO: AGFORCE

Rural Financial Counselling Service SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND

Financial Assistance for Rural Producers Deadline approaches for First Lump Sum Payment

The Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland would like to advise landholders about some changes and deadlines in relation to the Farm Household Allowance. Farm Household Allowance is available to assist farmers who may be experiencing financial hardship due to climatic or industry challenges. The Australian Government program, provides eligible farmers and their partners with assistance to improve their long-term financial situation with both members of a couple able to access the fortnightly income support payments. A snapshot on Farm Household Allowance (FHA):• Farmers who qualify for Farm Household Allowance can receive the payment for up to 4 years • Payment amount of $25,625.60/annum per couple or $15,350.40/annum for singles • There will be two Lump-Sum payments up to $12,000 (couples) and $7,200 (single households) • Net farm assets (value of assets less debts) has increased from $2.6 million to $5 million • Eligibility – you must be a commercial farmer (or a farmer’s partner), satisfy income and assets tests, meet residence requirements and be willing to engage in activities aimed at improving your business’ financial situation Apply now – Eligible Farmers in receipt of Farm Household Allowance on payment by 1 December, 2018 will receive the FIRST lump sum payment of $6,000 per couple or $3,600 per single.

Contact details - Roma/St George - 07 4622 4858; Charleville on 07 4654 3455 or www.rfcssq.org.au Supported by the Australian and Queensland Governments

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Southern Queensland rural financial counsellors can provide any farmers with information of the FHA as well as assist with the application process. Our services are free, confidential and impartial with counsellors who are mobile and can meet at a place convenient to you. We urge you not to self-assess and make contact with one of our rural financial counsellors today.


22 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Harnessing the sun Solar power is the future for staff at The Pump House

THE Pump House Branch manager Nathan Smith has watched on for two decades as technology has transformed the agricultural industry’s ability to work smarter, not harder. As an alternative to generators or windmills to pump water, The Pump House staff have become experts in pumping solar systems, which they supply, install and service. Solar pumping was a way for farmers and producers to “go green”, saving money on rising power costs and overheads as well as reducing work place safety incidents as workers are no longer required to scale windmill equipment. “Solar really is the future of the industry,” as Nathan says, “and we’re seeing it across Australia as companies realise they can get a consistent output from the product. “Solar really is the cheaper and more effective option, with products becoming more efficient and cost effective.” The Pump House services clients supplying pumping solutions right across Australia. “After 20 years on the job I know our team are in the best position to make sure what’s being used on the land is going to stand up to our harsh conditions.” Cattle producers, feedlots and remote sites without power are key users of solar pumping systems. The Pump House only sell top quality Australian and European brands and products that they fully guarantee, service and back up. They have experienced customers that have purchased cheaper alternatives hoping to save money, but soon realise that they just don’t stand up to our harsh conditions and let them down time and time again and that’s disappointing for everyone. The Pump House has stores in Chinchilla, Nambour, Gympie and Beerwah covering all of aspects of water management.

SERVICING CLIENTS: Peter and Bev, of The Pump House. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

Solar panels installed by The Pump House staff.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

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GRAZIER & FARMER 23

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24 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Grazier & Farmer  
Grazier & Farmer