Page 1

August 2015 – Edition#13

Getting your fertiliser right will pay dividends Applying more fertiliser and lime to your paddocks than is actually needed by your pasture can be a huge waste of money and can have impacts on soil and pasture health and pollute our waterways. Apply too little and you could end up with poor quality pasture and slow growth.

This project is supported by Cradle Coast NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and by Meat and Livestock Australia’s More Beef from Pastures Program.

Register now to join the Farm Nutrient Efficiency Program to get it right. The guide will help you get the right nutrients at the right rate, in the right areas - and at the right time - to maximise production and protect the environment. “This is a hands-on course that will step you through the process of determining key nutrient management zones on your farm for soil sampling and ongoing monitoring,” said Luke Taylor of AgAssist.

Tasmania needs more beekeepers

“Farmers would learn how to use this information develop your own long term nutrient and lime program.”

NRM ran a free information session about beekeeping in Burnie on 5 August. Charlie Trafford, a beekeeper with over 20 years’ experience hosted the session and explained why bees were important to Tasmania.

The program is for beef and sheep producers of North-West Tasmania (Cradle Coast region) and starts 15 September with a series of workshops and farm visits and with only eight spaces available at a cost of $575 (plus GST) per farm business.

‘We're desperately short of beekeepers in Tasmania,” Mr Trafford said. “We're about 2,000 hives short of our pollination requirements.

To register or for enquiries contact Luke Taylor from AgAssist on 0409 963 201 or email info@agassist.net.au

“Even hobbyists with a small number of hives at home can make a difference. They’ll definitely improve the yields in your and your neighbours’ gardens.” 1


August 2015 – Edition#13

He said keeping just a few hives would keep you in free honey, but also help all the surrounding farmers by increasing the number of bees pollinating plants.

beekeeping training workshops which will teach you everything you need to know to get started. For more information contact Tom O’Malley, Regional Landcare Facilitator (Cradle Coast NRM) on: 0408 055 272 or via email at tomalley@cradlecoast.com

Real-life results from small landholder property management planning

It’s estimated that one third of worldwide food production is pollination dependent, and honey bees are very efficient pollinators. Tasmanian crops including stone fruit, pome fruit, berry crops, vegetable crops and pasture crops depend on honey bees for successful pollination, fruit set and economic yields. Charlie, who has been training beekeepers for about 12 years said he wanted people to understand how to look after their bees and be on the look-out for problems. “We all need to ensure our bees are healthy and disease-free.” Interested in becoming a beekeeper? Cradle Coast NRM is supporting two practical

Rosemary Hambleton and Garry May are hobby farmers from Moorleah who took part in Cradle Coast NRM’s small landholder property management planning program last year. Almost a year on, Rosemary and Garry have given us a rundown on how they’re going with their priority actions from their action plans. “One of our major actions was to fence off our waterway to exclude stock and to allow us to plant a native buffer along the banks,” Rosemary said. “We run Dexter cattle on five hectares they’re a smaller breed that has less of an impact on the ground than larger beasts. We also have alpacas,” she said.

2


August 2015 – Edition#13

“We decided that fencing the waterway was a priority because we wanted to reduce erosion, allow excess water to have a chance to soak in, create a natural shelter zone for our stock, and support our integrated pest management efforts by providing habitat to creatures that eat pests on our pasture and crops.”

huge advantage.

She said protecting the waterway by keeping the stock out meant that water quality had improved and they were not getting as much topsoil deposited in there.

Being able to identify grasses means that you can find more information about them, such as their suitability for livestock or companion animals, such as horses.

“We’re allowing plants around the watercourse to grow up and form a canopy to reduce evaporation and cool the water.”

“Grasses are extremely important in Tasmania,” said project coordinator of the revised edition of Common Grasses of Tasmania, Kerry Bridle.

From a land management point of view, it’s important to be able to identify weeds from preferred plants, especially if those weeds are classified as declared weeds, threatening agricultural enterprises and nature conservation areas.

“Grasses support agricultural production by providing the bulk of feed for the grazing industries in the state, in addition to adding carbon to the soil profile,” Kerry said. This new edition from leading University of Tasmania researchers updates the well-loved Common Grasses: An Agriculturalist’s Guide, first published by Peter Lane and others from the School of Agriculture, University of Tasmania.

Common grasses - new edition Did you know that there are more than 250 ypes of native and introduced grasses in Tasmania? For landowners in particular, being able to tell the difference between useful perennial grass species or weeds can be a

The book has descriptions and images of more than 250 native and introduced grasses that can be found in our farms, parks, reserves and gardens.

3


August 2015 – Edition#13

“The book will be particularly useful to people who would like to identify species that have not been sown as part of a pasture programme, like those found in rough grazing areas. Once you can identify what you have, you are in a better position to manage it. The colour photographs and detailed drawings mean anyone will be able to identify grasses in their area, even if they have little or no botanical knowledge,’ said Kerry. Want a copy? You can get your own hard copy of this useful book by contacting Tom O’Malley by email tomalley@cradlecoast.com or phone (03) 6433 8400. You can also download a copy from the Cradle Coast NRM website

4

Profile for Cradle Coast Tasmania

Across the Paddock - Edition 13  

Getting your fertiliser right will pay dividends

Across the Paddock - Edition 13  

Getting your fertiliser right will pay dividends