Page 1

South Central and West Gippsland




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PAGES 11 - 19

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Opium poppies spell hope for potato farms DEPI assesses prospects of a new commercial industry By DAVID PALMER

TIMELESS IMAGE: Owners of draught horses and associated implements and those who owned other old farm equip-

ment, gathered over a showery late November weekend at the historic Wandin farm of Mont de Lancey, to show how farms operated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Here Derek Kennedy, Stratford and Brian Pinches, Traralgon, prepare to encourage 20 year old Clydesdale Bazza through another plough run at Mont de Lancey. In the background Ray Mackey, Healesville, gives Blue and Harvey a rest from further cultivation. Mr Pinches owns the latter two.All tasks like haymaking and ploughing took much longer to complete and required much more labor. Normally large numbers of city people attend the annual event but showery weather kept the crowds down this time. More pictures from the event on page 4.




„ Continued page 3

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TASMANIA will lose its stranglehold on growing opium poppies for legal narcotic drugs such as codeine and morphine, if trials of the valuable horticultural crop in the Ballarat area are a success. Thirteen trial sites across Victoria, involving three companies, mostly in the west, are being assessed by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries. The sites have been established away from roads under great secrecy for security reasons. In Tasmania, where 800 growers have 25,000ha under production, any motorist stopping to even look at a poppy crop is subject to farmer scrutiny and reporting. Currently an opium poppy

crop can only be grown in Tasmania by a farmer who has a contract with a manufacturing company and a licence from the Tasmanian government. Worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. Nationals MP for Western Victoria, David O’Brien, has welcomed the opium poppy trials in Victoria because they could lead to a lucrative new industry for the south-west, at a time when potato prices are being depressed by imports and processors writing down contracts. Last month Southern Farmer spoke to a truck owner who was preparing to haul 25 tonnes of potatoes more than 500km from the northern Riverina to a Ballarat processor.

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Page 2, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

Conferences, shows and field days Eezee Shelters & Stables Ph: 9449 5777. Fax: 9449 5788 Mob: 0407 545 927


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Level 1, Suite 103, 486 Whitehorse Road, Surrey Hills, North VIC 3127 Phone (03) 9888 4822 Fax (03) 9888 4840 Email:

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The Southern Farmer is published by Hartley Higgins for Reliance Press, a division of North East Newspapers Pty Ltd ACN 006 238 277 and is printed at 37 Rowan Street, Wangaratta, 3677.

Š 2012

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The Southern Farmer takes all care in compiling specification, prices and details but cannot accept responsibility for any errors. All prices are correct at time of printing and are subject to change without notice. No material, artwork or photos may be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers. Letters to the editor may be shortened because of space considerations. Every effort is made to preserve the context of letters.


Covering Central South Victoria and West Gippsland

THE Country Fire Authority will hold a ďŹ re ready meeting at the Cape Paterson life saving rotunda at 9am on Saturday, January 4. A similar event will be held at the Grantville hall on Thursday January 9 at 7.30pm. For more information, contact Bass Coast Emergency Management coordinator on 1300 226 278 or South Gippsland Council on 5662 9206. THE 2014 all dairy breeds youth camp will be held between Monday January 6 and Friday January 10 at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds. Sixteen to 20 year olds will learn how to handle heifers, show and judge dairy cattle and learn new breeding techniques. The cost is $325 per person and more information can be found by emailing sbird@ The Bass Coast summer show will be held at Wonthaggi on

HORSES have tended to be rather more reliable for Merton beef cattle farmers Bill and Vicki Higgins than the four wheel drive which used to haul their oat and horses to draught horse events for 170,000km. Their previous mostly popular brand diesel four wheel drive required four sets of injectors, at $1000 a time, within 170,000km.


3 1.2

hold an information day in North East Victoria on Saturday February 8 from 1 to 5pm. More information: admin@, Tanya on 5751 1466. Four representatives from one of the most important soilscience think tanks in the world will come together in Bendigo from March 24 to 27, for an international policy and technical workshop on soil change. Dr Luca Montanarella (Italy), Dr Helaina Black (UK), DrDominique Arrouays (France) and Dr Neil McKenzie (Australia)– all members of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of theUnited Nations’ Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils –will join Australian and other international experts at the Soil Change Matters workshop at the Capital Theatre. The event will have a particular focus on agricultural

land use and how the work of soil scientists around the globe is playing out in the paddocks. For more information visit The Kyneton Museum will host a lost trades demonstration and information session at the museum on a date to be announced in March. For more information visit The date has been set for a Discover Agriculture program in Gippsland in 2014. The six-day Discover Agriculture tour of Gippsland,will run from Sunday May 18 to Fridayy, May 23. A total of 21 places are available and the cost is $330 per student. The program is available to students in years 9 to 12 in 2014 from anywhere in Victoria. For more information contact Roger Tyshing via email at

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Saturday, January 11. More information: equines@basscoastshow., au, 5672 3259. The Tooradin tractor pull and truck show will be held at the Rutter Reserve on Saturday, January 18. THE Kilcunda lobster festival will start at 9am on Sunday, January 26. More information: Andrea Black, 0400 065 253, secretary@, THE Warragul rodeo will be held at Logan Park, Howitt Street, Warragul starting at 6pm on Saturday February 1. There will be eight main events and four junior events, a beasts versus bikes challenge, rides, games etc. Proceeds will support the hospital, Helimed and Riding for the Disabled. More information: www.warragulrodeo. Chestnuts Australia Inc will


So recently they traded it in with a car dealer in Shepparton and swapped to a new Isuzu four wheel drive for $13,000. The couple related the story to Southern Farmer at the Wandin draught horse and historic farm machinery weekend at Mont de Lancey homestead near Wandin in late November. The weekend before the Melbourne Cup always marks horse feed harvesting time on the Higgins’WoodďŹ eld farm and many interested visitors attend so they can see farming as it used to be. They grow three acres (1.2ha) of oats which they harvest with a horse drawn reaper and binder. Stooked in the paddock the oats stays that way to cure for a month

HAY HORSES: Hauling the hayrake at Mont de Lancey is 14 year old Blaze and four year old Buddy, both Clydesdale crosses. Bill and Vicki Higgins are in attendance.

before they cart it into their shed and later reduce it to chaff. The Higgins belong to the Heritage Draught Horse club and attending rallies consumes much of their spare time, with attendances planned at

four rallies in November alone. The club also has learning days for new members and 15 members and 26 working horses turned up at the last one at Bonnie Doon. In addition, they do

weddings and every September school holidays, undertake a seven to 10 day horse hauled caravan drive along the Broken Creek near Numurkah. The Higgins originally grew strawberries near Healesville.

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Southern Farmer, Page 3

Cattle give way to bikes moving west

PRODS SUPERFLUOUS: Bike ride participants load their bikes for transport to the ride start in Mount Gambier.

phrey estimated that the average worth of each bike was about $1000 making it one of the most valuable cargos he had carried at one time. It was also certainly the cleanest and least restless Most of the livestock transport contractors engaged for the task came from southern Victoria and Nab Pak had another on the job as well. Mr Bomphrey said no one complained about damage to their bikes

on the three to four hour trip to Mount Gambier, although some thought their bikes had accumulated a vaguely cattle or sheep smell. No doubt all the fresh air and rain on the week long trip back to Geelong solved that niggle. Neb Pak’s two trucks were 420kW T650 and 450kW 605 Kenworths hauling just the trailer portions of their normal B-double conďŹ gurations. When Southern Farm-

er spoke to Mr Bomphrey in mid December, he was loading 25 tonnes of

bulk potatoes in Hillston, NSW, to go to Western Victoria.



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THE annual Great Victorian Bike Ride in November was a huge logistical exercise as usual with more than 5000 cyclists undertaking the 700 or so kilometre ride over a week from Mount Gambier to Geelong. Firstly, most participants gathered in Geelong and Melbourne and sent their bikes to Mount Gambier on one of 12 livestock transports like this one, while they took seats on one of a ďŹ&#x201A;eet of buses. Nab Pakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Paul Bomphrey, Newlyn, owns and drove this truck to Mount Gambier with about 200 bikes with pedals removed and handlebars turned. Some, presumably the more expensive were boxed, he said. However, Mr Bom-




The Agricultural Machinery Specialist

Opium poppies spell hope for potato farms Mr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien said the state government had been working with industry for the past two years to assess the possibility of opium poppies being grown in Victoria. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For a variety of reasons including reliable climate conditions, the industry is looking to begin commercial growing,â&#x20AC;? he said. Clearly too, skilled horticulturists like potato growers are well placed to take on the crop. One Ballarat district farmer interviewed by the ABCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AM program, had to submit to a criminal background check just to be allowed to take part in the trial. On air he was suitably vague about the whole thing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There might be a bit of something unusual going on; a bit of a specialty crop growing somewhere,â&#x20AC;? he said.

However, he said the last seven or eight years growing potatoes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;have probably been the toughest Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen since Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been farmingâ&#x20AC;?. Up to half of the raw material for the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opiate pain relief drugs comes from Tasmania. But the island state may not be able to keep its stake in the lucrative industry to itself for much longer. Demand is growing as populations in the developed world age and developing nations get richer. So the industry is outgrowing Tasmania and looking to the mainland. Keith Rice from the Tasmanian Poppy Growers Association says Tasmania is keen to keep the lucrative crop to itself for a while longer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re certainly hoping that there isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a move to Victoria in the immediate future, but we do recognise that in the long term this crop will expand because

the world demand for pain management material will increase.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile the Victorian Government plans to introduce laws to allow commercial poppy crops to be planted, possibly as early as next year, because the state government believes it could create a $100m industry for the state. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one of the companies trialling Victorian production, which would complement its processing plant at Port Fairy. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Steve Morris said its customers and the industry itself requires more security of supply. He said the company would likely start harvesting the trial plots in late December. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So by March weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll start to get scientiďŹ c readouts of these trials; how much alkaloid they contain is the main parameter that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be looking for,â&#x20AC;? he said.



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Page 4, Southern Farmer

January, 2014 SILENT SAW: OH&S laws would not allow Don Wright, Yea, to demonstrate his Crossley engine and former WA goldfields mine timber sawbench in action at Mont de Lancey. The engine features a new 230mm diameter cylinder head made by Mr Wright through which he drilled water cooling channels every 13 degrees around its rim. The problem then was to make the shiny new head externally rusty and Mr Wright successfully used an historic technique drawn from Tony Robinsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s TV series on The Worst Jobs in History.

Farmers conjure historyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s labors By DAVID PALMER




OWNERS of draught horses and associated implements and those who owned other old farm equipment, gathered over a showery late November weekend at the historic Wandin farm of Mont de Lancey to show how farms operated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All tasks like haymaking and ploughing took much longer to complete and required much more labor. Normally large numbers of city people attend the annual event but showery weather kept the crowds down this time.

FINE CUT: Stewart and Jim Bennett, Woori Yallock, keep tabs on the performance of their 1950s New Record dragsaw driven by a 2hp Roseberry engine.




HOT METAL: Tony Jones, Healesville demonstrates his blacksmithing skills on a cooking tripod leg.



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PRETTY PRESENTATION: Don and Joy Walker of Lilydale, Melbourne brought this popular, close to century old 6kW (8hp) Austral engine to the machinery festival. In 1928, there were more than 2000 of these machines in use on Victorian farms. Dated to 1926, it had an earlier career with the New South Wales Rice Board but did not perform well in the cold winter morning starts in the Riverina, according to Mr Walker, and was returned to Ronaldson Brothers and Tippett in Ballarat for some modifications. Later, the engine powered a 240V generator at Newstead. The Walkers purchased the engine 25 years ago in working condition for $2000 when its previous owner became unwell. Mr Walker has plenty of experience with machinery as he operated a Caterpillar grader for the Board of Works for 25 years before becoming a private earthmoving contractor.


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Southern Farmer, Page 5

Tribunal allows wind farm bid Trawool Cherry Tree farm knocks out ‘fear campaign’ tactics By DAVID PALMER THE Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has approved the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposed for Trawool, east of Seymour. Yes 2 Renewables’ Leigh Ewbank said the decision was “rare good news for the wind energy sector”. Mr Ewbank said wind farm proponents had been hard hit by onerous laws introduced by former Victorian premier Ted Baillieu. “The project would not have been possible without an active proponent and supportive community,” he said. L o c a l c o m m u n i t y o rganisation BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group was a vocal supporter of the Cherry Tree Range proposal after known anti-wind farm groups came to town with a fear campaign about wind

farms and health impacts. “VCAT’s decision once again proves wind farms are clean and safe,” Mr Ewbank said. “They’ve rejected the claims that wind farms make people sick. VCAT said in its decision that the views of NSW Health as reported in the Bodangora determination and the Victorian Department of Health publication expressly stated that there was no scientific evidence to link wind turbines with adverse health effects. “These are the views of state authorities charged by statute with the protection of public health,” Mr Ewbank said. “These views must be respected.” Documents obtained by Friends of the Earth through a Freedom of Information request showed that the Mitchell Shire Council – based in Sey-

mour – spent at least $165,000 in legal costs fighting the proposed windfarm. The proponents received development consent for 16 wind turbines, a sub-station, access tracks and an electrical collection system of underground and overhead cables. The turbines are expected to produce enough electricity to power 26,000 homes and prevent 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere each year. It is said that the project will provide $250,000 worth of steady income for local wind farmers. Friends of the Earth estimated the farm will generate up to $80,000 for a community fund each year, contribute $76,000 worth of rates to the Mitchell Shire per annum and inject $1.2m worth of flow on economic benefit to the local economy.

RESIDENT ALPACAS: These Creswick Mills’ based alpacas represent the starting point of the ‘A Very Fine Yarn’ interpretative experience.

Creswick open to interpretation CRESWICK Woollen Mills has launched its A Very Fine Yarn interpretative centre at Creswick near Ballarat. Tours through its new months-in-themaking interpretation

space enabled visitors to learn and understand the history of the mill, Australia’s last colored woollen spinning mill. The tours included a fully interactive experience, showcasing

the journey of fibre – specifically alpaca fibre – all the way from its source on the animal through the manufacturing process and finally to the retail shelf. Tourism and events

manager Briony Fay says the new exhibit gives insight into natural fibres, how these are processed and enables visitors the opportunity to see Australian manufacturing as it happens.

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Page 6, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

Kyneton: a centre for stylish containment By DAVID PALMER


eing about 75km from Melbourne puts Kyneton within relatively easy commuting distance from the capital. And that means many residents escape to the city every weekday. But unique containment, at least of farm animals, is the reason three Kyneton locals have made names for themselves. The first is Kate Ellis, probably the southern hemisphere’s only traditional female hedge layer, who with a chainsaw and a Staffordshire billhook, makes old hedges stock proof and capable of stylish containment again. The second is Huntley Barton, a dry stone waller who has built numerous walls on farms in the region. “Knackered now” as he puts it, he still employs two or three teams for drystone wall work locally and further afield. In laying a hedge, Ms Ellis cuts halfway or more into the width of living trees and shrubs’ stems, at about 1.2m above ground, the height of a normal fence. She needs a total starting height of about 2.5m though. Then she bends the stems to about 45 degrees and weaves them between vertical pine stakes she drives into the hedge line soil every half metre. Ms Ellis became fascinated with the craft when she lived in Scotland for a decade to gain a PhD in environmental science at St Andrews University.

When she returned to Australia, she learned the craft from two Tasmanian hedge layers and then laid an old 100m long elm hedge on her own property at Lauriston near Kyneton. Now she is growing out a row of elm suckers left after judicious mowing,to eventually form a second hedge on her sloping boundary. ComeApril, Ms Ellis will lay and rejuvenate a century old and straggly 300m long hawthorn hedge at the Kyneton Botanical Garden. She said that will then be the only botanical garden in Australia to have a laid hedge. To minimise stress on hedgerow plants, the laying season is from April until September, while plants are dormant. Ms Ellis said hedges were coming back in Europe and North America as well as here. In Britain it has been estimated that about 800,000km of hedges were removed over several decades from the 1960s, so big cropping equipment could be accommodated. There are many kilometres of old and disreputable hawthorn hedges around Kyneton and the central highlands with the potential to be laid and rejuvenated, she said. Ms Ellis said the advantages were that they again formed a stock proof barrier, which also provided shelter for livestock and refuges for wildlife. She binds hedge tops with willow she cuts from nearby streams and also uses that to make tree guards, woven fences and lattices.

Ms Ellis charges by the hour and would generally lay three to four metres in an hour, depending on how thick the hawthorn or elm is. Like drystone walls, there are dozens of styles of laid hedges largely determined by British geography and she has adopted a midlands style. n the drystone wall front, one of Mr Barton’s biggest jobs was a decade ago building a walled garden at Flinders which took his team of three and four two years to complete. It took so long because there wasn’t just a wall around the perimeter, but walled gardens within the main one. He said they used Dromana stone - “It’s pretty but it’s a bastard to deal with” – and the crew were very pleased when the job was finished because it took so long and they were so far from home. The granite came from Hillview Quarries and it was blown apart to make it manageable in the walls. Because of the hard physical work over 25 years, Mr Barton no longer builds drystone walls. However , he still has three teams available to do drystone walling in the district and elsewhere as required, “because it is our bread and butter”. Other work involves restoring stone buildings locally and in Melbourne and making cemetery headstones with a staff of eight or nine. His two main drystone wallers are in their 40s and are still physically fit.


“But they have probably looked after themselves better than I did,” Mr Barton said. Off the main roads there are extensive stone walls still keeping paddocks secure in the Kyneton district. “There are literally hundreds and hundreds of metres of them along the Campaspe River, built between the 1850s and the 1880s,” he said. One of his neighbors at nearby Greenhills, told Mr Barton his ancestors there only had to plough three furrows before spending the rest of the day carting the rock they had unearthed to the site of the new wall. Labor was no problem because there were many people walking to the goldfields and they were happy to work for a fee to help build walls. But because of the unskilled workers the end job was nothing like the superior stone walls of the Western District for example. Mr Barton said along the major roads in the area,stone walls dating from that period,were demolished and crushed for road base in the 1920s and 1930s. “There were two or three portable crushers and teams took them along the main roads crushing the walls as they went and putting it into the roads. “There were walls all the 30km or so from Kyneton to Redesdale and they have all gone now.” Most available stone in this area is large boulders. “So we split them and then we can do what we want with them to make really strong walls,” he said.

EDGY LAYER: Kate Ellis with a woven elm tree guard she sells for about $100. Demand was brisk before Christmas.

WALL WIZARD: Huntley Barton with a drystone wall that he built at Flinders.



January, 2014

Southern Farmer, Page 7

Tuohey: help UHGH¿QH9)) Lobby needs commercial edge VICTORIAN Farmers’ Federation president Peter Tuohey has called on VFF members and the wider farming community to help the organisation to develop a commercial edge. Mr Tuohey told Southern Farmer that VFF members had done the ‘heavy lifting’ for all Victorian farmers and rural communities in the past year but a significant challenge lay ahead. “We need to maintain our competitive edge in policy but also develop the commercial edge that we need to grow our membership over the next decade,” he said. “We have to remember that while policy might prime non-members, it’s hip-pocket value that gets them across the line.” Mr Tuohey said many VFF members spend countless hours away from dairy, tractor or family attending meetings, poring over emails, developing ideas, submissions and delivering feedback on a vast array of issues. “These are members like Richard Anderson who first proposed and won the support of others in ensuring the efficient use of environmental water was counted as a 650-gigalitre contribution to the 2750-gigalitre Murray Darling Basin

target,” Mr Tuohey said. “Richard and the team put a roadblock in front of a cashed-up Federal Government to ensure the environment delivered its fair share of water savings – not just irrigators. “It’s meant that 650 gigalitres of water, worth about $1 billion, isn’t simply stripped out of irrigation communities.” Mr Tuohey said the other hard campaign headed by the VFF was a 15-year campaign to get what he called an “unfair” Fire Services Levy taken off farm property insurance premiums. “In the end the government listened and delivered, cutting the farm rate from 52 cents per $1000 of capital improved value (CIV) to 31 cents, which wiped $21 million off the cost of the FSPL to farmers,” he said. The VFF was also building the next generation of farmers with its Young Agribusiness Professionals’ program. It had held 11 forums this year to engage students, young farmers and others in a strategy to promote agriculture and recruit the future players in Victoria’s food and fibre production. The young farmer recruitment campaign, called “Gen F.”, had been highly successful, Mr Tuohey said.

NEW CHALLENGES: Victorian Farmers’ Federation president Peter Tuohey and his faithful kelpie.





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January, 2014

Composted blackberries yield earlier B

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stream seven years ago to capture the early spring blackberry market. They bought an old 4ha strawberry farm and planted about 3.5ha to blackberries and soon discovered they had blackberries to sell two weeks earlier than production from their Silvan farm. More recently they have applied about 100 cubic metres of compost a hectare to some plants and found they produce berries another week earlier than at Silvan. Steve Chapman recently told delegates to the Mooroolbark Berry Quest conference, that Silvan is about 270m above sea level while Coldstream is about 200m lower. That means nights are generally two degrees cooler and days several degrees warmer at Coldstream, meaning flowers break out two to three weeks earlier in the town. There was also more canopy in the composted areas although that was more pronounced last year immediately after the composting. In a one year old block, the compost treated plants were greener and had thicker canopies. he Chapmans installed hail netting for the areas strong winds at a cost of about $40,000 a hectare when they bought the farm and that has helped produce more fruit too. The netting also keeps plants cooler in summer, reduces evaporation and helps keep birds out. But Mr Chapman said a non farmer neighbor made quite a fuss when they installed the netting. “Despite the fact he has an 8ft (2.4m) high coppiced hedge around his whole property, I think his thrust was, although he couldn’t see it, the netting would devalue his land,” he said. It was a complaint not taken up by the local council, which until about a year ago, severely limited via permits, the percentage of high value fruit crops farmers could protect with netting. “However, the Victorian government changed the


BLACK ON BLACK: Checking out the Chapman’s blackberries are Sita organics’ James Downs and Bhanu Sharma, Compost Victoria’s Slobodan Vujovic and Steve Chapman. Sita provided the compost for the blackberries.


regulations in the green wedge so we no longer have to have a permit for structures such as this,” he said. Mr Chapman said the soil at Coldstream was heavy clay which was quite different to the red volcanic soil at Silvan. “The clay soil holds a lot of water in winter but pretty well none in summer,” he said. “We did have raspberries here but they are not really suited to the heavy clay soil which is low in organic matter because it was growing strawberries for years.” The raspberries went well for a couple of years. “But when the 10 year drought was followed by a normal wet winter/spring, they died pretty quickly,” Mr Chapman said. However, weeds are not as great a problem at Coldstream as they are at Silvan “because even they have trouble dealing with the clay soil”. Mr Chapman said the block was lacking organic matter which led the brothers to apply compost. They do this by slitting the Weed Mat and spreading the soil ameliorant with a twin belt Seymour compost spreader, into that gap. To control weeds, the Chapmans apply Basta very carefully from a four wheel drive bike. Mr Chapman said be-

cause compost encouraged more surface roots from blackberries, there could be undesired exposure to the Basta “so you need to be a little wary”. s far as insecticides are concerned, they like to spray with soft ones that are organically registered but destroyed by sunlight. “So if it is an insecticide such as Success or a BT we need to spray at night or very early in the morning because they are not effective otherwise,” Mr Chapman said. Plant nutrition needs are determined by soil and leaf analysis interpreted by brother Mark and an agronomist. A fertigation system applies small amounts of a complex tailored mix of nutrients in liquid form every day from shedded tanks which hold several weeks’ worth of enriched water. Boron and zinc go on as foliar fertilisers. One reason they moved into computerised fertigation was because the normal Melbourne Water mains supply was irregular. “Previously we relied on mains water but at certain times of the day there was not that much pressure and if it dropped too low, we found a couple of blocks which were struggling.” He said another reason for the automatic system, was that they both lived at Silvan


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and were sometimes not at Coldstream for a couple of days. Mr Chapman said water was getting quite expensive “but we don’t use a lot; last year we probably used 1.5ML”. “It would be different if we were trying to produce autumn fruit but because the aim is early fruit, they are all finished by Christmas,” he said. Despite minimal run off, the Chapmans are involved in a Melbourne Water project aimed at reducing sediments and nitrates in run off water going into the Wandin Yallock Creek. Southern Farmer asked Mr Chapman if they had considered going organic with the blackberries. “It used to be black and white; you were either organic or conventional,” he said. “Now, though, I think most farmers are closer to organic but say it is not worth the effort going the whole way. “Organic compost is a good place to start but weeds are the problem because you can’t use herbicides,” he said. He said their blackberries should yield between 10 and 15t/ha although year old plants might only go eight. The brothers have also established a cherry and persimmon farm at Gooram.

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Southern Farmer, Page 9

Bank predicts dairy up-trend AUSTRALIAN dairy producers can look forward to an improved year in 2013-14 thanks to increased price offerings and better seasonal conditions in major dairy producing regions. NAB regional agribusiness manager central Victoria Dave Davies said this improved sentiment follows a challenging 2012-13 for dairy farmers due to ongoing dry conditions, lower prices and lack of fodder availability. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Encouragingly this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opening prices for liquid milk and milk solids at the farm gate have lifted by an average of 20 to 25 per cent for southern exporters,â&#x20AC;? Mr Davies said. Also providing impetus to this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outlook has been a notable improvement in seasonal conditions, with ample rainfalls in the southern states during autumn and winter, coupled with a timely fall in the Australian dollar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Looking ahead, average rainfall conditions are forecast in the key dairy producing regions of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania,â&#x20AC;? Mr

Davies said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This should ensure the availability of irrigated water supplies will not be a constraint, while an expected bumper crop for southern grains should also lower supplementary feed prices,â&#x20AC;? he said. These factors are helping drive improved sentiment, with 73 per cent of dairy farmers in August saying they were fairlyto-very positive about the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future, compared to just 44 per cent in February, according to Dairy Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest National Dairy Farmer Survey. Mr Davies said that farm gate prices for northern producers are also expected to rise with the general tide, but not to the same degree. On the production side, however, the new Australian seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s year-to-date milk ďŹ&#x201A;ows have not shown signs of a pick-up in response to strong price signals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Milk ďŹ&#x201A;ow in the ďŹ rst four months (to October) of the 2013-14 marketing year was about four per cent lower compared to 2012-13, but wide regional variations exist,â&#x20AC;? said Mr

STRONG ADVOCATE: Australian Dairy Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; chief executive officer Natalie Collard says she loves how dairy farmers go about their business and believes the industry is in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a very exciting phaseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

Davies. Looking at the global picture, dairy prices have remained at historically high levels despite the Oceania peak production period now under way.

This has been supported by strong pent-up demand from the downturn in supplies from New Zealand, the United States and Europe earlier this year. However, higher prices

are beginning to entice a positive global supply response, with New Zealand and the United States likely to generate the greatest quantity of surplus milk for processing into dairy

commodities in 2013-14. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Europe many countries are showing strong growth in output but demand from their domestic market is currently soaking up the newly available

milk,â&#x20AC;? Mr Davies said. NAB - Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest farm lender - remains committed to Australian agriculture and is a proud supporter of International Dairy Week 2014.


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Page 10, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

Grow-and-eat dining a great boost for Joost By DAVID PALMER

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MONBULK farmer and restaurateurJoost Bakker is close to realising his dream of establishing a unique rooftop vegetable garden in Melbourne. He told Southern Farmer last month that he was close to finalising a rooftop site at the corner of St Kilda Road and Toorak Road close to the Melbourne CBD and hoped to start establishing the garden early in the year. His first choice was the CBD, but he had been unable to gain the permission of the Melbourne City Council for a site he had chosen in the city, because the garden would have taken the building over its allotted height limit. He hopes to get 40 to 45kg of potatoes, 60 to 70kg of tomatoes and about 140kg of cucumbers a square metre from the new garden. “Six square metres is

STRAWBERRY FIELDS: Thousands of strawberry plants produce, protect and decorate the outside of the Bakker house at Monbulk a concept used by Joost Bakker on various greenhouse restaurants he has established temporarily in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

enough to grow food for a family,” he told a mid November Ballarat meeting about optimising food production. Mr Bakker is renowned as a sustainability entrepreneur and creator of the


Made in Australia


greenhouse restaurant concept in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, usually for food and wine festivals. His permanent restaurant is Silo by Joost at 123 Hardware Lane in the Melbourne CBD and the rooftop garden he aims to start will supply some of its needs. “The thing about Silo I’m most proud of is the fact we have mineral water, wine, beer, whisky, and milk in kegs, the latter from Simon Schultz near the Twelve Apostles,” “Eden Valley biodynamic wheat – we grind one tonne a week for pasta, pizza bases, doughnuts and bread in the restaurant - and other ingredients come in paper bags which can later go into a dehydrator.” All organic waste goes into a dehydrator in the lane outside - because there are no rubbish bins - and the output becomes fertiliser to grow new crops. “If you want to supply me, you have to use a returnable crate, or reusable or recyclable container,” he said. Mr Bakker said the restaurant was vegetarian

for its first six weeks in the middle of 2012, because it was illegal to take delivery of meat, “without it being wrapped in all sorts of crap. “We got a lot of publicity so suppliers quickly worked out they could supply in returnable plastic crates, which we wash out with this amazing thing called Ewater.” Mr Bakker has even gone to the extent of recycling the urine his clients deposit at the café. He said urine was an amazing nutrient and if kept for a couple of weeks, became a most useful but natural herbicide too. So by providing special Caroma waterless urinals for men and Dubblettendual bowl toilets for women, Mr Bakker has been able to collect customers’ urine to use in a full scale fertiliser trial at Daylesford which started in June The latter have a second bowl, within a standard lavatory bowl, so they can separately collect urine provided by women. “They enabled us to harvest 3000 litres of urine in the first three

weeks,” Mr Bakker said. But when he wanted it moved to Daylesford, to grow mustard commercially, he found it was illegal to transport raw urine. So because no transport company would take it he had to use his own ute. Seats in the restaurant are covered by waste leather from the historic GreenhalghTannery at Ballarat. It is from the necks of cattle where the thickness goes from 3.5 to 4.5mm and was cheaper because most leather workers like a constant thickness, he said. Chairs are made from his brother’s old irrigation pipes and were welded up by the guy who fixes his irrigation pump. The floor is made in a herringbone pattern from worn conveyor belts used by Rio Tinto. He will not allow any of his chefs to buy hydroponically produced food because he doesn’t believe it has the flavor or goodness of soil grown produce. Meat will only come from invasive species and will comprise wild goat and carp.


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January, 2014

Southern Farmer, Page 11

Beef week entries equal record Additional showing day in 2014 to provide further opportunity for on-farm inspections By DAVID RIZZOLI A TOTAL of 263 studs representing 33 breeds have entered the 2014 South Eastern Australian Beef Week to be held over nine days from January 28 to February 5. And the Southern Farmer region will be well represented. At the 2013 field days some 69 of the region’s studs were represented across 22 breeds. For 2014 the region will be represented on days 5 (Saturday, February 1), day 6 (Sunday, February 2),day 7 (Monday ,February 3) and day 8 (Tuesday, February 4). The field days are Australia’s biggest on-farm open day event. “The move to expand Beef Week from eight to nine days has not only attracted more entries, but increases the opportunities for visitors to inspect cattle on more properties,” Beef Week director Geoff Phillips said. The extra day has been enabled by dividing the 59 studs in one dayin the area of the eastern Riverina which runs from the Murray River north to Canberra, into two days with 30 in the northern half and 29 in the southern half. The nine day event will start on Tuesday, January 28 in the north-east Riverina to Wednesday, February 5 in the south-west of Victoria and Mount Gambier. There will be two multi-vendor displays. At the Mount Gambier showgrounds 12 studs will be representing10 breeds on day 9 with Lardner Park in Gippsland hosting

12 studs representing six breeds on day 5. Three other major studs from South Australia will bring their cattle to the Mortlake saleyards on day 8, Tuesday, February 5. The highly successful RASV Heifer Challenge, held in conjunction with Beef Week and which attracted 59 entries in 2013, has again attracted 60 entries. The winning stud will receive $4500 in prize money. Each entry displays a pen of 10 heifers and contesting stud masters say that pen generates much extra interest and discussion. The numerically largest breeds will be Herefords/Poll Herefords (79) and Angus (59), its largest entry since 2008. Limousin are well represented with 19 and Charolais with 15 studs, its largest entry in more than a decade. Seven studs will show Australian Lowlines, its largest entry since 2006 while the bloodline is represented in new breeds Speckline and Ausline, which are first time entries. Another first time entry in 2014 is the White Galloway. According to Mr Phillips, Beef Week offers a great opportunity for seedstock and commercial producers to compare breeds and studs within the breeds, before making buying decisions. “Beef Week allows studs both big and small to display their stock,” he said. “Many sell privately on the day and for many studs it is their major marketing day of the year, while others display

WATERING POINT: A group of visitors discuss the cattle at High Spa Angus, Daylesford at a previous Beef Week field day.

their bulls catalogued for upcoming on-property sales.” Mr Phillips, who has been the Beef Week director for 21 of its 23 years of

existence, concludes that the event is the nation’s premier event of its type and promotes the excellent seedstock herds in Australia’s south-east.

M o r e i n f o r m a t i o n : w w w., Geoff Phillips, 0411 413 599, beefweek@ozemail.

Brighter beef prospects next season AU S T R A L I A’ S b e e f industry faces brighter prospects in 2014 with strong international demand, combined with tight local supply, according to a new report released by agribusiness banking specialist, Rabobank. The report, Beef in 2014: Demand bright, local supply tight, says the decline in beef production, particularly in lean beef, in the United States – Australia’s second largest beef export market – means Australian product will be in demand.

The US will experience a significant decline in beef production in 2014, the Rabobank report says. “The urgency to rebuild the US herd is becoming ever more pressing due to the ongoing liquidation occurring over the past three or so years,” Rabobank report co-author and animal proteins analyst, Matt Costello, said. “If weather permits, US producers will need to grow cattle numbers which are now at 60-year lows. “With tight US supply

forecast for 2014, this will help drive strong demand for Australian product.” However, the Rabobank report cautions, in other less traditional markets – where cost is the primary determinant – growing competition from India should be expected, with increased local Indian supply available for export. Increasing exports of Indian buffalo meat in 2014 will target South East Asian markets, according to the report. “A fter becoming the world’s second-largest bo-

donesia welcomed, assuming supply can be sourced. Mr Costello said after a very difficult two years, Australia’s beef sector will be hoping for increased returns in 2014, as supply tightens domestically and global beef demand remains strong. “Looking ahead to 2014, the ongoing drought conditions in Australia are likely to further hinder any growth in livestock numbers,” he said. “Between January and September, total Australian

vine exporter in 2012, the growth in the Indian buffalo meat shipments continued throughout 2013, increasing four per cent in the first six months of 2013,” he said. “Of particular importance is India’s continued push of buffalo exports into markets such as Vietnam and Thailand presumably through grey channel for re-export to China.” Additionally though, more optimistic signals are forecast in the live cattle trade, the report says, with increased demand from In-

cattle slaughter has been sustained throughout 2013, increasing 14 per cent or 842,000 head year-on-year, to 6.8 million head with the majority of the additional processing volumes attributed to cow and heifer slaughter.” Mr Costello said since January 2010, significant herd rebuilding has taken place, but the seasonal pressures of 2013 have forced producers to offload breeding stock with total herd expectations around 28 million head.


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Page 12, Southern Farmer

Going native with Scots

In brief Sargeant wins major award DEPARTMENT of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) grazing systems specialist Kate Sargeant has received a prestigious national award for her tireless work on the EverGraze project. The Future Farm Industries CRC Limited Chairmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award recognises Ms Sargeantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exceptional contributions to the EverGraze project over the past six years. The Box Hill-based project leader works on the national flagship perennial pastures program.

Jacqui Feagan - 0409 384 007 Email:

THE Alto Native Angus stud will be demonstrating that Natives are a genuine commercial Angus for todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s markets at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Beef Week. The stud will display for sale 10 HBR and APR bulls and a number of females on day 8 of Beef Week, February 4. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These bulls and heifers offer breeders a very safe, easy alternative and an opportunity to rediscover the benefits of the Native Scottish Angus,â&#x20AC;? said Alto co-principal Joy Howley. On show only will be females by various Native Angus sires and four


Stock on show at Beef Week - Lardner Park Multi Stud Display Saturday, February 1st 2014 Quality Young Stock for Sale



BULLS FOR SALE BY SIRES OF THE WINNING TEAM Thankyou Team H and Finley High School for your excellent preparation and presentation of our steers. Congratulations to all involved in the winning Borthwick Team.

CHRIS & LEONIE DALEY 640 Grand Ridge Rd, Mirboo North, Vic 3871 Ph: (03) 5664 8369 M: 0414 920 187


PURE ANGUS: H9, an Alto Native Angus bull.

heifers and ďŹ ve bulls, the 2012 calved results of the ďŹ rst imported purebred embryos from the Erica and Cherry Blossom families, by Dunlouise Jipsey Earl E161. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are performing extremely well in Australian conditions.â&#x20AC;? Mrs Howley said. She said Native Angus are proving very popular in bringing genes for easy calving, fertility, longevity and grass conversion, to commercial and stud Angus in Australia and around the world. Long admirers and breeders of traditional Angus, the Howley family at Caramut near Mortlake, turned to the main present day world source, Geordie and Julia Soutarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Dunlouise



are for sale during Beef Week

H.Robin Hood H.43


Robin Hood D.194 was purchased at the Dubbo National 2010, in partnership with Ke-Warra stud. He has outstanding Breedplan EBVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, and his excellent rising twoyear old, grass-fed, sons show all the qualities of their sire. A son sold Dubbo 2012 for $10,000. D.194 is out of the great U.5 cow, dam of all Robin Hood bulls, and his sire is by Allendale National W.168 (Sire of the year $85,000) out of Allendale Musketeerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (Sire of the year $58,000) full sister. Two sons of Valma Oakley D.38, purchased Wodonga, and selected females, are also for sale. All visitors are most welcome.



PHILIP R. GAY, Ph/Fax 03 5345 6167; Mobile 0412 565 292 3832 Creswick-Newstead Road, Kingston 3364 (8.5 kms from Creswick)

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South-east Australia becomes SEEDSTOCK CENTRAL from Jan 28 to Feb 5 when the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier seedstock producers open their gates. Visit our website or call at any participating stud on their open day and pick up a Beef Week book.









Wednesday February 5




DAY 3 DAY Thursday January 30

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Fox Simmentals,Thorpdale;Oakfarm Murray Greys,BulnBuln;Kentsie Murray Greys, Labertouche; Debonair Limousins,Trafalgar and Ungulla Murray Greys, Athlone. Bulls and females to suit all purposes, both stud and commercial, will be for sale on the day. Viewing and purchasing from local studs at Beef Week ensures that you are buying quality cattle with many years of breeding history, including EBV data and ďŹ rsthand experience from quality studs in the area, said organiser of the Lardner Park showing, Melinda Kent. More information: Melinda Kent 0407 862 657.




Mt Gambier

FOLLOWING a very successful Beef Week showing at Lardner Park, Warragul, in 2013, a number of Gippsland breeders will display six breeds at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event on Saturday, February 1 from 9am to 6pm. Breeds will include Angus, Australian Lowline, Ausline, Limousin, Murray Grey and Simmental. New studs to show there will bePinaroo Hills Simmentals, Bunyip; Mt Ararat Simmentals, Nar Nar Goon; Glenroy Murray Greys, Labertouche; Colombo Park Lowlines, Thorpdale; Tarrawarra Lowlines,Yarra Glen and UrilaLowlines, Merricks. Returning to the fray will be Fernleigh Angus, Labertouche; Red

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book; descendants of the original cows form the Bontharambo Heritage Herd today. Acknowledging their rarity and role in modern breeding programs, John Docker with manager Dane and Ingrid Martin, are working hard to preserve the herd and its unique genetic bank. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As in all species,breed preservation work is essential; we look forward to the results at Bontharambo. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also it would be great to hear of more old genetics tucked away somewhere in Australia,â&#x20AC;? Mrs Howley said. More information: Joy Howley, Alto Angus, 0421 989 317, (03) 5599 8 3 5 2 , a l t o . n a t ive a n,www.




â&#x20AC;&#x153;Certainly the females we have on the ground attest to this view; the Native Angus has also been proved to require lower maintenance and a high capacity to finish off grass.â&#x20AC;? A recent purchase from Alto by Dockers Plains herd, Wangaratta, Alto Hamish HKDH2, wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the first Native bred bull sold by the stud. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Dockers project really appeals to us and we are pleased Hamish has gone to such a great program in a rare and valuable herd,â&#x20AC;? Mrs Howley said. The Dockers Plains associated Bontharambo stud was founded in 1919, one of only 14 breeders in the first 1922 Australian Angus herd

At the cutting edge...



stud, Angus, Scotland, to help build Native Angus genetics in Australia. Native Angus denotes purebred British Angus with no imported bloodlines in their pedigrees, traceable to the first Aberdeen Angus herd book in the 1860s. American Angus Hall of Fame spokesman Kurt Schaff said of Jipsey Earl, â&#x20AC;&#x153;His+42 milk EPD is in the top .01 per cent of 23,448 bulls tested in America and is a measure of the outstanding productivity of his daughters, who also consistently combine excellent fleshing ability, natural thickness, structural soundness, early puberty, breed character and their own distinctive look of quality.â&#x20AC;? Mrs Howley said,

Gippsland breeders join cattle exhibition

First Sons of

H.Robin Hood H.29

January, 2014


January, 2014

Southern Farmer, Page 13

Bungaree beef breeder chases genetic docility â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Several generations to get it rightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; at Ballarat limousin stud

Dairy farms FRQÂżGHQW

BLACK AND TAN: A Bonian bull and cow/calf combination at Bungaree.

recurring customer. He bases 50 per cent of his genetics around the Bonian lines. Te m p e r a m e n t a n d structure are important to Shane and he finds Bonian genetics suit his system. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I also like the depth of breeding in Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; stud,â&#x20AC;? Mr Hohnberg said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has multiple generations of breeding and this gives consistency to the lines of calves he produces each year.â&#x20AC;? Within Breedplan, Mr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien measures birth weight and 200, 400 and 600 day weights. Muscle scoring, and docility are also documented. Any animals that score low in docility are culled from the herd immediately. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Breedplan is an invaluable tool to measure and compare traits within my herd,â&#x20AC;? Mr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It also allows me to compare my herd with other Limousin studs.â&#x20AC;? As part of Bonian

marketing, James has a show team that is carted around the countryside to various shows. These include numerous regional shows, Melbourne and Sydney Royalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and as far afield as Rockhampton Beef Expo. Chalking up a num-

ber of awards for 2013, James confirms that he must be heading in the right direction if independent experts are giving recognition to his cattle in a competitive environment. As part of continuing to build the Bonian profile, James has provided

a heifer to a school competitor from Tasmania to exhibit at the Adelaide Heifer Show for the last few years. Although his heifers have only received minor placing James sees the opportunity as another avenue for exhibiting his genetics.

007 ANGUS STUD Bulls for sale by Ardrossan Equator A241 EDVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for 400 and 600 growth in the top 5% of the Breed. Inspection Welcome. $3000 - $3500 each.

Phone 0418 541 705 For More information


Breeding Quality Simmentals For 25 Years Bulls & Females For Sale Â&#x2021;([FHSWLRQDOO\4XLHW Â&#x2021;([FHOOHQW*URZWK0XVFOH &DUFDVH4XDOLW\ Â&#x2021;(DV\&DOYLQJ Â&#x2021;9DFFLQDWHG$JDLQVW Â&#x2021;+LJK)HUWLOLW\ 3HVWLYLUXV /HSWRVSRURVLV

Gina Ryan and Family, Glenburn, Vic 3717. Ph/Fax: (03) 5797 8334

MURDEDUKE ANGUS Annual Bull Sale Wednesday, March 12, 2014


a e Y 1 2 g n i Celebrat

You are invited join the celebrations. Introducing Emperor. Guest of honour at our 21st



Contact: Simon Falkiner Mob: 0407 319 967, OfďŹ ce: (03) 5267 2381


OPTIMISM among dairy producers has kept Victorian farmer confidence at high levels in the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey. Although farmer sentiment has eased from last quarterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; moderated by a less positive outlook among grain producers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; confidence remains firmly wedged in positive territory. The survey found Victorian farmers the most positive.

Furthermore, he has progeny on the ground through natural conception using Froghollow Bradman and Birubi Exhibition. The sires he uses all exhibit traits of docility, moderate birth weight, good structure and above average growth weights. These are the key genetic traits James focuses on breeding into his herd. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I also select for adequate fat cover, while maintaining the muscle development that the breed is known for,â&#x20AC;? he said. Genetic docility is Mr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brienâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest priority. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I aim to continuously improve docility without compromising any other attributes.â&#x20AC;? It takes several generations of breeding to get it right, but it can all be lost in one generation if the wrong bull is used so correct selection is imperative. Bonian cattle have minimal handling and are grown out on pasture. Buyers often comment on how well the bulls perform once they get to warmer regions. The progeny are spread throughout Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland in both commercial operations and other Limousin studs. Shane Hohnberg, owner of Western Gold Limousins, Kyneton, is a


In brief

The four studs selling cattle at this event all have complementary philosophies and breeding program. Working as a cooperative, their aim is to offer only the very best Limousin bulls, elite females and genetic packages to clients. The 2014 sale will mark the third year of the sale and it is already recognised as the number one sale in Victoria for Limousin stud stock. Mr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien runs 50 stud breeders and also has a number of rising two-year-old bulls being prepared for the February sale. Mr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien has 25 years experience of breeding stud cattle, with primary genetics coming from the 1988 dispersal of Killkerry Limousins at Benalla. His aim is to be recognised as a top provider of structurally sound, â&#x20AC;&#x153;easy to handleâ&#x20AC;? Limousin bulls. He uses leading genetics from overseas: he inseminates from sires such as Wulfs Xtractor, Wulfs Spring Loaded, Runl Stetson, Romn Tow Truck, Wulfs US Army General and one of the latest bulls to Australia, Wulfs Yonkers. Annually he selects elite females for an embryo transfer program. Combining these with the chosen genetics he implants these in recipient Angus cows.


BONIAN Limousin Stud, owned by James Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien can be found on 80ha (200ac) nestled among potato farms at Bungaree, 10km east of Ballarat. It will be showcasing sale bulls and a selection of elite females at the home base on February 2 during Beef Week. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Buyers of Bonian bulls, can be confident that their purchased animal is healthy and capable of performing, without posing a biosecurity risk to the purchasing property or livestock,â&#x20AC;? Mr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien said. Bulls put up for sale are semen tested and Pfizer Star accredited. This accreditation includes a full vaccination program with Ultravac 7 in 1, Pestigard, Vibrovax and ear notched to make sure they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t carry Pesti Virus. Additional information provided to buyers includes measurements for eye muscle, fat and intramuscular fat. Max Bowman does scanning for these measurements. Mr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brienâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stud is part of the Great Southern Limousin Sale held at the Clifton Selling Centre in Hamilton. The 2014 sale will be on Monday February 17 and the first bull goes under the hammer at 2.30pm. Stock will be available for inspection from midday.


Page 14, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

High Spa quality focus HIGH Spa Angus stud will hold an open day three kilometres east of Daylesford on Sunday, February 2 during Beef Week. All are welcome to attend at any time between 9am and 6pm. A highlight will be an offering of performance recorded bulls with first class genetics, for both heifer and cow joining. PTIC females comprising heifers and mixed age cows will also be available for inspection and selection. Ease of cattle inspection is a priority and refreshments will be available throughout the day. Full pedigree and EBV information will be provided to buyers to make selections and Brian, Wayne or Kevin Mobbs will be available all day for further information or guidance if needed. High Spa aims for supreme quality in all aspects of breeding and introduces new and improved genetics to ensure they constantly have a commercially viable product for clients. It also looks closely at structure, conformation and fertility; good temperament is essential. Sale bulls in 2014 will include a group of outstanding working age bulls with sires including Booroomooka Astron, Landfall Everlast D66, Ardrossan Casino C18 and some excellent High Spa bred and selected paddock bull sires. Pens of yearling bulls will also be available for selection and many of them will be highly suited to joining heifer or mixed

Come and visit in Daylesford on February 2

BLONDE MATRIARCH: Pictured at 13 years old, Renard Queen is still the queen of the Rahnik herd at 17 years old. In 1998 and 2002 she took out supreme all breeds champion at the Royal Melbourne Show.

Rahnik blondes tie down size to Beef Week GOOD COVERAGE: The High Spa display during last year’s Beef Week.

age herds in May/June 2014. Heifer bulls on offer will include sires such as Sydgen Trust and Sydgen Mandate, along with High Spa Edward E3, an Angus Australia Sire Benchmarking Program bull with proven low birth weight and easy calving potential. High Spa has taken proactive steps via the Pfizer Star program to ensure its bulls will not introduce reproductive diseases into other herds. This involves a series of vaccinations and a test to prove there is no persistent infection with Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV). The Pfizer STAR program

was launched in January 2009 and STAR stands for Steps Taken Against Reproductive diseases. Other required health monitoring is undertaken at High Spa regularly as a matter of course because as seedstock producers, it considers it its duty to be vigilant in all aspects of animal husbandry and disease prevention. High Spa encourages at the open day, early selection of bulls to suit particular programs; bulls are conveniently penned for that purpose and all information is readily available. The stud also welcomes on farm visits throughout the year

by appointment. There is not the pressure at High Spa of trying to purchase bulls via an auction system, where buyers can end up taking home a bull for more than they intended to pay or for more than it is actually worth. There is also the possibility of missing out on buying a bull altogether or “making do” with a bull that may not be properly suited to the buyer’s program and end markets. Those wishing to gain prior information on the bulls on offer, can view pedigrees, EBVs and brief appraisals on High Spa’s regularly updated website.

DUE to a down sizing of their farm in moving Wahring/ Nagambie from Broadford, Rudi and Loree Spiteri will be offering for sale by private treaty during Beef Week, a large selection of their Blonde d’Aquitaine stud cattle. Their sale days will be Sunday February 2 and Monday February 3 and it will be the largest offering of Rahnik stock, for over 18 years. According to Rudi Spiteri, the offering will include 100 percent grass fed stock that are heavy muscled, early maturing polled and horned commercial bulls, a homozygous polled bull, unjoined females, cows with calves or in calf and a small number of imported embryos. The latter are from the famous Druk herd in England along with homozygous polled semen from Rahnik G Polled Express PP. Mr Spiteri said, “So if you are chasing anything Blonde, the chances are we will have it on the day.” The Spiteris run around 60 registered Blonde breeders under strict commercial conditions. “Our females must perform on paddock feed and have the ability to thrive in dry times,” Mr Spiteri said.

Fertility is a high priority while early maturity with heavy muscle and softness is sought after. “At Rahnik, we believe that female selection is equally important to our sire selection, to produce the powerful bulls and females that today’s market requires,” he said. Mr Spiteri said all stock purchased on February 2 and 3, may remain on the farm at no extra charge for up to six months, with delivery arranged at the buyer’s request. Then free delivery up to 300km from Nagambie will be available. During the sale days, all prices will be declared and clearly displayed on sale stock although a 15 per cent discount will be available to all repeat buyers Also, the usual 10 percent commission, will be offered to all agents introducing new clients. For those wishing to start a Blonde d’Aquitaine stud, Rahnik will be offering a Blonde stud package of eight stud registered heifers and one stud bull as well as one year’s free membership of the Blonde breed society. “We will offer easy sale terms with generous conditions,” Mr Spiteri said.

Beware snake bite


IT is the time of year when snakes are out and about and livestock and domestic animals are just as susceptible to the effects of snake venom as we are. The effects depend on the size and species of the snake, the period since the snake last bit, the size of the affected animal and the location of the bite. Signs of snake bite are variable, but in general, snake venom paralyses muscles. Severely affected animals develop muscular tremors and a staggering gait and become unable to swallow, and some will dribble saliva due to paralysis of the tongue. Snake bite can be difficult to diagnose at post mortem examination since the small puncture wounds and local swelling are hard to find in a large animal. Often a diagnosis is based on the sighting of a snake and the exclusion of other diseases.


January, 2014

Southern Farmer, Page 15

Banquet proud of unique Angus Mortlake stud has plenty to see and buy in February, with open day and annual bull sale NUMEROUS weaner sale topping reports from around the country are evidence that Banquet Angus’s unique type consistently produces young cattle that grow quicker for longer. So principals Stephen and Noeleen Branson take great pride in the success of their clients. They will host a segment of the Victorian Beef Week field days on day eight, Tuesday, February 4, with a bull inspection day on their Mortlake farm. The couple said some people find it hard to comprehend that these bigger framed and more powerful bulls have the same functionality and beginnings in life as most Angus sired calves. But the Bransons say it is what they do from birth onwards that is the defining difference. “Banquet sired calves start much the same as any other Angus, with easy care shape and moderate birth weights, but from there they have the genetic capacity to grow quicker and for longer, allowing our clients to meet a wider range of market specifications in a shorter time frame,” Mr Branson said. “Being able to market young cattle at heavier

WEIGHTY WEANERS: Doug Robertson, Nangana, Grassdale and his partner Pam McIntyre are pictured with a pen of 21 Banquet blood steers they offered at last January’s Hamilton weaner sale. These weighed 402 kg and sold at 176 cents/kg. Doug, who is a regular Banquet bull purchaser had 177 Banquet blood steers in the sale. PHOTO: Courtesy of Stock & Land newspaper

weights at the same age, or reaching a specified target weight earlier is money in the bank. “Our Banquet cattle have the extra bone needed to carry the extra muscling,

allowing producers to meet more markets within their feed availability period; simply these types are more efficient feed converters.” “Simply put in terms eve-

ryone can understand, we find they’re more profitable more often, and it is very pleasing when our clients continually verify this.” All these attributes also come with one other very

pleasing attribute, extreme docility. Originally extended from one very productive and extremely docile imported cow, Kiwi Dream, the herd is a dream to inspect and work with.

That has huge benefits in management and the eating quality of progeny. At the Branson family’s 2014 annual bull sale, on-property at Mortlake on Thursday, February 27, they will offer 125 “Big, Bold Banquet Bulls”, with a full inspection also on-property the Thursday before. They will also be participating in Victoria Beef Week on Day 8, Tuesday, February 4. Affectionately named “Keith”, Banquet Belief A387 will have some particularly impressive sons in the offering. This X030 son was admired by many leading up to the 2007 sale, but was lame on sale day from peer group fighting. With a full guarantee he was still offered and Keith Diprose was astute enough to purchase him for just $6000. He never missed a beat at Keith’s Chartwell Farms property consistently throwing top calves. Banquet negotiated using him out of season and collected semen thanks to the generosity of Keith and Merryl Diprose. We suggest you pay particular attention to this hardy bull’s progeny.



BULL BATTERY: Three bulls to be shown on February 11.


Mandayen increases bulls Sire lines will include the first progeny of RUNL Stetson, RUNL Xtra Loyal, Wulfs Xtractor and Mandayen Energizer E1338. Sons of the proven homebred sires Duracell D1098, Eveready E1385 and Mandayen Guardian A488 will also be available. This year’s sale bulls will be DNA tested for homozygous polled and homozygous black, vaccinated and ear notch tested for pestivirus. “Once again we will deliver the bulls for free in SA and Victoria and the entire sale draft will be on display at our 2014 on property field day on Tuesday, February 11,” Mr Gommers said. For more information, contact Damian Gommers, on 0418 824 799.

80 LIMOUSIN & LIMFLEX SIRES WILL SELL! Sons of industry leading sires’ including Made to Order, Stetson, Xtractor, Xtra Loyal, Energiser E1338 & Duracell D1098.

DAMIAN GOMMERS 0418 824 799


MANDAYEN, Australia’s largest Limousin cow herd will hold its 9th annual bull sale on Wednesday February 26 at 1:30pm at Mandayen’s Eight Mile sale complex, Keith, SA. The stud registers about 400 Limousin and Lim-Flex calves annually, sells more than 100 bulls each year and places strong selection emphasis on economical traits, structural soundness and docility. The 2014 offering will be increased to 80 high performance bulls with the genetic potential to improve docility, muscling and softness. This will give clients a great opportunity to secure quality bulls at value for money prices, said studmaster Damian Gommers.


Page 16, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

Quality breed from Baleze THE Baleze stud is very proud to be breeding the exceptional breed of cattle, the Bazadaise. The breed arrived in Australia in 1991 when Baleze

were in the forefront of their development. The stud joined cows that year and had its first Bazadaise cross calves on the ground in 1992.

Through careful breeding programs of flushing for embryos, plus importing embryos and semen from France, Baleze has established itself as the oldest and

Australian Lowlines Small, Easily Handled and Seriously Beefy

Southern Region Promotion Group Invites you to visit our Beef Week Display at Lardner Park, Gippsland t/05d06866/02-14

Day 5 Saturday February 1st 2014

The event provides a great opportunity for prospective purchasers to view the cattle on display and speak with stud owners about the many benefits of breeding Lowlines.

HIGH CLASS: Group of young Bazadaise bulls.

been tested so far, and all have shown extremely high markers for both tenderness and marbling. Later testing by the DNRE in 2002 for cholesterol levels, showed fullblood Bazadaise beef at 51 and Bazadaise/Angus beef at 53,compared withthe average beef cholesterol level of 77, this lower cholesterol level being beneficial for human health. In finished crossbred cat-

tle, dressing out is around 60 per cent or better. Even more outstanding is the saleable meat yield of around 80 per cent. And with the valuable primal cuts, butchers are always very impressed with the extra length of eye muscle. Backing up these findings to show what a Bazadaise bull can do in a cross breeding program, Baleze Bazadaise has won both

champion and reserve champion carcase at several carcase competitions in the last seven years and in fact over a number of years has always scored extremely well in every carcase competition entered. More information: Faye Tuchtan, (03) 5678 8366, 0411 732987, fax 03 56788247, fmt@dcsi.,

Taking natural advantages

For more information go to

STRATHEWEN ANGUS the performance breeders

DISPERSAL Private treaty sale NOW ON See our website for details t/04d04495/02-14


most respected Bazadaise stud in Australia, said stud principal Faye Tuchtan. Excellent foragers and efficient feed converters they thrive in the extreme heat of northern Australia to cooler Tasmania and all climates in between. Bazadaise are easy calving with muscle development only starting aftert wo to three weeks of age. Calves are born a wheaten color gradually changing to grey after three months. Generally, bulls are darker even to charcoal. Breed features are orange pigment around the eyes, pink mucous membranes and dark hardened hooves. With their short coat and thick hide, they have been found to be reasonably tick and fly resistant in northern Australia. Baleze has had a number of cattle tested with Gene-Star genetic markers for tenderness, marbling and feed efficiency, with outstanding results. Over 200 Bazadaise have

BOONDEROO South Devon cattle stud, owned by Hilary and Mark Jankelson, is positioned to take advantage of the best of many worlds - breed, climate, geography and soils. Situated on the volcanic uplands between the Campaspe and Coliban Rivers south of Lake Eppalock, it will be open for inspection on day six of Beef Week, Saturday, February 2 The stud will display bulls for sale and other stock will be available for inspection. South Devon cattle are recognised for their tender, tasty meat coming from carcases similar to those which this year won the Borthwick Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Show. Having been a dual purpose animal in the distant past, calves benefit from the calibre and quantity of milk produced by their mothers and from a high conversion rate of grass to quality beef. This characteristic dominates in

a cross breeding program. Climatically the Boonderoo cattle benefit because soils on the farm, retain moisture longer than most, thus contributing to a longer growing season for the pastures. From late winter to early summer, cows with spring calves at foot and cows with the previous autumn drop calves, are grazed in intensive cells created across paddocks using temporary electric fencing. On areas of a quarter of an acre, the animals are moved every two to three days, having eaten down the lush grasses and trampled the weeds. In rotating every thirty-two to thirty-six days through each cell, the cattle are always eating teenage fodder while the weeds are being suppressed. As soon as the pasture growth slows, the Jankelsons revert to more broadacre grazing, augmented by forage harvesting from their walnut orchard inter-rows. Unable to let the cattle in among

the walnut trees - they chew the irrigation lines - and rather than just slash the fodder that grows, the Jankelsons cut the lucerne and grasses which are thrown up into a large bin, using a Sovema forage harvester. This green, fresh and nutritious feed is then immediately delivered to the waiting animals. Because of the tree watering regime, we are able to continue this well into summer dry periods, Mrs Jankelson said. The bloodlines of the Boonderoo herd have been diversified with the introduction of genetics from interstate and overseas. In Australia there are 55 registered stud breeders and 55 registered commercial breeders, all supported by the South Devon Cattle Society of Australia Inc. Mrs Jankelson said that with quality semen now being available from across the world, the opportunities for South Devon cattle are ever broadening.


If you are chasing thick heavy muscled calves, this day is for you! web site:

NO INVITATION REQUIRED - So Please come along for a look and a chat

OPEN 2 DAYS - Sunday 6th No 679 & Monday 7th No 779

RAHNIK is having a Huge reduction sale!


Due to our property downsize, we are reluctantly offering around 50 Bulls & Females for genuine sale. Homozygous Polled, Single Polled & Horned, embryo calves, Homozygous semen & imported embryos. STUD starter package, ‘Big Arsed’ commercial Bulls, Stud Bulls & Females both Polled & Horned. This is our Largest ever offering of Rahnik stock, ALL at affordable prices with prices declared on all animals. Offering Generous Terms & conditions including free delivery within 300 km, 15% cash rebate to all repeat buyers. 10% Agent rebate introducing new clients, free agistment with future delivery anytime up to 6 months

Rudi & Loree Spiteri. Phone 0418575561

77 Wahring Euroa Road, Wahring 10 km north of Nagambie



January, 2014

Southern Farmer, Page 17

Murdeduke celebrates its 21st TWENTY-ONE years after founding a herd on eight females purchased from Te Mania, Murdeduke stud manager Simon Falkiner is now registering 550 calves annually and producing quality bulls and females finding their way to all parts of the globe. Mr Falkiner is preparing for the stud’s involvement in day eight of Beef Week, Tuesday February 4. Internationally the stud has exported bulls and heifers to China, Russia and Kazakhstan over the last five years. “Semen from our leading stud sire Emperor has made its way to the UK, Germany, Sweden, Chile, Brazil and New Zealand. “Confidence in his success has recently encouraged us, along with ABS, to buy out Aberdeen Angus who had a share in the bull,” he said. Emperor will be the guest of honor at many of the stud’s birthday celebrations in 2014 and the annual on property sale

on March 12 will feature Emperor and as many as 30 of his sons all of which have long Fed Indexes of over 100. Domestically Murdeduke’s genetics are performing well, not only in its heartland around the Geelong/Colac/Ballarat region, but also around Hamilton and Bairnsdale. “We are pushing north which involves developing ties with cattle producers around Charleville and Rockhampton in Queensland,” Mr Falkiner said. “We have participated, with great success, in two multi-vendor sales at Charleville over the last couple of years; we topped the 2012 sale and recorded a total clearance and highest average this year. “A total clearance this year was an outstanding result considering many sales in Queensland were achieving clearances of below 50 per cent this year,” he said. To ensure the momentum gained over the past

STAR PLAYER: Murdeduke Emperor will be the guest of honor at many of the stud’s 21st birthday celebrations in 2014.

21 years is not lost, Murdeduke again partnered with ABS, to secure Milliwah Gatsby for $55,000 this spring. The outstanding son of the boom sire Tuwharetoa Regent, Gatsby has been described as the template for

the future of the Angus breed, Mr Falkiner said. “He exhibits great natural softness and athleticism, coupled with a tremendous phenotype, which is not always seen in a bull with such extraordinary carcase attributes.

“While at Murdeduke, he will be put head to head with ABS Australia and Murdeduke’s other leading Angus sires Te Mania Emperor and Lawsons General G1730, thus ensuring all three bulls are thoroughly tested and evaluated under

commercial conditions. “It is a unique opportunity to test the commercial reliability and performance of the Gatsby, Emperor and General,” Mr Falkiner said. This year’s Beef Week display at Murdeduke, will see Te Mania Emperor, Lawsons General G1730 and Milwillah Gatsby feature, three sires that are having a big impact on Australia’s Angus herd. At Hamilton as part of the stud’s 21st birthday celebrations it will feature a selection of its 2014 bull sale team by showcasing a large draft of Emperor sons along with current donor cows and heifers. Sires featured in the next few years will include Emperor, Gatsby, Exar Upshot, Broken Bow, Elevator, Docklands and Te Mania Gaskin. Calving ease bulls used include Ellingson Identity (Aberdeen’s premier calving ease son), Booroomooka Inspired E124 and Rennylea Edmund.

Cross border raid vetted the Great Gatsby Murdeduke will use the bull’s annual visit to continue to drive its breeding program to the next level. He will be tested under paddock conditions to help ensure that his progeny perform reliably in commercial herds. While at Murdeduke he will be put head to head with Te Mania Emperor and Lawsons General G1730, ABS Australia and Murdeduke’s leading Angus sires, ensuring all three bulls are thoroughly tested and evaluated under commercial conditions. “It is a unique opportunity to test the commercial reliability and performance of the Gatsby, Emperor and General,” Mr Falkiner said. Also capitalising on the purchase, were semen right partners ABS Australia, Alpine and Ascot Angus Studs. Their involvement should give the industry added confidence as the bull will be quickly proven in the top echelon of herds across a diverse

cross-section of environments. His phenotype, clean sheath, near prefect structure (six for front claw set and the rest fives) and his carcase numbers of CWT +71, EMA +7.3 positive fats and +4.1 for IMF, were identified by the partners as the attributes that set him aside from other bulls available in the Angus breed. Semen sales will be managed by ABS Australia.

NATIVE SCOTTISH ANGUS Rediscover the Benefits Pure Scottish Origin Angus genetics Ease of production & Profit per ha For Sale: Bulls by Scottish Sires Dunlouise Semen Alto Females

PURCHASE COUP: Murdeduke, Pathfinder and Alpine Angus studs secured Milwillah Gatsby G279 for $55,000 at Young, New South Wales in December.


Joy Howley


A CROSS-border raid has netted Victorian Angus studs Murdeduke, Alpine and Pathfinder a top new bull to run in their paddocks. Described as the template for the future of the Angus breed, an investment of $55,000 was needed to secure Milwillah Gatsby G279. An outstanding son of the boom sire Tuwharetoa Regent, Gatsby was offered by the Caldwell family at their on property sale near Young in mid December. “Gatsby possesses great natural softness and athleticism coupled with a tremendous phenotype which is not always seen in a bull with such extraordinary carcase attributes,” said Murdeduke Angus stud manager Simon Falkiner. Gatsby will have an annual travel itinerary which will entail moving between Murdeduke (spring joining season), Total Livestock Genetics (semen collection) and Pathfinder (autumn joining season).

0421 989 317

DUNLOUISE Scotland ALTO ANGUS Caramut, Vic.

Open for Beef Week Day 6, Sunday 2nd Feb.


On display will be 20 rising 2yr old registered Limousin bulls, polled and docile, apricot and black, many of which are scheduled to be in the Great Southern Limousin Sale held at the Clifton selling complex in Hamilton on Monday 17th Feb. Come along and check them out before the sale. There will also be many elite females from the heart of the herd along with a number of ET calves by internationally renowned sires.

185 Bungaree-Wallace Road, Bungaree, VIC 3352. Phone: 0409 181 089


Page 18, Southern Farmer

Angus cattle now dominate feedlot

Beef language change to build ZRUOGPDUNHWVFRQÂżGHQFH Australian beef industry particularly to provide opportunities to differentiate the Australian product in international markets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beef producers are calling for changes calling to make the language relevant to the modern beef industry and consumer, both in Australia and internationally. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cattle Council, in conjunction with MLA, is in the process of developing a White Paper detailing beef and veal language categories and carcase speciďŹ cations based on scientiďŹ cally based eating quality measures and measures to satisfy consumer preference.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;This White Paper will assess all relevant current technology, as well as outline technology necessary to be developed to ensure that industry language stays relevant into the future.â&#x20AC;?

THE Cattle Council of Australia has congratulated Allan Bloxsom as the new chairman of AUSMEAT Limited and the Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards Committee. Cattle Council of Australia president Andrew Ogilvie said that he looked forward to working with Mr Bloxsom during his tenure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beef producers will be following Mr Bloxsomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lead with close interest as he takes on the challenge in his new role as chairman of AUSMEAT Limited and the Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards Committee,â&#x20AC;? Mr Ogilvie said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Cattle Council is driving a study of the future requirements for the language used in the beef industry, including the AUSMEAT language, to ensure the best outcomes for the

Boonderoo South Devon Stud On show for Beef Week, Sun. Feb.2, 2014 at Boonderoo South Devon Stud, 67 McNiffs Rd, Redesdale 3444.

BULLS FOR SALE Carrying proven bloodlines for taste, tenderness and temperament.


Email: Tel: (03)5425 3200, Mob: 0418 361 630

Victoria, over


single outstanding female in 2007 from the Mawarra stud, Longford. Using artiďŹ cial insemination and embryo transfer techniques, they have built numbers using mainly Mawarra sires too. During Beef Week, visitors will be able to inspect and buy Anlyn

bulls from 18 months to two years old and inspect females. Star sire of the Anlyn cattle is Mawarra Vice-Admiral, who has taken the world by storm in Mr Warnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s words as his calves were being well received around the world.

EST. 1992



Email: or

weights recorded at the water points using Growsafe Beef equipment. In addition, manual weights were taken at the start, end and at fortnightly intervals. While most steers had a net feed intake (NFI-F value) close to zero (i.e. actual feed intake close to expectation), some steers consumed up to 3kg/day less than expected for their growth rate and body weight maintained, while other steers consumed up to 3kg/day more than expected. Individual NFI-F values for each steer were used to calculate differences in Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) among their sires. These EBVs and their accuracy values were calculated by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) using Breedplan software. The EBVs are appropriately adjusted for the impact of differences in property of origin, management group, age, and age of dam while taking into account any pedigree relationships among the sires. The Angus Sire Benchmarking Project (ASBP) provides unique data on differences in genetic merit for net feed intake and other important economic traits among elite Angus sires. This data will contribute to the ongoing improvement of feed efďŹ ciency and proďŹ tability in the Angus breed, Dr Parnell said. The Angus Sire Benchmarking Project will continue into the future to provide a valuable research and development resource for the beef industry.

Vice-Admiral keeps Anlyn on course

Bulls,s, HeiferSemen s, Embryoor sale f

Quality Studs Exhibiting:  ¾Debonair Limousin *UHJ /HLJK3ULFH ¾Fernleigh Angus 0HOLQGD.HQW ¾Glenroy Murray Grey -HVV0XUSK\ ¾Kentsie Murray Grey 0HOLQGD.HQW ¾Mt Ararat Simmental -RKQ/HHN ¾Oakfarm Murray Grey 5RE /HRQLH0LOOHU ¾Pinaroo Hills Simmental 3HWHU 9DQHVVD ¾Red Fox Simmental -DVRQ&DUSLQWHUL ¾Tarrawarra Lowline -DFTXHO\QQ)HDJDQ ¾Urila Lowline %LOO +LOHU\%HOWRQ  


proďŹ tability. A joint investment supported by Angus Australia, participating breeders, the MLA Donor Companyand various industry partners including Rangers Valley Feedlot and Bayer Australia Ltd, the program involves the structured progeny testing of a large number of elite Angus sires. The ďŹ rst three cohorts of the program have included 120 sires with a total of over 3000 progeny. Male (steer) progeny are being evaluated for growth, feed efďŹ ciency and carcase traits. Heifer progeny are being evaluated for growth, carcase merit (via ultrasound assessment), fertility and calving ease. Dr Parnellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paper focused on feed efďŹ ciency results recorded on the steer progeny of the 35 sires included in the ďŹ rst cohort of the ASBP. Steer progeny from the ďŹ rst ASBP cohort, were generated by ďŹ xed time AI programs, in ďŹ ve co-operator herds located in NSW and Victoria. Following grow out and backgrounding, the steer progeny were relocated to the University of New Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tullimba feedlot at Kingstown, NSW. Following an acclimatisation period, steers were fed in the newly established GrowSafe feed intake facility at Tullimba for a 70 day testing period. During the test period, complete recording of feed intake was conducted through the Growsafe system, along with regular body


Burnt Store Rd, Lardner

Saturday 1st February 9am-6pm


ANGUS breeders have led the Australian beef industry in the application of breeding technologies for the improvement of performance and proďŹ tability, Angus Society of Australia chief executive ofďŹ cer Peter Parnell told the 2013 Australian Lot Feedersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association conference at Kerwee feedlot, Jondaryan, Queensland. As a result of their ability to satisfy demanding market requirements, and their suitability to a wide range of production environments, Angus and Angus cross cattle have gained signiďŹ cant market share such that they now dominate the feedlot sector and also account for a high proportion of grass ďŹ nished product from southern Australia, he said. Despite this success, Angus breeders still strive to achieve further continuous improvement in proďŹ tability through signiďŹ cant investment in performance recording and application of genetic technologies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This investment includes signiďŹ cant commitment to research and development,â&#x20AC;? Dr Pannell said. It was particularly useful in the generation of potential to achieve genetic improvement in difďŹ cult to measure proďŹ tability driver traits such as fertility, feed efďŹ ciency, and end product quality,â&#x20AC;? Dr Parnell said. The Angus Sire Benchmarking Program (ASBP) is an important long term initiative by Angus Australia to assist breeders in further extending the opportunity to achieve future genetic improvement in

SIX year old Anlyn Hereford stud will again be participating on day ďŹ ve of Beef Week, Saturday, February 5. Principals Andrew and Lynn Warner, run about 30 stud Herefords at Athlone, 10km south of Drouin, the result of purchasing a



January, 2014

Faye Tuchtan invites visitors on No. 508: Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 9am to 5pm Phone (03) 5678 8366. Mobile 0411 732 987 Email:

LOCATION: 1905 Bass Highway, 4kms South of Grantville.


January, 2014

Southern Farmer, Page 19

It’s time to control ostertagia DEPI urging farmers to plan a strategic drenching program for cattle in advance IT is now time to be planning a strategic drenching program for the herd to control ostertagia, according to Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI). Commonly known as the brown stomach worm, ostertagia can cause significant production losses if it is not properly managed. There are two different ways in which ostertagia can cause disease. Type 1: generally occurs in young cattle between the ages of 15 and 20 months. The disease develops when cattle accumulate large numbers of infective larvae over

a short period. This can happen over four to eight weeks during winter and spring. The larvae then develop into adult worms that damage the lining of the stomach and affect its function. This results in poor absorption of nutrients causing a decrease in growth rate and loss of weight. Type 2: disease affects cows calving for the first time or second calvers, in the autumn and winter months. Young heifers calving for the first time are most susceptible. Older cows and bulls may also be infected during au-

tumn or winter. The stress of calving and the development of thousands of dormant larvae into adult worms intensify the symptoms of disease. Cattle infected with Type 2 disease experience ill-thrift, diarrhoea, persistent weight loss and sometimes death. The recommended drenching program is: sASUMMERDRENCHAROUND January - weaners, first-calf heifers, second calvers and bulls; sANAUTUMNDRENCHAROUND March/April - weaners, bulls and first-calf heifers; and s A WINTER DRENCH AROUND July - weaners only (and shift

to low-risk paddock). Routine treatment of adult cows after their second calving is not needed. Individual cows in this group may be treated if they are scouring or losing condition because of infection with ostertagia. When choosing a drench, you need to look at the effectiveness, persistence, ease of application, withholding periods and cost. There are three major drench groups: s -,S MACROCYCLIC LACtones) – these were the most reliable and were considered effective against all adult and larval stages with some

long-acting effect against larvae newly picked up from pasture. Resistance is being reported in Victoria; sWHITEDRENCHESBENZIMIDAZOLES n EFFECTIVE AGAINST all adult worms and about 9095 percent effective against larval Ostertagia; and s CLEAR DRENCHES LEVamisole) - are less effective against adult worms than the other types and have a limited effect against larval ostertagia. Drench resistance in cattle is an emerging issue. The first combination pour-on cattle drench was made available in 2012. It seems that combination

drenches will become more readily available in the future. Check with your local vet about incorporating combination products into drench programs and taking worm egg counts (WEC) 14 days after drenching (preferably with a WEC just before drenching as well) to monitor drench efficacy. Some of the causes of resistance are: under dosing, frequent use, persistent activity, drenching in situations favouring resistant worms (when all surviving worms are resistant ones), application method and continued use of less-effective drenches.

South Korea-Australia free trade deal ‘critical’ for beef global protein market. “However, the fact that the US secured t h e i r F TA i n 2 0 1 2 means there will always be a tariff differential between Australian and US product of up to 5.3 per cent.” Mr Kelly expressed concern that volume safeguard conditions contained in the agreement may be restrictive. “Safeguard conditions in the agreement can mean that tariffs increase if export volumes exceed a certain level,” he said. “However, industry notes that these safeguards are not applied automatically and is of the belief that they should be applied judiciously and not to constrain natural increases in trade.” Mr Kelly said the next priority is to ratify

the agreement as soon as possible. “On January 1, 2014, the tariff differential between Australian and US beef into Korea grows to 8 per cent,” he said. “We now need to see the agreement ratified as a matter of urgency, to allow the benefits to start to flow.” Australia has a reputation as a reliable supplier of clean, safe, quality beef for Korean consumers. In 2012-13 it was A u s t r a l i a ’s t h i r d most valuable export market with 137,695 tonnes of beef worth A$704 million exported to South Korea. The Australian market share of beef imports was 54 per cent, however this share has been under threat by US beef, aided by their preferential tariff.

Anlyn Herefords, since it’s commencement in 2007, has been established solely on quality female families purchased from the renowned Mawarra Hereford Stud.

Please drop in during

Day 5 of Beef Week 2014 – Saturday, February 1. Number 504 have a cuppa at Athlone via Drouin. BULLS and some FEMALES FOR SALE on the day.




Open for Beefweek Thurs Jan 30th Sires Include; Tuwharetoa Regent Te Mania Emperor Te Mania Africa Lawsons Nadal Booroomooka Inspired CXB J17 EMPEROR SON @ 8 Mths

Peter & Annick Butterfield

Mob: 0428 306 729

8th Annual on Property YEARLING BULL SALE 11.30am, Friday February 28th 1174 BENALLA/WARRENBAYNE ROAD, WARRENBAYNE

Ph (03) 5763 2341 Ph: (03) 5348 2357


Details & Directions

ALL FREE X 4 GENETIC DEFECTS Bulls to top 1% Long Fed Index Huge growth with Calving ease T/12D12135/02-14

priority for the Australian beef industry for a number of years,” he said. “It also sees the phasing out of the 22.5 per cent sheepmeat tariffs over 10 years. “Working with industry, Ministers Robb and Bishop and the coalition government have managed to fasttrack negotiations and secure this agreement for Australia in a matter of months.” Mr Kelly said the speedy negotiations financially benefit the industry. “This will potentially save the Australian beef industry $1.25 billion over the next 15 years. “The agreement is extremely positive and will help secure the ongoing supply of Australian beef for Korean consumers in a highly competitive


THE Australian beef and sheepmeat industries have welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of the successful negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea, saying it was critical for the future of the industry. The industry South K o r e a Ta s k f o r c e s p o ke s m a n S t e p h e n Kelly expressed appreciation that the government was able to progress negotiations with South Korea, in addition to securing an agreement that is equivalent to the United States in terms of tariff reductions over time. “The successful negotiation of an FTA with South Korea, that is equivalent to the US in terms of tariff reductions, and sees the removal of the current 40 per cent tariff over 15 years, has been a

Value + Quality Opening Bids $1750





Page 20, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

Price volatility squeezes dairies By JOHN LYNE Dairytech dairy production specialist ALTHOUGH these are two different matters, last autumn proved there is a distinct link between the two. Cash-flow last autumn impacted many farms’ profitability due to inputs like fertiliser being prohibitive simply from a cash-flow perspective. The implications on this one input have been felt ever since in reduced pasture production on many farms. In the past five or so years, money lenders have been flush with funds, compounded by low interest rates driving land prices and equity to record levels. The probability of a shift in this landscape is high. As far back as August last year, milk futures contracts in the US were falling in price and butter and cheese stocks are at 20 year highs there. If futures prices (we are on global pricing) end up being actual milk prices, then every dairy’s cashflow will suffer. The possibility of higher interest rates in major dairying nations (US particularly) will likewise take its toll on farm viability.

Liquidity has been a word or practice that has been on the backburner for many years. It has been seen in recent times as unutilised capital, yet it has been the backbone of development and growth since humans stored food for future security. It prevents collapses in unfavorable times. Liquidity is just having free cash to pay bills and few had it over the autumn/winter of 2013. The reprieve we are currently enjoying is a time to develop liquidity. It is being touted that 10 per cent of income should be committed to cash reserves. Farm deposits offer a wonderful opportunity to do this and reduce tax on the 13/14 financial year, which is predicted to be a five to six times turnaround on the previous financial year. Dairy financial experts are recommending the following list: 1) Build cash reserves. 2) Catch up on all monthly trading accounts. 3) Increase profitability while investment cash may be in the cashflow (we’ll look at this shortly). 4) Fixing interest rates. 5) Securing lines of credit. All the above situations can change overnight as we’ve learnt in recent years on milk prices. Nothing devastates our

farm viability like milk price falls. We are not exposed to any other threat as powerful as this one. The question is not will it fall; but when; liquidity is paramount to survival. The so called inefficiencies of financial ‘padding’ evaporate in a milk price crash. Grain, fertiliser, labor and energy cost increases cower in the shadow of violent milk price variations. Nothing is destabilising and shrinking our dairy industry like milk price volatility. Liquidity is about ‘anchoring’ our dairy business, but addressing profitability is no less a concern and one that is ever-present under continually decreasing returns. Despite my comments above highlighting milk price being our greatest threat, it is still outside our control. As with last month’s article, increasing production and profitability through management is not optional; it’s mandatory to survive an economic environment that has potential to become worse rather than better. A recent article based on an 18-month study conducted by a US consulting firm, highlighted that top farms still made good profits last year while their neighbors were declaring bankruptcy.

Grain, fertiliser, labor and energy cost increases cower in the shadow of violent milk price variations.

GREEN GOLD: Forage quality contributes enormously to feed conversion efficiency, litres produced and profit, but fertiliser use is so dependent on cashflow.

This scenario had its sequel in Australia too. The study only looked at the financial performance difference between the top one per cent and the top 25 per cent; it did not compare the best with the worst or even the best with ‘average’. The report lists six management areas in order of their influence on financial performance that accounted for 90 percent of the performance variations. They were reproduc-

tion, transition management, forage quality, employee training,milk quality and price management. Reproduction is an area we are studying this year by recording calvings to determine the actual percentage of last year’s herd that calved again this year. This will certainly uncover the magnitude of infertility. Tracking causes will be another issue. However, the days in milk (DIM) average for the herd will impact total milk production. Simply put, 20 per cent carry-over cows are going to lower your total production and average per cow production. As highlighted in last month’s article Major Study Confirms Milk Litres Swell Profit, there is a downward profit spiral as litres decline with reduced feed conversion efficiency. Transition manage-

ment rates equal with reproduction in profitable dairying, and has major implications on fertility. We only get one shot at getting transition feeding right; miss it, and profit plummets on the affected cows. Good transition enables peak milk and lactation potential, minimises BCS loss, vet costs, early and involuntary culling, feed efficiency and fertility. Poor transition has hidden costs that pass unregistered in the accounts; mostly sub-clinical milk fever/ketosis and compromised performance all round. Forage quality I wrote on in October. The value of feeds is always in their capacity to be converted to milk dollars. As forage, either grazed directly or as silage, is a major fraction of our rations, its digestibility determined by grazing/

harvesting management, contributes enormously to feed conversion efficiency, litres produced and profit. Milk quality payment variables need no explanation, but I’m told there are significant numbers of farms that continually fail to achieve premium quality payments. No excuse. Likewise employee training does attract considerable attention through various agencies working in our industry, yet I suspect incompetence is still a ‘cost’ factor. Price management is still very much under the radar in Australia. Development in this area may emerge in coming years, but needs to be approached with caution. Our ‘wildest cards’ still remain milk price and season, both outside our control. Bought-in feed prices do not impact as greatly in grazing systems.

UR 7 BUL O W property o LS a r r a VIE w n Irre (February 4)

ur o at

during Beef Week

or any other time by appointment.


We have a mixture of bulls from commercial F1 to stud potential. You can judge for yourself For an appointment call Chris on 0418 520 574 or visit the website




Da y8


REMEMBER LOOK UP AND LIVE For further information visit Energy Safe Victoria or call 03 9203 9700.


Powerlines can sag more than one metre in the heat of the day. Never assume you know where they are. Remember to stay outside the 3 metre “no go zone” around powerlines, or you could end up 6 feet under.


Page 22, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

Get Fuji clean home now FUJI Cleanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s domestic wastewater treatment system, a simple, highly developed treatment system designed to treat all household wastewater from the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and laundry in non-sewered areas, is Japanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s number one selling domestic wastewater treatment system. Now made and distributed in Australia it is approved and available to install in Victoria. Fuji Clean Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national sales manager Richard Williamson, claims it is the most advanced on the Australian market and delivers reliable, high quality treatment at an affordable price. It produces safe, clean, environmentally friendly, treated wastewater which can then be recycled and reused in gardens. The Fuji Clean story. The lack of available land for on-site disposal in Japan has driven onsite wastewater treatment technology â&#x20AC;&#x153;way ahead of what we experience in Australia,â&#x20AC;? Mr Williamson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Japan, treated domestic waste water has to be discharged directly to storm water drains, so water has to be of a consistently high quality to avoid public health issues.â&#x20AC;? With a 50 year history backed by a large team of research and development scientists and engineers, the system has undergone continuous development to produce the compact, energy efďŹ cient system now available. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The treated water is rated at the highest quality standard here in Australia. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Australia needs this technically advanced, environmentally friendly wastewater recycling system, as it is

commonly known by many councils that there are a lot of failing septic systems in Australia,â&#x20AC;? he said. The system uses naturally occurring digestive processes with highly developed bacterial media and has an efďŹ cient sludge return, which provides robust and reliable treatment. Every component has been extensively developed and with more than two million systems installed across several continents, Fuji Clean has a long record of proven performance, Mr Williamson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Over the last 24 months the Fuji Clean wastewater treatment system has been displayed at many trade shows throughout Australia with a really good acceptance from councils, plumbers, builders, architects and home owners,â&#x20AC;? he said. As an industry market leader, Fuji Clean has established a network of trained and certiďŹ ed installers in Victoria to cater for local sales, installations, support and servicing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you are building or renovating or thinking about upgrading your smelly old septic tank, take the opportunity to talk to your local authorised Fuji Clean agent,â&#x20AC;? he said. The Fuji Clean system is covered by a 15 year manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s structural tank warranty and a two year warranty on electrical and other components. More information: 1300 733 619, The November edition of Southern Farmer, contained a similar editorial piece on Fuji Clean, which contained some inaccuracies which the Southern Farmer apologises for.

LITTLE VISIBLE: Richard Williamson, Fuji Clean Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sales manager, is pictured with an installed Fuji Clean home sewage treatment system.

In brief Shepparton leads dairy capacitybuilding RECENT changes to agriculture across Australia have seen many organisations exiting the industry or altering their business focus. However, GOTAFEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Agriculture and National Centre for Dairy Education Australia based in Shepparton is taking a different strategic approach. Peter Carkeek, executive manager ANCDEA, said training planned for 2014 is designed to build industry capacity and capability through improved access to agricultural education across Victoria and nationally. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The federal agriculture ministerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent announcement to boost funding support for farmers is a welcome injection for industry, creating a clear market need to ensure the focus on industry viability is led by access to quality education which is skills-driven and farmrelevant,â&#x20AC;? Mr Carkeek said.

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Page 24, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

Autumn debut for biochar unit T

he first commercial Australian biochar manufacturing unit, should be on the market in autumn, Biochar Energy Systems (Australia) Pty Ltd’s Russell Burnett told a biochar seminar at Ballarat in November. Mr Burnett has worked on several prototypes for about six years on a Goornong farm near Bendigo and believes BES will be able to sell the first handmade portable on farm units for about $80,000. When it later goes into mass production, bulk buying of components and automated manufacturing, should bring the price down considerably, he said. At Ballarat, he worked the latest prototype weighing nearly three tonnes which he’d trailered to the seminar. He also ran a much smaller top-lit updraft (TLUD) gasifier biochar producer, based on a 200L drum to better demonstrate the process. Mr Burnett said BES was a member of the Northern Poultry Cluster, a group of poultry processors, producers and associated poultry businesses. “The main players are Hazeldeans and Hyline Broiler Breeders and the cluster based in the Bendigo district consists of about 12 per cent of the Australian poultry industry and they have been proactive about making biochar from poultry manure,” he said. BES had developed the biochar machines based on some knowledge from an American company and non proprietary knowledge

on the internet. Mr Burnett said they have a US patent on their pyrolysis system and “have been fortunate to sell two machines to the US, which are similar to those produced by a sister company based in California”. The idea is for the production unit to operate automatically and be fed by a three to four cubic metre capacity hopper, fitted with a moving floor to take the material into the biochar machine. “Then all you’ll need is someone to check it every eight hours or so,” he said. Mr Burnett said it would produce about 140kg of biochar an hour from about 300kg of raw material of which straw is best closely followed by nut shells. “But it could easily be upsized to handle one to one and a half tonnes per hour,” he said. He was hopeful an early production model would be working at the two-day Tuppal Station ag innovation field day in late summer near Tocumwal. Later BES was likely to show it at autumn and spring field days. Mr Burnett said many people discounted biochar because they thought it was too expensive and the application rate per hectare was too high. Currently biochar is expensive at about $1000 a tonne and “no one can afford that”. “However,withamachine like this you are looking at bringing the price down to about $300/t,” he said. “So, at that price, everyone could afford to put in 30 or 40kg a ha a year with existing fertilisers and that is the way the SA

Where do you find the Southern Farmer?

“If you have, say, a 200L drum of biochar here and a drum of stinking poultry manure there, there will be many more insects on the biochar, putting their little claws into the biochar and trying to pull it apart and munch it”


PRE PRODUCTION: Russell Burnett with Biochar Energy Systems’ latest prototype.

been a food biotechnologist. “In the ensuing years we started our own company which is now called Biochar Energy Systems Australia P/L,” he said. Mr Burnett said the beauty of the pyrolising process, that is burning organic material with very limited oxygen, was that more energy is produced than the amount consumed. Apart from biochar, the process produces syngas, condensate and tar. At present, BES flares off the syngas, but he has






























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uid condensate out of the smoke which has many intrinsic values in adding value to the biochar.” BES has had the heavy carbon tar condensate, analysed by the University of Victoria, which said it was an excellent fertiliser and a great stimulant for seeds and seedlings. “We’ve had encouraging results from trials we’ve done with the liquid and the biochar incorporated, where we got much better seedling vigor and germination when the two were combined,” Mr

Burnett said. For every tonne of raw material the unit produces 300 to 400L of condensate. The fourth product is a tar like substance, which Mr Burnett has used to treat timber before it goes in the ground and seal treated pine used around flowerbeds, to stop copper arsenic leaching into soil. However, it can be used too to surface roads like traditionally derived petroleum tar. An auger carries raw material through the unit as it is heated to about 400 degrees from LPG burners above a protective stainless steel canopy and turned into biochar. Mr Burnett said air management was reasonably sophisticated – for effective pyrolisation, just enough air to maintain slow combustion is essential –and ambient air is sucked in at the top of the exhaust. Completed biochar exits the machine into a 200L drum via an elevator fitted with a nozzle dispensing a cooling water spray. He said the end product is hugely attractive to insect sand in the soil to worms. “In two or three days it’s covered in cobwebs because flies and spiders go berserk over it,” Mr Burnett said. “If you have, say, a 200L drum of biochar here and a drum of stinking poultry manure there, there will be more insects on the biochar than on the poultry manure, putting their little claws into the biochar and trying to pull it apart and munch it.” Similarly, in soil worms gravitate very quickly to the soil containing biochar.

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powered a Briggs and Stratton engine after taking tars out of the gas stream. Ultimately, Mr Burnett said the BES machine would have the ability to collect and use that gas. n mid-November he successfully charred rice straw in a trial for the Rice Research Station at Jerilderie. “So you could run the biochar machine say at a rice plant at Deniliquin or Leeton and use the bioenergy to power rice processing machinery,” he said. “We also produce a liq-


! e r e h w y r e v E

No Till Farmers Association have been doing it. “They have been adding 35kg/ha of biochar to their DAP and getting significant winter crop yield increases.” In addition, when it is incorporated with compost, big yield increases result and BES has been trialling that aspect at Goornong. “We’ve been composting poultry manure from Hazeldean’s breeder program and by adding 25 per cent biochar, it makes the whole composting process go hotter and therefore faster and is sweeter with less smell,” he said. s well, BES has been pelletising the product and is in the early stages of developing a biochar fertiliser. Mr Burnett said he became interested in biochar because of a BBC program The Secret of Eldorado which showed the value of biochar to the ancient Mayans. “Previously I had noticed whenever we burnt a tree in a cropping paddock on our property near Finley, the crop or pasture grew better,” he said. “I always put it down to the ash. “Then one year we had a fantastic burn of a yellow box tree and there was nothing left and I thought ‘great, there will be a fantastic crop’. “But it didn’t happen and after seeing the TV program I realised it was the char and not the ash.” In 2007, after 23 years farming, he sold the farm to take the opportunity to really investigate biochar. Before farming in the southern Riverina he had




January, 2014

Southern Farmer, Page 25

Lal Lal grower elected to lead woolgrowing group GEOFF Fisken, a prominent fifth generation woolgrower from Lal Lal about 25km south east of Ballarat, has been elected president of WoolProducers Australia. Mr Fisken becomes the 14th president since WPA’s formation in 1979 as the Wool Council of Australia, giving an effective and unified national voice for some 55,000 levy paying woolgrowers across Australia today. His appointment was confirmed during the annual general meeting in Sydney on 21 November and he replaces Geoff Power

from South Australia, who has served on the executive from 2005 and as president from 2011. Mr Power will retire to his Merino property in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. Mr Fisken said he planned to continue with some of the notable projects that Mr Power had helped to establish, including advanced plans to combat wild dogs, ovine Johne’s disease and farm biosecurity. Mr Fisken, a graduate of Geelong Grammar School, worked initially as a jackaroo for four years before returning

might not have bothered spending the money needed to re-register specialist chemicals or those supplied to niche markets. “Labor’s legislation threatened to wipe hundreds of valuable chemicals off the shelf and leave Australian agriculture at a huge competitive disadvantage to other countries,” Mr Tuohey said. Australia was a small player in the global chemical market, which already made it difficult to gain access to the latest chemicals. A Deloitte study estimated it would conservatively cost industry an extra $8 million a year to supply the data and cover the costs of re-registration. “Horticulture is particularly vulnerable, given this sector’s reliance on specialist chemicals,” Mr Tuohey said. “The safe and responsible use of chemicals play a key role in not only the production and efficiency of farm businesses, but also in our productivity,” Mr Tuohey said.

UK plant breeder releases ‘tom-tato’ GROWERS who are wanting quite literally to consolidate their potato and tomato-growing operations need look no further. A British horticulturist has recently developed a hybrid tomato-potato plant, fittingly named the ‘TomTato’.

Developed without the use of genetic modification technology, the TomTato was created by grafting a cherry tomato and a white potato plant together at the stem. The result is a hybrid that produces up to 500 tomatoes and 2kg of potatoes.

Viticulturalist named new chair of Wine Victoria MOUNT Langi Ghiran viticulturalist Damien Sheehan, was named the new chair of Wine Victoria, at the industry association’s 2013 AGM last month. Mr Sheehan is the general manager of a winery located in the Grampians region. He is also the current chair of the Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee and takes over the WV chairman role at a time when the industry is being battered by a perfect storm of a high Australian dollar and growing retailer power limiting domestic market growth. These issues were highlighted in a recent Wine Victoria survey, where almost 45 percent of respondents, indicated that they did not make a profit in the 2011-12 financial year. “These issues are real and are hitting the Victorian wine industry hard; it is particularly concerning when you consider that our industry employs almost 12,000 people in regional Victoria”. “In conjunction with the Wine Victoria Board, we plan to work with our industry to build partnerships that can start to turn the tide on our current profitability issues, particularly in fundamental policy areas such as international trade and regional Victorian tourism, while also ensuring biosecurity issues that protect quality produce remain high on the agenda,” he said.



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THE Federal Government has released draft amendments to block the former government’s costly and mandatory re-registration process for agricultural and veterinary chemicals, due to come into effect on July 1, 2014. Under legislation implemented by the former Labor government, chemical companies would have been forced to re-register their products with Australia’s chemical regulator every 7-15 years. “The Coalition Government has drafted legislation that ensures Labor’s costly and illogical re-registration process is dumped,” Victorian Farmers’ Federation president Peter Tuohey said. “It means we go back to a far more sensible process whereby a chemical’s registration is only reviewed in response to peer-reviewed research that identifies health or environmental concerns.” If Labor’s legislation had been allowed to stand, chemical companies

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Government puts stop to chemical deal

to the family property Lal Lal, near Ballarat in 1980. Today, he and his wife Susie and three children manage the property, which carries 16,000 fine wool merinos and 300 breeding cattle, and produces wheat, barley canola and oats. He joined the Victorian Farmers Federation’s Livestock Council in 2003 and was appointed chairman of the VFF’s Wool Committee in 2005. He was appointed to the WPA executive in 2004, became its treasurer in 2007 and senior TOP DOG: Lal Lal woolgrower and WoolProducers Australia new president Geoff Fisken. vice president since 2011.

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Page 26, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

Aussie drought buster keeps scarce water flowing in summer WATER where it is needed, when it is needed is every farmer’s dream. And with drought conditions continuing across some parts of eastern Australia, reliable, fuel efficient water transfer pumps are essential. Australian Pump Industries’ QP402 100mm (4 in) water mover has proven itself as the farmers’ drought buster. It offers huge flows of up to 1800L/m and heads of up to 28m. The pumps will self-prime from a huge 8.4m direct lift, enabling suction from dams, wells and creeks. Recent on-farm tests demonstrated the pump priming from a 3m lift in less than 30 seconds. A lack of water can mean it may have to be carted which is inconvenient and expensive. Desperate farmers may even resort to destocking their property. After prolonged dry periods the amount of run off may be more than can be stored. Once a water tank or dam fills, the water cannot be captured and overflows back into the environment. Aussie Pumps’ Adam Scully said, “The QP402 is designed for high flow transfer.

FUSS FREE: Hamish Lorenz, Fiddletown, NSW, uses a QP402 to shift water from dam to dam with minimum fuel costs.

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without damage. A heavy duty mechanical seal is standard equipment. Like all big Aussie three inch and four inch transfer pumps, the QP402 comes in a heavy duty roll frame with anti vibration mounts. A free 100mm coupling and strainer kit is also provided with every pump. Pump body components are made from high-grade marine aluminium to ensure long life. The Aussie QP402 has API’s unique, five year pump end warranty. “We know we have the best, most reliable pump out there so we put our money where our mouth is,” Mr Scully said. “We’re proud of our pumps; end users can buy an Aussie Pump with confidence. “We have also developed high pressure kits to suit the QP402. “For example, we can change the impeller and volute for a high pressure set that gives heads of up to 70m. That’s almost 100 psi.” A free document pack showing the full specifications of this pump series is available from Australian Pump Industries and Aussie Pump Distributors throughout Australia or www.

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“Even a small amount of rain can overflow a turkey nest dam really quickly,” he said. “This big pump can transfer the water across fast, preventing overspill and wastage: you don’t waste a drop.” During times of drought and intermittent rainfall it is important to monitor the quality of water retained. Evaporation may increase the concentration of salts, while a flush of water may increase manure or fertiliser runoff, making it unusable for stock watering. It may be necessary to transfer the water for stock use directly from a tank or water tanker. The QP402 is a high flow pump that can be used to draw water from an in ground dam or tank or a tanker. Powered by a genuine Honda petrol engine, the pump offers farmers low fuel consumption and maximum pump performance. Options include 6.3kW (8hp) up to 10kW (13hp) versions with recoil or electric start. The QP402, in its base configuration, comes with heavy duty cast iron impeller and volute. The impeller has large open vanes to allow spherical solids to pass straight through the pump


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Page 28, Southern Farmer

January, 2014

&)$FDUHHU¿UH¿JKWHUVJUDGXDWH QHZUHFUXLWVIURP)LVNYLOOHVHWWRMRLQHPHUJHQF\VHUYLFHVVWDWLRQVDURXQG9LFWRULD SIXTEEN weeks of intensive training came to an end on Friday, December 6 for 24 career firefighter recruits, marked by a graduation ceremony held at the CFA State Training College at Fiskville, near Ballan. Aged between 25 and 42, they hail from a variety of backgrounds and professions, including trades, education, defence, finance, IT and hospitality. Many have previous experience as volunteer firefighters with CFA brigades, and three came from other states (Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania). Following graduation, the firefighters will take up postings at 14 stations across Victoria: Springvale, Craigieburn, Point Cook, Sunbury, Belmont, Greenvale, Cranbourne, Rosebud, Boronia, Shepparton, Mildura, Warrnambool, Traralgon and Wodonga fire stations. All of the positions have been created under Project 2016, a state-wide program that works to maintain CFA’s service delivery capability. CFA board chair Claire Higgins, said that the 24 recruits would become part of an emergency service that protects lives and property in our communities. “They should all be proud of their ac-

complishments, as I’m sure their families and friends are,” she said. Recruit administration staff member Julie Wilson, who has worked closely with the recruits since they began their training in August, said that for most recruits their new posting would mean a move away from home. “It’s been quite a long road for the recruits already, even the process for them to get onto the course in the first place is quite major, involving interviews and stringent physical challenge tests,” she said. “To even get here they really have to want it, and I’ve known people who have made four or five attempts in the past.” The graduation ceremony was also attended by CFA chief officer Euan Ferguson, who joined MP for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay and emergency services commissioner Michael Hallows in congratulating the recruits. Funding from Project 2016 has also seen upgrades and improvements to the facilities for instructors and students at the Fiskville college. Works on a new ablutions block and new 30-bed student accommodation facility are now complete.

LINES UP: The December Fiskville graduates line up for the camera.

5$&9¿UHLQQRYDWLRQJUDQWWREROVWHUFRPPXQLW\¿UVWDLG THE RACV awarded a volunteer first-aid program aimed at increasing a community’s capability to treat people with fire-related injuries, with the 2013 RACV Fire Innovation Grant on December 4. RACV Insurance GM Paul Northey said St John Ambulance Australia Victoria’s Community First Program, was a worthy recipient of the

$10,000 RACV Insurance grant. “The objective of the firstaid disaster program is to increase the number of residents in high-risk communities who are trained with basic first-aid skills, to address common fire related injuries including burns, smoke inhalation, dehydration and traumatic injury/ shock,” Mr Northey said.

The award for excellence was presented to the Warrandyte Community Association and the Warrandyte Theatre Company, for their Be Ready Warrandyte – Living with Bushfire Risk project, which aims to increase bushfire resilience in the Warrandyte area through education and community engagement. This project also won the

media and communications category and has been adopted by interstate and international fire agencies. Mr Northey said RACV was proud to support the Fire Awareness Awards, which were held at the RACV City Club on December 4. “RACV has a long association with these awards, which recognise the achievements of

How Fire Ready is your farm? Check all of these important questions EARLY not late. YES /NO


❑ ❑ 1. ❑ ❑ 2.

Do you have well maintained slashed or ploughed fire breaks? Are your farm buildings protected by firebreaks?

❑ ❑ 3.

Do you have a grazing plan to reduce fire risk?

❑ ❑ 21. Are fire fighting hoses long enough, kept in safe locations where they will not melt, and with heavy duty wide spray nozzles?

❑ ❑ 4.

Are your chemicals stored safely according to instructions

❑ ❑ 22. Do you talk about and have a fire prevention plan with neighbors?

on the product?

❑ ❑ 23. Do you have adequate water supplies for firefighting should mains water pressures drop? ❑ ❑ 24. Have you installed sprinkler systems in your garden and on your roofing?

❑ ❑ 5.

Are your fuel tanks bonded and isolated from buildings?

❑ ❑ 6.

Are welding and grinding operations done in isolation from flammable liquids and fuels?

❑ ❑ 7.

Do residential buildings on your farm have smoke alarms?

❑ ❑ 8.

Do your have properly maintained firefighting equipment in the workshop, on tractors and other machinery?

❑ ❑ 9.

Can firefighting vehicles safely access all parts of your property?

❑ ❑ 10. Do you ensure hay is not stacked when it is green? ❑ ❑ 11. Are machinery exhaust systems fitted with spark arresters? ❑ ❑ 12. Do you have a list of emergency numbers beside all phones? ❑ ❑ 13. Is your property’s CFA map reference beside the phone? ❑ ❑ 14. Do you have battery-powered radios handy to aid communications? ❑ ❑ 15. Are your buildings clean of flammable debris and protected from the entry of burning embers? ❑ ❑ 16. Do your buildings provide adequate personal protection against bushfire? ❑ ❑ 17. Is fire prevention part of your whole farm business plan? ❑ ❑ 18. Are you up-to-date with the latest Local and State Government fire restrictions and requirements? ❑ ❑ 19. Do you carefully plan all burning off to minimise the risks?

❑ ❑ 20. Are gas cylinders vented away from buildings?

❑ ❑ 25. Have you gathered metal buckets, mops, spray backpack units, ladders, rakes, shovels in a strategic location for ready access? ❑ ❑ 26. Do you have battery powered torches, radios, medical kits and drinking water available? ❑ ❑ 27. Do you know the radio station to check for the fire’s progress rather than calling emergency services?

Awards are supported by RACV and are a joint initiative of Victoria’s three fire agencies – the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Metropolitan Fire & Emergency Services Board (MFB) and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI). For more information, visit www.fireawarenessawards.

9LFWRULDWRJHWEXVK¿UH KLJKULVN]RQHUHIXJHV TWO fire refuges opened at East Warburton and Ferny Creek on December 14. Both areas were affected by the devastating Black Saturday fires so are recognised as being in high-risk bushfire areas. The Emergency Services Minister, Kim Wells, said the shelters would protect people when significant fire danger loomed. “This is a standard which has been benchmarked and we believe with all the science checks with all the experts that we’ve had involved with these refuges, that they are safe,” he said. “These fire refuges can withstand the same heat as on Ash Wednesday.”

Temperatures of up to 1000 degrees were not uncommom then. The facilities can protect up to 300 people in significant fire danger. “Each refuge has a remote opening system and that has direct contact with the state control centre,” he said. “They have heat shields, stand by power generators and fire protection systems.” Community fire refuges provide short term shelter from the immediate lifethreatening effects of a bushfire and are part of a number of contingency shelter options in Victoria.


❑ ❑ 28. Does each person have suitable clothing, including sturdy leather footwear, fire resistant long pants and long sleeves (wool offers the best protection from sparks and cinders) a broad brimmed hat, goggles for eye protection, handkerchiefs to toe over the nose and mouth, wet towels to drape over the neck, and bottles of water? ❑ ❑ 29. Can you access roof and other building cavities to check frequently for embers or other spot fires? ❑ ❑ 30. Is there a plan for all people on your property to either fight the fire or move to safe locations well before a fire front approaches?

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Victorians who have improved fire safety and awareness across our state,” Mr Northey said. “I congratulate all the winners of this year’s awards and acknowledge all of the groups and individuals who entered. “I encourage all to continue their good work in helping to make their communities safer.” The 2013 Fire Awareness

Click on ‘Services for You’ then ‘Fire and Emergency Management’

THE Victorian government has completed a $49m program to deliver new fire trucks to the CFA, with the handing over of a new $335,000 tanker to the Strath Creek-Reedy Creek Fire Brigade. Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells said the government had successfully fulfilled its commitment to deliver 124 new tankers to CFA brigades. “These tankers are more durable, easier to drive and were designed using feedback from CFA members.” Each tanker seats five firefighters, carries more than 2000 litres of water and is

equipped with a diesel powered engine and a rollover protection bar. “The tankers will also reduce the risk of injury to firefighters trapped in a burnover with heat and spray-protection systems in-built,” Mr Wells said. The majority of the 124 tankers were designed and made in Victoria by SEM Fire and Rescue in Ballarat and Bell Environmental in Sunshine. Member for Seymour Cindy McLeish joined Mr Wells in delivering the tanker to Strath Creek-Reedy Creek Brigade and its 73 members, which was first formed in 1936.


January, 2014

Southern Farmer, Page 29

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Page 30, Southern Farmer

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Planning a Burn Off? Make sure you put in a notification and let your neighbours know. Call 1800 668 511 before you light up!

Community Information Sessions and Workshops CFA has a number of community education programs, including Fire Education Table demonstrations, Bushfire Planning Workshops and Community Fireguard Groups. If you would like to have one of these held in your area please contact the Gippsland Region Community Education Coordinator on (03) 5149 1000 or by emailing gippscommed@ and someone will get back to you ASAP.

Prepare. Act. Survive.

Want to assess your home’s defendable space? A new online +RXVHKROG%XVK¿UH Self-Assessment Tool has also been launched on the CFA website that helps residents decide whether or not they have enough defendable space around their home. You can access the online assessment tool by going to and clicking on the µ+RXVHKROG%XVK¿UH6HOI Assessment Tool’ icon.


If you don’t have access to the internet you can also access this information by calling VBIL on 1800 240 667 or visiting




BUSHFIRE DEATHS HAPPEN CLOSE TO HOME. Don’t wait. Leave early. Pack your Emergency Kit so you’re ready to go. Listen to local radio and check the Fire Danger Rating so you know when to leave. Stop making excuses.

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Further information about CFA community education programs can be found on the CFA website

January, 2014

FARMER and bushfire brigade chairman Graeme Norman doesn’t know who affixed a small toy fire truck to a granite ledge on the Tarrawingee bushfire memorial obelisk. But there it is, parked on the grey and white and black-flecked stone – weather-beaten, its red duco scratched and scraped and in some places altogether worn away, the two small emergency beacons on its roof bleached white by the sun. In its ordinariness the toy is as powerful as the memorial itself – and there is something reassuring about signs of life on the roughly- faced granite: a spider has used the little truck to anchor its fresh web. Below it, the pedestal or ‘die’ stone – one of five blocks with which the obelisk was built – is girt with artificial flowers, a mark of almost perpetual recognition of the 10 lives lost nearby in a firestorm that savaged this small community east of Wangaratta on Wednesday, December 22, 1943. But it is the stone that will endure, as Graeme says – the flowers will be removed and new wreaths will replace them in little more than a week when the Tarrawingee and Wangaratta communities commemorate the seventieth anniversary of a grassfire that in two hours became a deadly conflagration. The names in the stone are set in lead: Kevin Dunkley, Andrew Guthrie, Claude Hill, Theodore Lea, John Marks, Joseph (Louis) Ryan, Norman Robinson, Edward Seymour, Godfrey Spencer and Arthur Wellington. ‘Duty nobly done’, reads the legend. “Two of them were 14-year-old boys,” says Graeme. “Apart from Andrew Guthrie who managed Miss Coffey’s nearby farm, almost all of them had come out from Wangaratta to help. “Not one of them owned property here – they simply came to help we farmers and paid the ultimate price.” The fire sprang up near Bowser railway station west of Tarrawingee at about 4.30pm. The late Ken Stewart recalled in his memoirs that the front was “held on a sheep track for a while with only beaters made with strips of canvas or leather secured to a cane handle, or bushes pulled up from near a tree”. “It eventually beat us and when it got out…onto dry grasslands the fire took off across the paddocks towards Tarrawingee,” Mr Stewart wrote. Graeme says that manpower was short – the fire occurred at the turning point of World War II and most ablebodied men from Tarrawingee and Wangaratta not in reserved occupations were overseas or enlisted – and

SEVENTY YEARS ON: A toy fire truck (above) rests on the Tarrawingee bushfire memorial obelisk. Tarrawingee bushfire brigade chairman Graeme Norman (below) at the memorial on Great Alpine Road. PHOTOS: Jamie Kronborg

so eight townsmen came to try to help these farmers to contain the escalating blaze. Among them were a slaughterman, teacher and three telephone linesmen. Some had come to the fire by truck and others on bicycles. By about 6.30pm five of them were dead in the field, including the two boys, Kevin Dunkley and Claude Hill, near the intersection of Petticoat Lane and Great Alpine Road. Five later died in hospital from their burns. Seventy years on they will be remembered at a service at the memorial on December 22 led by Country Fire Authority chief officer Euan Ferguson and victims’ relatives and descendants. The hour-long commemoration – open to the public – will start at 10.30am and will also be attended by Rural City of Wangaratta chair-administrator Ailsa Fox, CFA group officer John Barnard and local brigades. The memorial, unveiled in 1944, was raised by public subscription.

Air support aids crews to contain grassfire


AIR support helped ground crews tackle a fierce grassfire at Markwood east of Wangaratta late in December. The Heletack 332, based at the department of Environment and Primary Industries’ Ovens base aided crews of 16 ground tankers to contain the five

hectare fire at Yarrabee Road, Henley Ridge, within two hours. Police and Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells has also welcomed the arrival of orange firefighting aircranes ‘Malcolm’ and ‘Delilah’ to Victoria for this fire season.

January, 2014


Be prepared for ÂżUHVWRUPVHDVRQ ¡ Comply with the local government ďŹ re break notices.¡ Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t burn off or light a barbecue on Very High or Extreme Fire Danger days. ¡ Check with your local council to ďŹ nd out about ďŹ re restrictions. Source: WA State Emergency Service Simple activities to prepare your home for storm season include: ¡ Keep gutters and downpipes clear, as blockages can cause water to overďŹ&#x201A;ow under the eaves into the roof cavity. ¡ Fix any roofs damage, including broken or missing tiles. ¡ Secure loose items in your yard or balcony

which may blow off in strong winds. ¡ Prepare an emergency kit with essential items in case you lose power or need to leave home in an emergency. ¡ Move vehicles under cover or away from trees. ¡ Listen to your local radio station and other media for weather warnings. Source: NSW State Emergency Service Should you be at home when a storm passes through: ¡ Stay inside away from windows. ¡ Close curtains or blinds. ¡ Ensure pets and animals are secure. ¡ Turn off electrics.


0$18)$&785(Â&#x2021;6$/(6Â&#x2021;6(59,&( Â&#x2021;$8675$/,$10$'(),5(&21752/(48,30(17 Â&#x2021;63$&(6$9(5 Slip-On Fire Units (400 - 800 Lt) Â&#x2021;02383 Series Slip-On Units Â&#x2021;+($9<'87< Slip-On Units (to 5000 Lt) Â&#x2021;6/,32129(5+($'6$)(7<6+2:(56 (Fixed / Remote) Â&#x2021;6/,321/,)7)5$0(6 Â&#x2021;+($76((.(5 Trailerised Fire Units Â&#x2021;%)(38036(76 - HONDA Petrol / KOHLER Diesel Â&#x2021;48,&.)/2: Primer Pumps Â&#x2021;%(//5((/ Hosereel Range (Manual / Electric Rewind) Â&#x2021;5$<'$1 Chemical / Foam Inductors Â&#x2021;%(//%$&.%851(5 Fire Control Burning Torches Â&#x2021;%/$&.287 Nozzles & Pistol Grips (FD/20 - FD/25 - FD/40) Â&#x2021;%(//),5(),*+7(5 Handtools (Pulaski / Breakmaker) Â&#x2021;)5(()/2: Hydrant Stand Pipes Â&#x2021;)$67)/2: Water Monitors c/05D06553/4513

or elderly ¡ fresh food and drinking water ¡ sunscreen ¡ pet foods There are also a number of simple activities you can do to help prepare your property for the ďŹ re and storm season. ¡ Have a number of buckets, mops, knapsacks, ladders and rakes on hand. ¡ Maintain a circle of safety, at least 20m wide, around your home by clearing away trees, dead leaves, twigs and branches â&#x20AC;&#x201C; also cut long grass and undergrowth in this area. ¡ Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t store ďŹ&#x201A;ammable liquids, ďŹ rewood or other ďŹ&#x201A;ammable material close to, or underneath the house. ¡ Close in eaves and the space under your house. ¡ Fit bronze ďŹ&#x201A;ywire screens or shutters to your windows and doors. ¡ Maintain gutters and the roof clear of leaves. ¡ Ensure hoses reach all corners of the home. ¡ If possible, consider buying a petrol or diesel powered pump and arrange to have an alternative ďŹ reďŹ ghting water supply (eg tank, pool, dam). ¡ Make sure you have access to woollen blankets. ¡ Wear protective clothing such as cotton or woollen trousers, longsleeved shirt or jumper, sturdy shoes/boots, hard hat or wide-brimmed hat, goggles and gloves.


Contact: Jim Ponsonby, Rob Stanley

Ph: (08) 9725 6100

12-14 Yookson Rd, (Picton Industrial Area) BUNBURY, West Aust. 6230 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Should be considered minimum equipment for Rural Landholdersâ&#x20AC;?


FOR residents in the Southern Farmer region, January really marks the unwelcome start to the ďŹ re season. As well there are sometimes storms and ďŹ&#x201A;oods because Australia is prone to some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most extreme weather. The intensity of the storm and ďŹ re season began earlier than usual this year, with New South Wales in particular already experiencing unexpectedly high temperatures, early bushďŹ res and gathering storm cells. The simple act of preparing your property and having an emergency kit ready could make a lifechanging difference this storm and ďŹ re season. The following home emergency kit checklist, courtesy of the NSW State Emergency Service, will help you be prepared, especially when the power goes out: ¡ torch ¡ portable radio ¡ batteries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; AAA, AA, 9V, C and D ¡ ďŹ rst aid kit ¡ sterilised wipes to clean cuts ¡ all important documents, including birth certiďŹ cates, passports and licences, are in a safe carry case ¡ list of emergency contact numbers ¡ good supply of required medications ¡ any special requirements and supplies for babies, the disabled and/

Southern Farmer, Page 31

As an electricity distributor, SP AusNet is committed to a safe and reliable electricity supply to your community. By keeping you informed, together we can help reduce risks this summer. What you need to do: s Ensure all vegetation remains clear of powerlines on your property s Stay away from fallen powerlines s Be prepared for electricity interruptions due to summer storms s

Prepare a bushďŹ re plan

Keep up to date on electricity interruptions via twitter (@sp_ausnet), or the radio. Report fallen trees on 13 17 99.

Together we can harness the power of communities to minimise risks this summer. ASSET SAVER: Rod Sheppard and his award winning invention at the Elmore field days.

Invention wins award THE Inventors Association of Australia(Vic)end of year soiree, awarded Carbon Reduction Industries P/Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rod Sheppard, its Inventor of the Year award for his Pump Defendaâ&#x201E;˘. He received the perpetual trophy, a certiďŹ cate and prize money in acknowledgement of his ingenious â&#x20AC;&#x153;why didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t I think of itâ&#x20AC;?invention. A spray jet, it sprays small volumes of water over a motor and pump, to protect them from burning, parts melting

or overheating. It was featured in Southern Farmer in November. Mr Sheppard created the device to ensure that his water pump didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fail, although it was seriously tested during the Black Saturday ďŹ res in Marysville. Ashe helped others to rebuild, he discovered that many homes may have been saved as his was, if they had a similar product. This new $50 ďŹ re protection device is now fully developed asa dedicated sprinkler arrangement.

NCASP/640VCrev E/05D06593/49-13


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Southern Farmer Jan 2014  
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