Page 1

South Central and West Gippsland

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ALL ABOUT SOIL

JULY, 2013

PAGE 4

SEEDS OF SUCCESS

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AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW PAGES 6-7

12 PAGE LIFT-OUT INSIDE

Chance to milk rise Dairy industry aiming for recovery after challenging past 12 months By DAVID PALMER WITH some opening milk prices up substantially on last year, dairy farmers are welcoming the improvement as a chance to recover from a climatically and economically challenging year just past. Australian Dairy Farmers Cooperative set an opening milk price of $6.20 a kilogram of milk soils towards the end of last month and topped prices from all other companies by quite a substantial amount. United Dairy Power’s season opening of $6.05/kgMS was the next nearest, while earlier announcements by Murray Goulburn, Fonterra and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter were $5.60/kgMS or slightly more. UDP managing director Tony Esposito predicted a season average between $6.30 and $6.40 and, like ADFC, made the point that because his company was focused on the domestic market, the fall in the value of the Australian dollar was not a factor in UDP’s higher predicted returns. ADFC recently signed a contract with a fresh milk processor for 20m litres. Ellinbank dairy farmer Ron Paynter said he was not getting overly excited by the higher prices because any extra money would go towards recovering from a very tough year. “A lot of farms have put off purchasing new equipment and are even looking closely at what pasture renovation they can afford,� he said.

HAY THERE FISH Creek farmer Paul Crock checks the hay ration he is feeding to his cattle. Mr Crock is part of a group which is seeking to improve interaction in relation to ethical, paddock to plate practices. The Gippsland beef producers formed a cooperative in 1999 and are seeking more rewards for better cuts.

“We have put off a lot of repairs and maintenance, even though our farm tracks are badly degraded and we are just strategically using a bit of nitrogen to boost pasture production rather than do major work. “We may be through the worst, but the higher prices are essential just to getting farms back on track; there won’t be any spend, spend, spend for the next year or so.â€? United Dairy Farmers of Victoria president and dairy farmer, Kerry Callow, said the modest opening prices from the export oriented companies – Fonterra, Murray Goulburn and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter – were useful, but much more was needed. She said farmers she knew who had been dairying for 40 years or more, said last year was the worst they had experienced, both climatically and ďŹ nancially. But higher opening prices and recent useful and widespread rains in Victoria had changed that to a great extent. However, a continuing downside and an important factor in farm viability was the loss of farm equity because the value of farmland had dropped. Ms Callow said competition in the land market had suffered because the timber companies and New Zealand dairy farmers were no longer buying. “The timber companies have gone bust and the high dollar meant New Zealand farmers who were once able to sell their farms over there and set themselves up well here, no longer found that possible,â€? she said.

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Page 2, Southern Farmer

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VICTORIANS have emerged victorious in the 2013 AUSVEG Awards for Excellence, the most respected awards within Australian horticulture, which were announced on June 1 at the AUSVEG National Awards for Excellence at Jupiters Gold Coast, Queensland. Social media savvy potato grower Stuart Jennings, Thorpdale in Gippsland, took home the coveted Rising Star of the Year Award, while Australian Bio-Plastics, based in Tatura in the Goulburn Valley, took home the Industry Impact Award. “These awards celebrate those who lead by example in the Australian horticulture industry – they are the heroes whose passions are too often unrecognised by those outside the Australian vegetable growing community,� said AUSVEG chairman, John Brent.

Stuart Jennings has established an online community of young Australian potato growers called Young Potato People, which aims at uniting and supporting younger people in the Australian potato industry. “Initiatives such asYPP are vital, as the average age of Australian potato growers is 58 and the industry recognises the need to encourage future leaders in an industry worth over $600m,� Mr Brent said. Mr Jennings said the inspiration to start the online community occurred while he attended a potato growers’ study tour in 2012 to Belgium and Scotland, alongside a host of other young industry members from all over Australia. Other Victorian winners for the night were Australian Bio-Plastics, distributer of Novamont

POTATOES MAN: A representative of sponsor Coles (left) presents Stuart Jennings with his Rising Star award.

and Mater-Bi, which are biodegradable plastic ďŹ lms, made from renewable raw materials like corn and laid at the base of horticultural plants to retain water and prevent weed growth. “The effect that Australian Bio-Plastics will

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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: sfarmer@nenews.com.au

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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

Print Post PP 3259990028

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.

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been harvested, meaning growers can save time and money, while still protecting their crops from weed pests.� The Rising Star of the Year Award is sponsored by Coles, while the Industry Impact Award is sponsored by Visy.

Letters to the Editor

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have on the Australian vegetable industry in the future is sure to be profound and they are worthy winners,� Mr Brent said. “The advantage of the product’s biodegradability is that they do not need to be collected once the plants have

ENVIRONMENTAL overlays are disrespectful. We seem to have sunk to a new level of disregard and disrespect for people who grow and produce things from land. Red tape environmental overlays are being rolled out in Colac Otway Shire, where council insists they will not change traditional farming practices. If they don’t want farming practices to change then why implement environmental overlays in the ďŹ rst place? If it ain’t broke, then don’t ďŹ x it. Clearly, they must think that there is a problem. What is disrespectful and unacceptable for landholders is that none of the contributors to the overlays - council, the CMA, DEPI and the private environmental

consultants - have the basic decency to identify the farming practices and land management practices which they regard as damaging and unsustainable, ie “we believe there is a problem and we don’t like how you are managing the land but we won’t discuss our concerns with you or make our concerns publicâ€?. Quite clearly the plan is to ‘push it through’ and avoid any debate, because the debate will expose the underlying ideology and the obviously awed understanding of agroecological processes. Maybe it is time to have some difďŹ cult conversations and for Minister Ryan Smith to reveal what his natural resource management agencies really think about traditional farming practices. The spin says one thing but agency participation in the overthe-top environmental overlays says another. Bernie Franke, Upper Gellibrand

F/05d06218/27.13


NEWS

Biosecurity help on offer VFF support through workshops, advice on animal health practices Focus is placed on delivering best practice animal health and biosecurity messages, with an emphasis on endemic diseases that affect on-farm production. Key messages and support are provided to producers by working with VFF member groups, local councils, peak industry bodies, livestock agencies and animal health companies. Workshops and information sessions are regularly held acrossVictoria, to assist producers with their livestock production. Workshops have covered diseases such as pestivirus

(or bovine viral diarrhoea virus), with the aim of helping producers to understand the disease and implement best management practice for their herd. The Small Farmers’Livestock Network is a new series of workshops, established to support people new to farming, those farming on a smaller scale and to raise awareness about the important role small landholders play in protecting the industry from disease. For more details, contact Jacinta Pretty or Zoe Moroz on 1300 882 833, or visit www.vff.org.au.

In brief Nagambie bypass opens TRAVELLERS on the Goulburn Valley Highway can expect to save about 20 minutes travelling time between Melbourne and Shepparton, and points north, with the opening of the $188 million Nagambie bypass. With a speed limit of 110km on this section, the bottleneck problems will be no longer.

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FARMERS and small landholders can now call on the Victorian Farmers Federation for advice on animal health and biosecurity. The VFF Livestock Group is the only state farming organisation to offer extension services to its members and the entire state farming community. The livestock extension program is driven by VFF livestock project ofďŹ cers Jacinta Pretty and Zoe Moroz and has been in place since 2011. The program supports all Victorian beef, meat sheep, wool and goat producers.

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TEAM PLAYER: Dr Ophel Keller said the award reflected a good team effort.

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“The research has involved SARDI, the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DEPI) and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA),� she said.

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AUSVEG made Kathy Ophel Keller its researcher of the year at its recent national convention on the Gold Coast. Research chief sustainable systems division at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), her award recognised the contribution of her team to horticulture and particularly the potato industry. She led a team which developed soil DNA diagnostic tests, to assess the risk of diseases which reduce yield and tuber quality caused by powdery scab, root knot nematode, rhizoctonia and common scab. “I’d like to thank Bayer for supporting the award and acknowledging the contribution that research makes to the industry,â€? she said. “This award reects a


NEWS

Page 4, Southern Farmer

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Fertile minds to WDONVRLOEHQHÂżWV REGISTRATIONS are open for All About the Soil, the theme for the 11th annual Victorian NoTill Farmers Association conference on July 16 and 17 at the Ballarat Lodge. The annual conference, which is expected to attract more than 300 farmers from across the state, will focus on how soils hold the key to higher productivity and proďŹ t. Award-winning Montana farmer Dr Jill Clapperton, who is recognised world-wide for her soil research knowledge and skills, is keynote speaker. Leading Australian farmers and soil scientists will also speak. National soils advocate and founder of Australia’s not-for-profit organisation Soils for Life, Major General Michael Jeffery, will open the conference.

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June in eastern Australia had generally improved conditions for planting, after those cropping regions had generally experienced very dry conditions during early to mid-autumn. Executive director, Paul Morris, said in addition to the favorable opening, the winter rainfall outlook issued by the Bureau of Meteorology

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per cent no-till 1300ha farm between Murtoa and Minyip, said getting the best from their soils, is top of mind for farmers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The conference theme drills in on the fact that soils are what farmers think about, talk about and want to know more about,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are rapt to have Jill Clapperton come over from the US to be part of our conference. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had such a great response when she spoke at last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conference that we invited her to come again. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Her depth of knowledge about soils is incredible, both through her research and growing crops on her own family farm in Montana.â&#x20AC;? Mr Adler said soils were the foundation for better crops and productivity.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know I speak for other farmers, when I say that we are always looking for ways to improve our soils and hence our productivity, efficiency and proďŹ t,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a business like any other business and anywhere we can reduce inputs, increases our bottom line. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As such, the conference brings together leading farmers, scientists and other speakers in the one place to present a broad spectrum all about the soil. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It will give farmers the most current and relevant information available on soils.â&#x20AC;? Yarrawonga farmer James (Jamie) Cummins, whose family started experimenting with no-till techniques 30 years ago, is excited the focus is on this topic.

Meeting to attract 300 from across the state He farms with wife, Alison, and their three children, his cousin, Justin, wife Libby and their three children, and Mr Cumminsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; parents James and Lorraine. He said they are constantly looking at ways to improve their proďŹ tability and sustainability while trying to improve their soil structure. They have a dream to turn their farm into one giant vegetable patch. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you go ďŹ shing and look for worms, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re never going to ďŹ nd them in bare earth,â&#x20AC;? Mr Cummins said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You ďŹ nd them under the mulch youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve laid over your garden. Mr Cummins said that since becoming involved with the Victorian No-Till Farmers Association ďŹ ve years ago, their farm has seen massive rewards.

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suggests an above average chance of exceeding median rainfall in most cropping regions in eastern Australia and an average chance in Western Australia. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With deeper soil moisture presently at low levels, yields would likely suffer if crops did not receive favorable rainfall while growing and developing,â&#x20AC;? Mr Morris said. The area sown to wheat and barley is forecast to rise by 3 per cent and 2 per cent to around 13.7million hectares and 3.8m ha, respectively, with total wheat and barley production forecast to rise by 15 per cent and 10 per cent to 25.4mt and 7.4mt, respectively. In contrast, canola production is forecast to fall

by 17 per cent in 2013-14 to 3.2mt. Harvesting of the 2012-13 summer crop is largely complete and total production is estimated to have fallen by 9 per cent to around 5mt. Production of grain sorghum and cottonseed are estimated to have declined by 23 per cent and 17 per cent to around 1.7mt and 1.4mt respectively. Australian production of cotton lint is estimated to have fallen by 17 per cent to 992,000t. In contrast, rice production is estimated to have increased by 26 per cent to around 1.2mt, the highest since 2001â&#x20AC;&#x201C;02. The Australian Crop Report is available at www.daff.gov.au/abares/ publications.

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Day one is from 9am to 5pm and the second day ďŹ nishes at 1pm. A dinner on Tuesday night, July 16, is also part of the conference program. People can register by phoning (03) 5382 0422, emailing info@vicnotill. com.au or visiting website www.vicnotill.com.au. Victorian No-Till Farmers Association president, Wayne Adler, said it is one of the key grain grower events on the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farming event calendar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is always a great opportunity for like-minded farmers to get together and share information, but it goes a whole lot further than that by presenting a quality line-up of speakers,â&#x20AC;? he said. Mr Adler, who farms with wife Jessica and his parents on their 100

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July, 2013

Hints to grow top quality nuts AFTER the success of a hazelnut and truffle seminar and workshop at his Gembrook farm last winter, hazelnut grower Colin Carter has set up a similar program at Korumburra for Sunday, July 28. Mr Carter said fresh hazelnuts have grown in popularity and are recognised as health nuts. The trees are hardy and easy to grow with very few inputs required. “Truffles are the fruiting body of a specialised fungus known as a mycorrhiza,” he said. “They need to be inoculated onto the roots of hazelnuts or oaks, where they develop a symbiotic relationship with the tree and the French black truffle which results, is highly prized and keenly sought by leading chefs.” Generally, a hazelnut seedling is used to inoculate the truffle mycorrhiza. However, a hazelnut seedling is an unreliable route towards producing top quality hazelnuts.

Southern Farmer, Page 5

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This fact led Mr Carter’s Trufficulture (a grower of truffle inoculated seedlings) to join with Hazelnut Nursery Propagators (HNP) to use commercial varieties in the inoculation process. “Trufficulture now has an orchard program to potentially produce both commercial quality hazelnuts and truffles,” Mr Carter said. Throughout NSW there are many successful hazelnut groves and also many

truffieres (truffle orchards), so there are soils and climatic regions that suit both, he said. Truffles require calcareous soil (lime rich) and this is explained in the orchard program. To register and reserve your place please ring Colin on (03) 5968 1092 or email colin@trufficulture.com.au. More details at www. hazelnuts.com.au, www. trufficulture.com.au.

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STARTED by the Jacometti brothers - Michael, Eric and Danial - a quarter of a century ago, Boomaroo Nurseries at Lara, probably the biggest in the nation, will this year produce between 300m and 350m seedlings. But with soon-to-be upgraded facilities, Eric and Danial and their 140 staff intend to produce up to 450m seedlings a year within the next two years. The nurseryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s product range includes tomatoes, capsicums, chilies, celery, onions, brassicas, egg plant, leek and numerous cos, colored and crisp head lettuce variety seedlings. At the time of Southern Farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visit, masses of grown on cyclamens were in evidence, too, to cater for expected demand for a popular Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day present. The Jacomettis chose Lara for their enterprise, partly because there are no other major horticultural enterprises nearby. As well, the nearby You Yang hills to the west create a small rain shadow which goes south beyond the nursery to Avalon Airport. Production manager Geoff Veavis, who showed visitors around the facility during the two-day National Vegetable Expo in early May, said there were a couple of days last summer, when Lara, 3.5km to the west, got 55mm of rain in a couple of hours and Boomaroo got 4mm. Also on the weather front, Port Phillip Bay, about 10km to the east, has a major cooling effect in summer.

ABOVE: The nursery layout was on display to visitors during the twoday National Vegetable Expo. The facilities at the nursery are due to be upgraded to cater for an increase in production. RIGHT: Driverless technology. This rail shuttle automatically delivers newly planted seeds to their glasshouse location.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;It will often get to 31 degrees by lunchtime here, but then normally by 2 oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;clock youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a sea breeze in to cool things down and, for example, that will help decrease fungal infections,â&#x20AC;? Mr Veavis said. Mr Veavis said despite Boomarooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s remoteness from other nurseries, it still attracted aphids, diamond backed moths and all the other usual pests, but soil borne diseases were non existent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t spray unless we have to and we spray with lower technology where we can,â&#x20AC;? he said. Because plants are essentially turned over every ďŹ ve weeks, the role beneďŹ cial insects could play

in an IPM program is very debatable, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I still think the best insecticide is Roundup, because if we keep the perimeters clean, and there are no host plants there for aphids or other pests, then there will be few problems in the nursery,â&#x20AC;? he said. Boomaroo started serious production in 1990 when the Jacomettis decided to go full-time into seedling production on a 20ha site. The growing area in the glasshouses is compacted crushed rock with agricultural drains underneath covered in plastic. The nursery runs over two shifts from 6am to midnight six days a week and 6am to 8pm on Sundays.

About 30 per cent of the 22 full-time production staff have English as a second or third language, so jobs are allocated on a white board, showing pictures of the employees linked with pictures of the machines they are needed to operate for that shift. At the start of the growing process, a drum feeder measures a growing medium mixture into trays and brushes it level. Then a layer of vermiculite is added, as is a water spray and seed, before trays are shunted onto an automated rail trolley which runs for 1500m down the length of the greenhouses. Â&#x201E; Continued page 7

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NEWS

July, 2013

Southern Farmer, Page 7

seeds of success ready to blossom The sowing line runs with three operators: one person puts trays on, another is a sower who is responsible for making sure there is one seed of the correct variety in every cell, and a forklift operator. The latter takes some of the sown trays into a germination room and keeps the sowing medium supplied to the mix hopper. The three put through about 1500 trays an hour, but at present only 850 trays can be handled into the nursery. Mr Veavis said the germination room ensures sowing can continue at capacity, but it also helps ensure proper growth in hot weather. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can sow on a warmish summer day and put the trays into a refrigerated germination room at 12 degrees at night,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In winter it works in reverse: we sow brassicas during cold weather and put them in the germination chambers at 18 to 21 degrees for one or two nights.â&#x20AC;? He said germination chambers were used just to initiate germination, to essentially crack the cells. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we get cotyledon emergence, we have left them in too long and they become unsaleable,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But even that one or two nights in the germination chambers means the seedlings come up three to four days faster than if they went straight out to the nursery.â&#x20AC;? Mr Veavis said there was a considerable amount of automated machinery in the nursery operating autonomously.

The aforementioned automated rail trolley, or shuttle, weighs up to 5t and has a ďŹ&#x201A;ashing strobe and noisy diesel generator to alert staff to its approach. Though, a laser detects any object in its path from a distance of about 15m and slows to a crawl and stops until the way is clear.

The Jacomettis liked what they saw. So much so that 35 containers arrived at Lara from the Netherlands in March. Six engineers came out too to install and commission it and it was due to be in operation by June 30.

GANTRY TIME: Employees collect cyclamens for sale.

For all intents and purposes, the nursery is a giant railway yard, because the automated shuttles take trays the length of the building and other railed wagons, transfer them laterally across the nursery at right angles to the far side of the building. As well there are rail mounted boom sprayers, fertiliser broadcasters, irrigators and mowers. The latter is a set of eight mowers hydraulically adjusted to remove any vegetation which is more than 90mm high. To increase throughput to the desired 400m seedlings a year, the Jacomettis vested the Netherlands in November, to look at a much more automated Visser seeding system.

The Visser system includes an automated scoop, which will take seeding mix from bulk bins in the right proportions for different seeds and deliver it directly to two plate seeders feeding trays at the seeding point. Mixtures used are primarily a composted pine bark mix with 10, 20 or 30 per cent peat added. The new system will more than double planting capacity to 5000 trays an hour, with just three operators instead of the eight needed currently. In the process, the sowing section has been moved to the middle of the nursery, so it is 750m from either end, instead of 1500m from the far end where it was previously.

Mr Veavis said â&#x20AC;&#x153;time in moving to the other end was killing us in terms of getting the job doneâ&#x20AC;?. The original quote for the seeding equipment was $1.8m â&#x20AC;&#x153;but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve blown itâ&#x20AC;?. Essentially the nursery is full 365 days of the year. Plants spend one third of their nursery life under glass and two thirds in the open. After being inside for seven to 35 days, plants are picked up and moved outside. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every 35 days in summer I can grow a new crop of lettuce; in winter that increases to 63 to 70 days,â&#x20AC;? he said. Mr Veavis said â&#x20AC;&#x153;depending on the crop, there is usually very little nutrition in the mix, the idea of that being that we can control when the plant grows and when it does notâ&#x20AC;?. Fertiliser is applied from an overhead, on rail gantry and because each tray has 144 individual non connected cells, each one gets the precise amount needed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That means uniform product goes out the door which is pretty cool when the plants have to go through an auto transplanter,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can grow tomatoes, capsicums and similar to be sown outside through winter in frost free environments, by keeping greenhouse temperatures just two or three degrees above the ambient temperature.â&#x20AC;? Boomaroo delivers seedlings as far north as Bundaberg and many places in between with three of its own B doubles, three semis and two tray tops.

AUTO SEEDER: Part of the new Visser seeding machine which automatically gathers sowing medium from up to six bulk bins.

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NEWS

Page 8, Southern Farmer

July, 2013

Top rewards for

JUGGLING ACT: This cut is part of just 30kg of prime cuts which come from a 300kg carcase.

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WHEN a group of Gippsland beef producers formed a cooperative in 1999 to produce and market their beef with a Landcare ethic, they were convinced consumers would reward them for that effort. While the producers recognised they needed to systematise the sustainability of their operations and have them audited under recognised standards, there was little recognition of the degree of involvement they would need to exercise to fully achieve their objectives. The group ran its course as a cooperative, but the brands survived and evolved into a leaner company, Gippsland Natural Meats, now supplied by 27 Gippsland producers and run by three producer directors. One of them, Fish Creek farmer Paul Crock, outlined challenges for the company at a sustainable

management forum at Marcus Oldham College at Geelong in late April. He explained the onfarm challenges in establishing and maintaining ethical and sustainable beef production, while difďŹ cult enough, had to be matched by GNMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to maintain acceptability of quality and prices for the end products. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A big challenge for the group is how to interact with consumers and work with butchers, wholesalers, restaurants and their customers, to promote ethical paddock to plate practices,â&#x20AC;? Mr Crock said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is a price-driven thing because we have tried as hard as we can to differentiate commodities and say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a point of difference, this is what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing and what we have to offer, which is different to other beefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have had many relationships come adrift, usually because of price.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everybody says they want product with high animal welfare and environmental standards, producing animals allowed to roam free range, without hormone growth promotants and to know where their beef is from.â&#x20AC;? But he said often when consumers were presented with a piece of steak with a $10 price tag and another at $11, they often did not make the effort to spend that extra dollar, even though they knew they would get a better, more holistic product. Mr Crock said it was also often difficult to ensure the integrity of the brand in the market place. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I guess one of the challenges we have is once we trust the brand to someone else, there is always the risk of them utilising that brand to open up new customers but then push other product through which give them healthier margins,â&#x20AC;? Mr Crock said.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Meat Standards Australia process which we utilise enables us to DNA trace our cattle from farm to the fork. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To show our end customers we are serious about our product integrity, not only have we roller-branded our product, we also now routinely DNA trace all our carcases.â&#x20AC;? Mr Crock said the company had very passionate butchers, who adhered to the rules and regulations and made sure they aged the beef for the correct time, so the consumer is rewarded with what they expected. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to be there working with the chefs and their people because we know we have a good product, and not only do we need to tell our story, the chefs need to understand the quality differences we have to offer.â&#x20AC;? Â&#x201E; Continued page 9

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NEWS

July, 2013

Southern Farmer, Page 9

top cuts the aim for producers „ From page 8

To guarantee the tenderness of GNM products, the group uses the Meat Standards Australia grading system. Significant industry investment and dedicated meat science developed the MSA system, which uses measurable factors in a carcase to determine the eatability and satisfaction level for consumers of meat cuts when aged and cooked in different ways. One of the benefits of the MSA model is the ability to identify different cuts and cooking methods for all the cuts in a carcase. “Out of a 300kg beef carcase, there is only 30kg of sweet cuts—rump, eye fillet, porterhouse and scotch fillet—so how do you juggle the other 270kg of meat and bone? “The MSA system gives us tools to work with chefs to determine how secondary primals will perform for different cooking methods which helps us greatly with finding solutions to plate costs by utilising the secondary cuts in a carcase.” One of the next moves for Gippsland Natural

Meats is to do more direct to the end consumer through online orders where consumers can purchase directly from the farmer. “We are keen to develop the stories of our beef from farm to fork, and will be utilising social media and new technologies to help tell our story directly to the end customers,” he said. When Paul Crock and his partner, Samantha, bought the farm Biran Biran at Hoddle, near Fish Creek, in 2000 and moved the beef herd from Phillip Island, they saw it as a great opportunity to implement sustainable farming practices. Over the past 13 or 14 years, as part of a nearly completed whole of farm plan, they have planted 30,000 to 40,000 trees. A really positive aspect of that was the return of koalas to the farm environment, Mr Crock said. A University of Melbourne Agricultural science graduate, he said the move to Fish Creek enabled the pair “to do what I had been talking to farmers about for a long time, which was to get in and have a crack at imple-

menting a whole farm plan and in particular protect waterways and habitat”. “The crux of Gippsland Natural Meats’ Enviromeat environmental management system was that the farmers involved were farming with a strong Landcare ethic,” he said. “I had a strong Landcare background and Landcare in the early days was all about combining productivity and conservation. “But we also had good cattle. “On the other hand, all farmers think their cattle are fantastic but if we are doing a paddock to plate venture, the reality is all about the eating quality of a piece of beef. “However, was this passion for looking after the environment really enough to underpin a green claim? “Could we say that just because we did it, it was environmentally friendly?” The Enviromeat EMS or Environmental Management System was developed around the ISO 14001 model for environmental management. “It is an international standard, is difficult to

FARM WITH A VIEW: Angus and Angus cross cattle at the Crocks’ picturesque Hoddle farm.

obtain and is very rigorous,” he said. “So, we set about taking a ‘Top Gear’ approach to ISO 14001, where we ripped the panels off and tried to get something which was a little more manageable, but which had the crux of the issues of how we could understand what we were doing.” It involved identifying environmental issues at a farm level and best practice to manage or resolve those issues, then

implementing best practices where possible and a review and monitoring process via peer audits and periodical external audits. Mr Crock said different farmers have different problems regarding e nv i r o n m e n t a l c h a l lenges. “Some have salinity issues, others have remnant vegetation or habitat decline, water quality and biodiversity issues and problems with pest plants and animals,” he said.

One of GNM’s directors, Bob Davie, and family on Phillip Island have significantly improved saline areas on his farm. Mr Crock said “many people say that once an area has become saline you throw your hands up in the air”. “But his experience shows it can be reversed with proper management,” he said. “Then, we have farm management issues like soil fertility, fire management and drought,

all things we do on the farm which we have control over. “OH&S is also included because it is a very important part of ISO 14001 and something to underpin that at a farm level is part of the process.” The challenge, too, was to cover the costs of all those aspects. GNM now has a group of 27 producers and all follow these on-farm processes to minimise stresses on animals and ensure good eating quality.

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NEWS

Page 10, Southern Farmer

July, 2013

Pumped up production levels Demand forces streamlined processes as company attempts to keep pace with the market THE demand for poly pumps for ag-chem applications has increased dramatically over the past two years. Australian Pump Industries has responded by doubling its production levels. “We have had to radically streamline our manufacturing processes,” said Aussie’s product manager, Dean Fountain. “This means that we can produce volume and maintain quality standards,” he added. Agricultural production methods are trending towards liquid fertiliser because they can be up to 10 times more effective than more common granular fertilisers. However, they are corrosive and need to be handled with the right equipment. Aussie Pumps offers a free, extended fiveyear warranty on its poly pumps. This reflects its confidence in the pumps’ ability to handle ag-chems. “We came up with a product that was resistant to corrosion,” he said.

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IMAGINATIVELY FERTILE: The radically streamlined Aussie poly pump production soars to keep pace with rising demand.

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NEWS

Page 12, Southern Farmer

July, 2013

Line-up of cattle full of champions Studs turn out in droves to show quality By DAVID RIZZOLI

SMILES ALL ROUND: The happy team from the McLachlan family’s PJ Cattle Co, Darlington, with PJ Dream, interbreed junior champion at National Beef.

IN an outstanding line-up of beef cattle, the championships and reserve championships at the 2013 National Beef, Bendigo, in mid May, came from three states – Victoria, NSW and South Australia. Prominent was the Buchanan Park Welsh Black stud of Alan and Jill Furborough, Bunyip, which stood the supreme interbreed champion (see Southern Farmer’s June issue).

Other results: ANGUS – Junior champion heifer, PJ Dream H27, PJ Cattle Co, P, J, T & L McLachlan, Darlington; reserve junior champion heifer PC MSD129 Admiral HO12, Waterlilli, Lilli Stewart, Fish Creek; senior champion cow or heifer, PJ Dream F22, PJ Cattle Co; reserve senior champion cow or heifer, Black Stamp Abigail, Ms Jean-Paul Prunelli, Fish Creek, grand champion cow or heifer and supreme Angus exhibit, PJ Dream H27, junior champion bull,

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Red Rocket The President G.45, BF, GP & JLF Hand, Larpent; senior and grand champion bull, P.J. Gazette G04. AUSTRALIAN LOWLINE – Junior champion heifer, Wanamara Tilly Devine, G & L Knight, Major Plains; reserve junior champion heifer, Urila Genevieve, WJ & HM Belton, Brighton; senior champion cow or heifer, Ballarat Grammar School; reserve senior champion cow or heifer and supreme Australian Lowline exhibit, Wanamara Tilly Devine, G & J Knight; grand champion cow or heifer Wanamara Tilly Devine, G & J Knight; junior champion bull, Wanamara Who’s My Daddy; reserve junior champion bull, Urila Hercules; senior and grand champion bull, Ballarat Grammar Fordy. AUSTRALIAN SHORTHORN – Junior champion heifer, Spencer Familys Coco’s Honour Legend, D & M Spencer; reserve champion junior heifer and senior champion cow or heifer Morningtime Road D 22, Roly Park, Scott Bruton; junior champion bull, Roly Park Felix; senior, grand champion bull, and supreme champion Spencer Family Yogi. BEEF SHORTHORN – Junior champion heifer, Roly Park Pearl; reserve junior champion heifer, Goonawarra Park Princess Tatianna, Goonawarra Park Beef Shorthorns, Leo & Fiona Swan, Lake Boga; senior champion cow or heifer, Hillview Royal Mary, Hillview Beef Shorthorns, W & M Harwood, Streatham; reserve champion cow or heifer, Goonawarra Park Princess Brianna; grand champion cow or heifer, Hillview Royal Mary; junior champion bull, Roly Park Joe; reserve junior champion bull, Anderson Hill Judd, Scott Pugh, reserve senior champion bull, Hillview Pistol; senior, grand champion bull and supreme champion, Spencer Family Archer. BELTED GALLOWAY – Junior champion heifer, Pine Gully Park Gwendolyn, Pine Gully Park, Heazlewood Family, Yallourn North; reserve champion junior heifer, Wilkamdai Honoria, C & D Woolfe, Creswick; senior champion cow or heifer, Cumbria Brantwood Duchess 5th, Cumbria Partners, Buangor; reserve senior champion cow or heifer, Cumbria Bewaldeth

Countess; grand champion cow or heifer and supreme exhibit, Pine Gully Park Gwendolyn, Heazlewood family; junior and grand champion bull, Clanfingan Voltaire, Clanfingan, Judith McKinnon, Mt Torrens, SA; reserve junior champion bull, Clanfingan Vagabond, Red Ochre, Pam Brown & John Malolo, SA; senior champion bull, Cumbria Branthwaite Greystoke; reserve senior champion bull, Clanfingan. BRAHMAN Junior champion heifer, Dundalee Indara, Dudnalee, Humphries family, Tallygaroopna; reserve junior champion heifer, Dundalee Udeesha, Humphries Family; senior champion cow or heifer, Destys Emma, Konabra, Alexander Chester, Koonoomoo; reserve senior and grand champion cow or heifer, Eureka Park Enna, Humphries Family. BRANGUS – Junior champion heifer, grand champion female and supreme Brangus exhibit, Eureka Park Nesha. CHAROLAIS – Junior and grand champion female and supreme Charolais exhibit, Airlie Stonehut Hie, Allendaw Charolais, DM & JT Taylor, Kerang; reserve junior champion heifer, Chenu Rebecca 3, Chenu, Chenu Holdings Pty Ltd, Bridgewater; senior champion cow or heifer, Lawaluk Elizabeth, Lawaluk, J.L & JH Waddell, Mt Beckworth; reserve senior champion cow or heifer, Clarinda Easy Maid, Clarinda, KC & GJ Manton, Rushworth; junior and grand champion bull, Waterford Gibralta, Waterford, D Halliday, Mt Macedon; reserve junior champion bull, Chenu Hustler; senior champion bull, Rangan Park Pinay, DM & JT Taylor; reserve senior champion bull, Allendaw Frosty. DEXTER – Junior champion heifer, Tarali Lodge Bella, Ian & Rosalie Dean, Mandurang; reserve junior champion heifer, Tarali Lodge Duchess, Catholic College, Bendigo; senior champion cow or heifer, Tarali Lodge Ness, I & R Dean; reserve champion cow or heifer, Donnybrook Gemma, John & Jenny Hince, Kyneton; grand champion cow or heifer and supreme Dexter exhibit, Tarali Lodge Bella; senior & grand champion bull, Baunatal Renny O’Malley, A Strack & O Czernik, Kyneton.


AVOID A HIGH VOLTAGE KICK. REMEMBER TO LOOK UP AND LIVE.

Take extreme caution around powerlines and make sure you stay outside the 3-metre ‘no go zone’. Life is not a game. For further information visit Energy Safe Victoria www.esv.vic.gov.au or call 03 9203 9700.

T/05D06132/19-13

Proud sponsors of AFL Vic Country.


Page 14, Southern Farmer

PROTECTED CROPPING CONFERENCE

July, 2013

Flower focus is ready to blossom The Protected Cropping Association (PCA) conferences have for many years been a success for vegetable growers but with little ďŹ&#x201A;ower grower input. This year that will change as the PCA has put in a great effort to make the conference, from July 29 to 31, in Melbourne, more attractive for ďŹ&#x201A;ower growers. Fore example there will be a tour to Melbourneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Flower Market, a confer-

In brief Veenman a special guest HORTICULTURE specialist from Royal Brinkman in the Netherlands, Fritz Veenman, will be a guest speaker at the PCA conference. Mr Veenman will talk on disinfecting and cleaning water, and irrigation and drain control. He is also an expert in plant temperature sensors and cameras that provide data for growers. t/05d06226/27-13

Exfoliators Premium Perlite & Premium Vermiculite

Supporting The Hydroponics Industry Growing All Things Hydroponically www.exfoliators.com.au

ence day for ďŹ&#x201A;ower growers and a farm tour to visit the below companies: s3UNNY(ILL&LOWERSn Lilium growers; s 4." 4ULIPS n 4ULIP growers; s 4HE "IG "OUQUET n Gerbera growers; and s *OE 2AUDINO +ALE and stock growers. As part of the conference there will also be a tradeshow, with many Australian and overseas companies showing the latest technology.

3EMINARS WILL BE HELD by the below guest speakers: s 7IM VAN DER %NDE IS THE OWNER OF (ORTI culture Consulting van DER%NDE"6ANDCOMES regularly to Australia and .EW :EALAND TO PROVIDE consultancy services to rose, anthurium and orchid growers. s(ERMAN%IJKELBOOMIS specialised in all aspects of glasshouse management and climate control, as well as issues surrounding

fertiliser applications and nutrient uptake. s0AUL(ORNEISAN)0- specialist with many years OF EXPERIENCE IN )0- for ďŹ&#x201A;ower and vegetable growers. s 3OMEONE FROM THE federal Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will discuss current issues with import regulations for ďŹ&#x201A;owers. More ďŹ&#x201A;ower speakers will be announced soon. 3EE THE 0#! WEBSITE for the latest information.

Win friends with salad %84%.$).'ONTHEIR area of expertise in vegETABLEBREEDING THE2IJK :WAAN 'ROUP HAS TAKEN the initiative in undertaking a positive campaign encouraging consumers to eat more salads, through an interactive website, ,OVE-Y3ALAD â&#x20AC;&#x153;The website engages directly with consumers, salad lovers and professionals, offering easily digestible content such as interesting and tasty easyto-prepare salad ideas that are suitable to feed a family or to cater for that special event without the fuss and preparation of a fancy meal,â&#x20AC;? said Frances Tolson from the Love My 3ALADTEAM â&#x20AC;&#x153;Anyone with a passion FORSALADSISINVITEDTOJOIN our salad community,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a tool to increase vegetable consumption,

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a win-win for everyone in our industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Participants can develop their own proďŹ les, share their salad stories and load favorite recipes ANDOR JOIN THROUGH &A cebook. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Anyone with a passion for salads is invited to JOINOURSALADCOMMUNITY ,OVEMY3ALADv As an appetiser, the Love -Y 3ALAD TEAMS TOP  salad ideas are: 4OMATOES %VERYONE loves bright, glossy skinned, JUICYmESHEDTOMATOESFULLOF AROMAS PERFECTFOR,-3S tomato tapas with basil and bocconcini recipe.  #UCUMBERS n TRY THE continental cucumber kebabs recipe. 3. Tri-colored lettuce - in the panzanella with tri-color lettuce recipe. "ABYHEARTCOSLETTUCE - used as salad boats in the little bateau recipe.

5. Capsicum in salads sliced thinly, either fresh or grilled, barbecued or roasted with or without skin. 3TRIPEDORTRADITIONAL eggplant - grilled, served with fresh mint yoghurt. 2OCKMELONnENJOY rockmelon with prosciutto and orange or serve cubed rockmelon wrapped in prosciutto as a starter. "ABYSPINACH TASTE the baby spinach and mushroom salad recipe. 9. Celery - partner with walnuts or cashews and oak-leaf lettuce. 'RATEDCARROTWITH apples, walnuts and sultanas or snack on carrot sticks with dip. h"E INSPIRED INSPIRE others and say hello to the future,â&#x20AC;? she said. For more information, visit www.lovemysalad. COMAU OR JOIN THEM ON Facebook.

12th Biennial Conference

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Solutions For Sustainable Growthâ&#x20AC;? A CONFERENCE FOR HYDROPONIC & GREENHOUSE GROWERS

July 28-31 2013 Pullman Melbourne Albert Park Contact Rick Donnan & Rosemary Viggers ph (02) 4567 7685 fax (02) 8569 1064 pcaconference@westnet.com.au www.protectedcroppingaustralia.com/event

Contact Louis Raper 03 9706 6049 Louis@exfoliators.com.au F/05d06228/27.13

Page Soilless Australia 24/ 2012 SummerRegister Online Now Page 14 4 Soilless Australia Vol Volume 1/13 Autumn

PCA National Conference July 28-31 2013

j/05d06030/14-13

FLOWER POWER: Production is a major part of Boomaroo Nurseryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work.

Scent of change in the air as PCA conference set to introduce tour, input from expert growers


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DAIRY & ANIMAL HEALTH

Page 16, Southern Farmer

July, 2013

The word on DCAD By JOHN LYNE Dairytech dairy production specialist

DCAD has become a common abbreviation in dairy language, through lead feed grain mixes designed to lower blood pH and prevent milk fever at calving. It stands for dietary cation anion difference and involves a negative DCAD, expressed as a minus figure in lead feed grain mixes. Far less known and discussed is positive DCAD in lactating rations, yet health, particularly metabolic problems, can often be traced to ration DCADs that are too high. Researched based recommendations are +200meq/ kg DM in winter months and greater than +250meq/ kg DM during summer. The problem we have in pasture based systems, both grazed pasture and pasture silage, is that these forages can range from +500meq/ kg DM to +700meq/kg DM. With either grazed pasture or pasture silage as a significant portion of the ration, we can easily end up with a ration average DCAD, well in excess of the above recommendation. The formula for calculating DCAD is: (potassium + sodium) – (chlorine + sulphur). From this equation you

can begin to see where our problems lie. Both potassium and sodium are positive charged ions while chlorine and sulphur are negatively charged ions. Obviously for an excessively high ration DCAD we need excessive potassium and/or sodium. The most obvious offender will be potassium from fertiliser. Another contributor to high positive DCAD can come from water high in either potassium or salt. Farms with surface water supplies (dams) need to be mindful of the possibility of run-off water picking up potassium from fertilised paddocks. This often peaks over summer months as dams get low and the concentration of potassium in the water increases several fold. The most common clinical sign of excessive DCAD in lactating cows is “midlactation milk fever”, which we are seeing more of each season. Likewise, and often concurrent, is staggers or hypomag and this, often not noticed in sub-clinical or mildly clinical cases, brings on the milk fever. I hasten to add here, most of these cows, if not all, were most likely suffering sub-clinical milk fever since calving. The impact of high ration DCAD is to bind the absorption of magnesium. Low blood magnesium then prevents the cow’s

system from recognising low blood calcium levels which determine calcium absorption from feeds and limestone supplementation. Ketosis also has a role in this problem. Ketosis, like milk fever, very frequently has a subclinical presence in fresh cows, often well past 100 days in milk. Our trial work last year using Keto milk test strips verified this, particularly in early lactation and it was unlikely to self-correct under the stress of negative energy balance (more energy going out in milk than consumed in feed). Ketosis and milk fever never seem to be apart. Ketosis/fatty liver syndrome reduces immune function leaving cows vulnerable to infection – metritis and mastitis particularly with compromised fertility as a bonus. As described in last month’s article, milk urea nitrogen (MUN) will also contribute to our cow health dilemma. There is a cascading effect with each of these challenges which appears to bring on the remainder. It is important to try tracing the final disease outcome to its source. Often misdiagnosis as to the cause of the clinical problem, only increases the problem. Obviously focusing on prevention of all metabolic challenges is the better option.

CAPITAL INJECTION: FutureDairy is seeking farmers interested in installing automatic milking rotaries.

DAM POTASSIUM: A contributor to high positive DCAD can be dam water where it has accumulated from fertiliser runoff.

Back to ration DCAD and prevention of clinical disease of either mid-lactation milk fever or hypomag, or both, as they are often concurrent, but most often diagnosed as milk fever. The assumption is calcium deficiency. From the preventative strategy, we run magnesium sulphate (epsom salts) in all grain mixes at a base rate of 35g/cow/day. From our DCAD formula, sulphur is a negatively charged ion, lowering ration DCAD in the presence of high (positive charged) potassium, common in our forages. I stress, ‘base rate’, as variations between farms can be significant. We gauge need from observation of cows. Observation of cows is rapidly becoming a lost art as herd sizes increase and cows per labor unit increase. I truly believe we must

regain our skills at observing cows for diagnostic purposes, as clinical illness rapidly invalidates the supposed gains of large herds. I’m privileged in that I usually get to see cows between milkings in the paddock, where behavioral trends enable very good assessment of pending issues, before they occur clinically. Being excessively alert to flighty cows will always cause me to increase mag sulphate in the grain mix, as an indicator of high DCAD preventing magnesium absorption, even when there is ample mag ox to support the magnesium requirement. Simply adding more magnesium will not be a fix. Between manure assessment and observation of cow behavior, the dairyman can manage a productive, disease free herd from sound rumen health, which equates to high feed conversion efficiency and profit also.

Research help is sought for Future FUTUREDAIRY is seeking farmers interested in installing automatic milking rotaries (AMR) to collaborate on automatic milking research. Chairman Shirley Harlock said participating dairy farmers would be able to convert to automatic milking at a reduced capital outlay and would also receive intensive training and support, in adapting their farming systems to automatic milking. “This is a very attractive offer for dairy farmers who are prepared to be involved in cutting edge research and share their experiences with the FutureDairy team and the industry,” Mrs Harlock said. FutureDairy has led the world in automatic milking research for pasture-based herds, particularly the auto-

matic milking rotary which was developed specifically for larger herds and Australian conditions. “Collaborative onfarm research is the vital next step,” she said. “It will enable us to test and refine recommendations so that the industry can adopt sustainable farming systems to support voluntary milking.” To be eligible, farms need to be capable of milking at least 600 and preferably up to 800 cows. Farmers interested should fill in the form at www.futuredairy.com. au/EOI.php. Applications close on Friday, July 19. More details: kendra. kerrisk@sydney.edu. au, 0428 101 372, or Shirley Harlock, 0439 800 117, jsh@wollastonfarms.com.au.

Pet sheep ‘more common’ WITH the increase of urban sprawl in Australia, sheep are increasingly being kept as companion animals. So, Mark Carter described to companion animal vets at the Australian Veterinary Conference in late May how treating sheep in a small animal hospital is possible. “Sheep can make good pets because they’re very gentle and respond well to human contact,” Dr Carter said. “We’re seeing more pet sheep with the growth of larger blocks of land on the outskirts of cities, along with the ‘tree change’ movement to country areas and hobby farms.

Do you have animal health or farm biosecurity questions?

>ŝǀĞƐƚŽĐŬWƌŽũĞĐƚKĸĐĞƌƐ

GIPPSLAND LIQUID FEED

dŚĞs&&>ŝǀĞƐƚŽĐŬ'ƌŽƵƉŚĂƐĚĞĚŝĐĂƚĞĚƐƚĂīƚŽĚĞůŝǀĞƌůŝǀĞƐƚŽĐŬĚŝƐĞĂƐĞ ĂŶĚďŝŽƐĞĐƵƌŝƚLJŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶƚŽĨĂƌŵĞƌƐ͖ ͻŶŝŵĂůŚĞĂůƚŚĞdžƚĞŶƐŝŽŶĨŽƌĂůůsŝĐƚŽƌŝĂŶďĞĞĨ͕ŵĞĂƚƐŚĞĞƉ͕ǁŽŽůΘŐŽĂƚƉƌŽĚƵĐĞƌƐ͕ ͻ&ŽĐƵƐŽŶĞŶĚĞŵŝĐĚŝƐĞĂƐĞƐĂŶĚŽŶͲĨĂƌŵďŝŽƐĞĐƵƌŝƚLJͲƚĂƌŐĞƟŶŐƚŚĞŝƐƐƵĞƐƚŚĂƚ ŝŵƉĂĐƚĨĂƌŵƉƌŽĮƚĂďŝůŝƚLJ͕ ͻzŽƵƌƉŽŝŶƚŽĨĐŽŶƚĂĐƚĨŽƌĂŶLJƋƵĞƐƟŽŶƐŽŶĂŶŝŵĂůŚĞĂůƚŚ͕ĞŶĚĞŵŝĐĚŝƐĞĂƐĞƐĂŶĚďŝŽƐĞĐƵƌŝƚLJ͘

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July, 2013

AG BIKES, ATVS, RTVS & UTVS

Southern Farmer, Page 17

Tough product now even tougher: Polaris POLARIS’ HO ATV will now become the HD, with a heavy duty specification of its Sportsman 500 designed specifically for Australian conditions just released here. It is the result of a visit by Polaris Industries’ US management and engineers to Australia and New Zealand during the latter stages of 2012, in which they spent countless hours with dealers and end users researching the usage of ATVs in Australia’s uniquely tough conditions. The Sportsman 500 HD

will now come with greasable/sealed ball joints, sealed driveshaft splines and sealed suspension bushings, to not only provide increased durability in harsh Australian conditions, but also provide easier ongoing maintenance. “The visit shows not only their commitment to understanding our market, but also to delivering products that are specifically designed for our quite unique conditions, climate and usage,” said Polaris Industries Australia and New Zealand country

manager, Brad Wolstenholme. “As our American parent company, Polaris takes the Australian market very seriously and has demonstrated a willingness to make the necessary investments in research and development, to make a great product even better.” All the character and features of the traditional Sportsman 500 will remain, including the tried-and-true 498cc high output, liquid cooled engine, on demand true all wheel drive, 28.6cm

ground clearance, a combined front/rear rack capacity of over 120kg and a towing capacity of 555kg. The radiator is also mounted 75mm higher in the chassis and angled rearward to provide greater protection from mud and debris. “Our conditions are known to be some of the harshest in the world, whether that is hilly, wet, dry, hot or simply rough,” Mr Wolstenholme said. More information: or to book a test ride: www. polarisindustries.com.au.

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Check up on seasonal closures MORE roads and tracks in Victoria’s forests and parks closed for winter and spring from the middle of June. The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and Parks Victoria run the seasonal road closure program to protect roads from damage during the cooler months and ensure the safety of road users. DEPI manager roads and bridges Chris Ste-

phenson said some forest roads and tracks were closed in May because they had increased potential to become treacherously wet; now the remainder of the track closure program had been carried out. “Closures are important because forest roads and tracks become much more difficult for drivers to use safely over this period,” Mr Stephenson said. “Some forest tracks

would be damaged if they were left open all year round, so we assess them each year and then, after consultation with key stakeholders, close any that require it.” 4 Wheel Drive Victoria chief executive officer, Russell Sturzaker, said “seasonal road closures are an important tool to ensure road surfaces are protected over winter and that people respect the need to protect catchments and water qual-

ity, as well as other sensitive areas.” “Our members are consulted by Parks Victoria and DEPI on which tracks are to be closed for the winter, and they understand and support the closure program.” More at: DEPI Customer Service: 136 186 or Parks Victoria: 131 963 or visit ‘Latest conditions’ at www. parks.vic.gov.auorthepublic access map site in the recreation and tourism section at www.depi.vic.gov.au.

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WINTER WARMTH & HEATING

Page 18, Southern Farmer

Fire input sought STANDARDS Australia has opened the Australian Standard on children’s nightwear for a period of review and public comment. “This is an important Australian Standard and we would encourage interested stakeholders to participate in the public comment process,” said Colin Blair, chief executive of Standards Australia. “The public comment process is a rigorous one. “This is to ensure standards are contemporary and based on the latest technical information.” AS/NZS 1249 Children's nightwear and limited daywear having reduced fire hazard has undergone numerous revisions over decades, with this edition containing numerous further significant changes. Key changes include: s THE mAMMABILITY TESTS and trim requirements have been rationalised; sANEWCAUTIONARYLABEL has been introduced; and

HOT TOPIC: This nightie was well alight about five seconds after a match was applied to it.

sCHANGESHAVEBEENMADE to improve and clarify some parts of the standard that were considered confusing and to provide users with a more workable document. In addition to the requirements of this standard, designers must refer to

national consumer regulations in Australia and New Zealand when it is intended to sell children’s nightwear garments in these countries. Those interested in participating in the public comment process, visit www. standards.org.au.

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In brief Collection time closed THE autumn 2013 firewood collection season closed across Victoria at the end of last month. The Department of Environment and Primary Industries’ (DEPI) statewide land and fire coordinator Rob Price said, “We want to remind people that, from the 1st of July, 2013, all designated firewood collection areas will be closed over the winter period and it won’t be legal for people to collect firewood on public land, until the start of the spring firewood collection season. “The public will be able to start collecting firewood again from designated firewood collection areas from Sunday, September 1.” DEPI and Parks Victoria staff will be patrolling parks, forests and reserves during winter to ensure people are doing the right thing. Firewood collection is only permitted during designated times of the year and from designated firewood collection areas. Typical on the spot fines are around $560; offenders that go to court, may be liable for fines up to $7042, one-year imprisonment or both. More information: www.depi.vic.gov.au/ firewood, 136 186.

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Processor ‘is a cut above’ STEVE Smith is not complaining: with the purchase of one of Typhoon Firewood Technology’s firewood processors, most of his 28 years’ experience as a chainsaw operator and wood splitter have gone out the window. In fact his wife, Luchena, often does all the hard work now of cutting 300mm long blocks from 8m long logs and splitting them four to six ways. But little sweating is involved because all she has to do is operate a joystick. The Smiths’business, operating as Smiths’Firewood at Woodend, also includes their son, Matthew. They routinely cut and split 10 cubic metres of firewood an hour using the tractor PTO driven Typhoon. Everything is hydraulically driven, from three built in hydraulic pumps, including a hydraulic chainsaw. The family originally had a non electronically controlled Typhoon and were perfectly happy with it for about two years. But when the electronic model became available, they could immediately see the ease of operation benefits. The Smiths’ unit has a feeder accessory which enables them to load up to 16 logs at a time onto the unit. Once that is done, by using the joystick, logs are cut into blocks and split and elevated into a truck or trailer. At the same time sawdust, at the rate of about three chaff bags a day, is extracted and packed automatically by another optional piece of equipment from Typhoon. It has a ready sale to the numerous owners of stables around the Macedon Ranges. The Smiths’logs measure about 8m long, because that is the limit imposed by their truck’s tray, when they load fire reduction thinned logs, generally about 400mm in

HOT TO TROT: A Typhoon Brother 400 set up with a standard log delivery trailer.

READY: Like Smiths’ Firewood’s unit at Woodend, this Typhoon has been teamed with the optional long log feeder trailer in the foreground.

diameter at the base, from licensed DEPI sites. Mr Smith said he thought that demand for firewood would tail off, when reticulated gas was supplied to Woodend for the first time three years ago. “I thought we’d lose out but demand has doubled in that time,” he said. Mr Smith said the normal firewood they split – they do get a little ironbark - sold for $95 a cubic metre. Red gum from northern NSW is much more expensive at about $150 a tonne. Ewan Carkeek, who farms near Corryong, is another happy Typhoon customer. Like Mr Smith, he had an earlier manual Typhoon and upgraded about five years ago when the electronic model became available. He cuts and splits about 200t a year of peppermint and stringybark and sells it around Albury-Wodonga. Also, because he has good contacts from collecting rubbish there for 14 years, the alpine ski

village of Thredbo. He handles logs up to 450mm in diameter but only 4.5m long because he doesn’t have the accessory log feeder the Smiths have. Mr Carkeek was, apart for the performance improvements of the electronic model, greatly impressed with the decreased noise. It is significantly less than the earlier model because the chainsaw stops once it has completed its cut – like an electric chainsaw - rather than run the whole time. Mr Carkeek uses a Merlo telehandler with a log attachment to load logs. He is delighted with it and said he “used it like a ute”. In fact he is looking to buy a second telehandler, again probably a Merlo. For more information, contact Typhoon owners like Brian Lucas, Woodside, Gippsland, 0428 527 237; John Robinson, Newcastle, 0423 083 866 and Neil Kentish, Western Australia, 0419 843 937.


WINTER WARMTH & HEATING

July, 2013

Southern Farmer, Page 19

6WD\¿UHYLJLODQWGXULQJZLQWHU CFA warns homeowners of danger VICTORIA has more than 3800 residential fires each year, with more than one third of those occurring in kitchens. The Country Fire Authority (CFA)and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) have a winter-long home fire safety campaign under way to highlight the increased risk. MFB chief executive officer, Nick Easy, urged Victorians to be vigilant. “Many people only associate fire danger with the hotter summer months, but home fires are also a real risk to Victorians during the cooler months too,” he said. The campaign aims to remind Victorians to consider the fire safety of family, friends, neighbors and older people who are living alone. Last winter, home fi res accounted for an estimated $97 million worth of damage. CFA deputy chief offi cer Steve Warrington said there were 12 fatalities as a result of home fires last year.

“It is important that the Victorian community remain aware of the risks during winter,” he said. “The easiest way to do that is to download and complete their own home fire safety checklist.” MFB commander John Rampling said Victoria’s fire services shared a vision of a safer more resilient community. “Just a few simple actions can help prevent fire in your home, such as always keeping an eye on the cooking and keeping at least one metre clear space around heaters and open fires,” he said. To mark the campaign launch, one of Australia’s most well-loved celebrity chefs and a regular in the kitchen Tobie Puttock, showed his support for fire safety by leading a cooking demonstration for firefighters at the Eastern Hill fire station. “Kitchens can be really dangerous places,” he said. “It’s easy to get side-

tracked when you’re cooking so it’s important to always be aware of the dangers that a fire can bring. “I have seen small fires start quickly in kitchens due to ovens that had not been cleaned properly and luckily I have always been prepared.” Other respected Victorian celebrity chefs, including Ian Curley (The European) and Guy Grossi (Grossi Florentino), will also lend their support during the three month campaign to the end of August. More information: www.homefiresafety. com.au. Home fire s afety tips to help safeguard homes from fire * Never leave cooking, heaters, open fires or candles unattended. * Don’t overload power boards. * Keep electrical appliances in good working order. * Ensure cigarette ash and butts are extinguished and never smoke in bed. * Do not dry clothing

FIRE SAFETY: Ensuring safe working order is a vital practice for preventing tragedy in the home.

less than one metre from heaters. * Clean lint filters on clothes dryers after every use and always let dryers complete the cool-down cycle.

* Store all matches and lighters out of reach of children. * By law every home must have at least one working smoke alarm installed on each level.

* Clean and test alarms regularly to make sure they are working. * Install a fire extinguisher and fire blanket and know how to use them.

* Have a home fire escape plan and practise it regularly. * Neve r d e a d l o c k yourself inside a house. When at home, keep keys in the door lock.

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AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW BENDIGO - JULY 2013

Page 2

Texel the feature at wool show 30 breeds of sheep, 12 Merino classes, on display at 14th Bendigo exhibition By DAVID RIZZOLI

CHAMPION COMPETITOR: Governor General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, presents Oak Bank Merino Stud principal Warren McRae (second from the right) his 2013 Victorian Merino Pair of the Year trophy and sash. Oak Bank Merino Stud will be competing at this year’s sheep and wool show at Bendigo.

won in 2001 and ‘One Oak’ in New South Wales won in 2009 and 2010. Interbreed supreme competitions are held for the Australian Prime Lamb Exhibit, Australian Longwool Exhibit,

Australian Longwool Group, Australian Prime Lamb Group, Interbreed Lambplan Performance Classes and Maternal Lambplan Class, which judges pairs of rams under one and a half

years old from the two breeds of Corriedale and Border Leicester. All 20 British breeds are eligible to enter the Champion British Breeds Group of one ram and two ewes.

The Australian Fleece Competition incorporates fleeces from Merinos (ultrafine 14.6 to 15.5 micron to strong 22.1 micron and stronger), Dhone, SAMM, Polwarth, Corriedales,

Downs breeds, British Longwools and Commercial crossbreeds. Black and colored breeders conduct their own separate fleece competition as do the Angora (mohair) breeders. Other competitions of note are the junior judging competitions in Merinos, Corriedales and White Suffolk and the state finals of the VAS Ltd Wool Breeders Judging Competition and the VAS Ltd Meat Breeds Judging Competition. The schools interbreed competition incorporates Longwool and Prime Lamb Ewes, Rams and Pairs of Rams and Ewes, and there is an Amateur Photo Competition featuring farm bikes. The 136th annual Australian Sheep and Wool Show will be held at the Prince of Wales Showgrounds in Bendigo from Friday, July 19, to Sunday, July 21. For more information visit www.sheepshow. com.

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THE European sheep breed, the Texel, will be the feature breed at this year’s Australian Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo. Conducted by the Australian Sheep Breeders Association, there will be 30 different breeds of sheep represented at the show, together with 12 classes of Merino, ranging from ultrafine to strong wool. There will also be two goat sections – cashmere and angora. The Texel breed originated from the island of Texel off the coast of The Netherlands. It is primarily a meat breed and, since its introduction to Australia in the early 1990s, has also been crossed with other breeds to give prime lamb dams. The Texel is found in all states, except the Northern Territory. The Australian Texel Stud Breeders Association was formed in 1990, with 47 foundation members, through the Australian Texel Corporation that imported the first sheep.

The Texel breed standard of excellence describes the animal as being a welldeveloped, evenly proportioned, square, heavily muscled, beam-shaped meat sheep. The wool is moderately dense, high loft/bulky, crossbred type wool of 30 to 36 micron. The Texel exhibitors will contest 17 classes including champion, reserve champion and supreme champion in each class. Heading up the Merino sections is the Australian Merino Pair of the Year, featuring the beat pair, ram and ewe, horned or polled from each state in Australia. In the 13 years since the show shifted from Melbourne to Bendigo, three Victorian studs have won the title: ‘Rockbank’ in 2002, 2006 and 2008, ‘Glendonald’ in 2003 and 2011, and ‘Wurrook’ in 2005. The Western Australian stud ‘East Strathglen’ has triumphed three times: in 2004, 2007 and 2011, with ‘Angenup’ winning in 2000. ‘Rokeby’ in Tasmania

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AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW BENDIGO - JULY 2013

Page 3

Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s welcome letter A number of schools are running studs and compete in junior judging/ handling competitions as well at the Sheep Show. Youth are the future of our industry. The Bendigo Festival of Lamb and the Women of Wool events highlight just why the sheep industry holds such an important standing in our country; economically, socially and culturally in valuable live meat exports and wool production. I invite you to enjoy the cooking demonstrations and savor the signature lamb dishes on offer presented by some of Bendigoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best restaurants, cafĂŠs and pubs; marvel at woolcraft creations and be impressed by highend fashion parades. The show incorporates the National Texel Show, presenting as this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feature breed, and also includes the National Merino Pairs competition on Friday night where the best Merino ewe and ram in the country are selected. The show is completed with Bendigoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Supreme Dorper sale on Sunday and the Stud Merino Ram sale following the show on Monday, July 22. This is the first year the show will take place in the new 6180 square metre shed, representing a milestone in our continuous growth and a sign of bigger things to come. It was made possible with a $2 mil-

I AM proud and excited to welcome everyone to the 136th Australian Sheep and Wool Show, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest event of its kind, and a celebration of the very best the industry has to offer. Firstly, I would like to thank the stewards, judges, volunteers and exhibitors. Without their hard work and dedication, an event of this size would simply not be possible. I also acknowledge the effort of those who have trucked sheep in from all over the country, including from Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia. The show brings together producers from all over Australia to compete for state and national awards, and forge continuous improvements in genetic breeding, building on a strong tradition of innovation. The role of this important event serves to showcase the best of the breeds and breeding techniques of today. With a sharp focus on the farmers of tomorrow, it also aims to cultivate and inspire the farmers of the future. Our schools program, supported by the Ross McKenzie Fellowship, helps bring some of the finer points of sheep management to the next generation.

Bike theme revealed THE 2013 Australian Sheep and Wool Show photography competition has a real rural feel to it with this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theme being farm bikes. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst prize winner receives $250,

which is provided by the Australian Sheep Breeders Association, with second prize of $50 being donated by C and A Antonis. All photos are to be submitted to the secretary of the Australian Sheep

Breeders Association, PO Box 219, Bendigo, Victoria 3552 no later than Friday, July 12 with a $16 entry fee. For a copy of the entry form, visit www.sheepshow.com and click on entry forms.

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PETER B AKER agribusiness partners and many other sponsors too numerous to mention, who individually are equally as important to the success of our show. The schools activities, together with the junior judging/handling, are supported by an annual Ross McKenzie Fellowship, with further financial support from the University of New England, to guarantee the sustainability of these programs. This will be another world class event in 2013 and we welcome you all.

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lion State Government grant, $660,000 from the Australian Sheep Breedersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association, $350,000 from the Bendigo Agricultural Society and $250,000 from the City of Greater Bendigo. In particular, at this point I would like to put on record our sincere thanks for the considerable input to the building project provided by two members of my executive â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ross McGauchie and Peter Vanrenen. It has been a difficult road and their persistence and resilience in making it all possible is deeply appreciated. I gratefully acknowledge the ongoing support of the City of Greater Bendigo for embracing the event and for their foresight in wanting to help develop the economic stimulus that it provides to Bendigo City and the Greater Bendigo region. I would also like to thank my executive, management team and dedicated secretary, Andrew Ternouth, and the broader Australian Sheep Breedersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association Committee and members. Their commitment, supported by the many volunteers, makes the show possible. We need to recognise and thank our major sponsors for their support, led by Stock & Land, Landmark, Elders, Ruralco, Australian Wool Innovation, Australian Wool Testing Authority, all backed up with numerous other show

THE AUSTRALIAN SHEEP BREEDERS ASSOCIATION PRESENTS THE 2013 AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW The Home of Women of Wool and the Festival of Lamb

Show: July 19th - July 21st: Supreme Dorper Rams Sale 21st July: Merino Ram Sale July 22nd Prince of Wales Showgrounds Bendigo 2013 FEATURE BREED

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Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the breed in Australia

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AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW BENDIGO - JULY 2013

SITE KEY 1. Outdoor Site Area (1A & 1B) 2. Noble Pavilion 3. Osborne Pavilion 4. Benson Pavilion

SITES / Stalls Parking

5. Dining Hall

7. Festival of Lamb

13

EXIT

6. Shearing & Wool Handling

7

8

9

9. Seminar / Meetings Marque

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8. Country Living & Lifestyle Marque

10. Parents Room 11. First Aid 12. Technology Centre 13. Breed Tent 1 - Dohnes 14. Breed Tent 2 - Victoria Merino Stud Display 15. Breed Tent 3 - South Australia & N.S.W. Merinos 16. Exhibition Centre Foyer

Sheep Dog Trials

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Members Parking Livestock Exhibitors Parking

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In ONLY

18. Exhibition Centre Merino, Corriedale, Polwarth & Fleece Competition

Emergency Assembly Area

23. Cookery Pavilion 24. Art & Craft Pavilion

Truck and Trailer Parking

25. Industrial No. 4 Pavilion 26. Industrial No. 3 Pavilion

q/wk27/northeastfarmer/site map sheep and wool show 2013.indd

Crafty expo lures experts THE Woolcraft section of the Australian Sheep and Wool Show is held annually at Bendigo to provide an avenue for craftspeople to exhibit and demonstrate their craft. Featured throughout the six sheds for 2013 are 40 demonstrators from all over Australia, including The Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association, Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria, Machine Knitters Association and The Victorian Feltmakers. With more than 300 exhibits in this year’s Woolcraft competition, there will be plenty of experts to answer all your questions. For wool enthusiasts, it is a perfect opportunity to pur-

chase fleece, tops, yarn, spinning and weaving equipment, and handmade articles, and a chance to attend the Woolcraft fashion parade in the Noble Pavilion, which is held daily at 11am. Woolcraft Committee president, Dot Vallence, said the competition would not exist if it wasn’t for the volunteers. “The committee members, who come from all over Victoria, give freely of their time, not only on the 10 days duration, setting up, staging and dismantling the show, but also for meetings held in Melbourne during the year,” she said. More at www.australianwoolcraft.com.

15-21 July, 2013

Event to dish up delights THIS year’s Bendigo Festival of Lamb is gearing up to showcase a feast of delights under the one marquee. Try the best regional craft beers, listen to local blues musicians and taste delicious lamb stews at the Ewes, Brews, Stews and Blues event, which will run from 3pm

on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20. Chef Simon Lock from the popular Italian restaurant ‘Borchelli’ will be guiding the ‘Cooks & Kids’ finalists through the cooking of a restaurant-quality lamb dish at 11am on Sunday, July 21. There will be daily cooking

classes starting at 1pm where you can learn tips and tricks of cooking lamb using local produce from the region’s top chefs from The Dispersary Enoteca, The Bridge Hotel and Masons of Bendigo. Bob the butcher will be on hand daily to carve up the cuts of

lamb for the ‘Paddock to Plate’ event at 12 noon and 2pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and Eaglehawk Primary School will be participating in a cook off against an ABC radio presenter at 11am on Saturday, July 20, as part of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.


With more than 40% of lambs mulesed without pain relief, it’s now time to make a Better Choice. Currently, a little under half of all Australian sheep are mulesed without any pain relief. In the absence of short term alternatives, some farmers that had abandoned mulesing may have now returned to the procedure. (Sheep farmers Flocking back to Mulesing – The Australian January 21, 2013).

It’s encouraging to see many farmers recognise the benefits of pain relief, but there are still some who don’t. Farmers who don’t use pain relief often indicate cost as a reason, but in fact, pain relief pays for itself. They only need to wean another 1 in every 100 (or 1%) lambs for pain relief to pay for itself.

Number of ewes mated

100

Lambing percentage

80%

Number of lambs (A)

80

Cost of pain relief per lamb (B)

68¢

Total cost to treat lambs (AxB)

$54

Estimated value of lamb under 10 months*

$80

* Based on estimated market value of lamb May 2013

With recent studies showing at least 24 hour effective pain relief, it’s best welfare practice to use pain relief when mulesing. Effective pain relief means lambs ‘mother up’ faster, experience less blood loss and shock and enhanced wound healing. Talk to your vet today about pain relief that is effective for at least 24 hours. Better for lambs, better for you, better for industry.

If you are mulesing, it’s now time to use pain relief.

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CHOICES

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Page 6

AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW BENDIGO - JULY 2013

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WB Gadd grows from strength to strength as VWRUHLPSUHVVHVZLWKÂżQHVW$XVWUDOLDQJDUPHQWV ACCORDING to the owners of the wellknown, historical WB Gadd General Store in Avenel, a pure wool jumper is the ultimate in comfort, but when blended with possum fur, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the ultimate in luxury. Graydon and Jo Johnston run their specialist merino and merino possum blend garment shop and have a vested interest in promoting Australian wool. Having been wool growers for many years, the couple have now downsized their flock of merinos from 4000 to 600 to allow them to focus on the WB Gadd store, which has been growing steadily since it opened its doors 13 years ago. The couple are passionate about the survival of the Australian wool industry and work actively with local and New Zealand manufacturers to ensure creation of the best products. The WB Gadd store is one of the largest suppliers in Australia of possum and merino products, providing an outlet for the supply and promotion of Australian and New Zealand natural fibre garments including jumpers, scarves, gloves, beanies and undergarments. Many of the garments are a result of Graydon and Joâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expertise, crea-



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tivity and knowledge of customer needs. Graydon said possums have been introduced to New Zealand and are a â&#x20AC;&#x153;serious and expensive environmental issueâ&#x20AC;? which is destroying native habitat and is competing with the iconic Kiwi for food and shelter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;By blending pos-

sum fur with merino, the range of fine wool products available to the consumer is vastly increased as possum, being a soft, hollow, light-weight fibre, adds warmth and softness and is luxurious to feel,â&#x20AC;? Graydon said. The couple has a range of specially designed hardwearing

socks, jumpers in colors only available at their store and a range of health socks designed for people with circulatory problems such as diabetes. WB Gadd has a site at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show, with a range of products available online at www.wbgadd. com.

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AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW BENDIGO - JULY 2013

Page 7

Breeders cut out need to dock Short tail Merinos a reality as genetic selection program proves success SHORT tail Merinos are a genetic reality thanks to a group of sheep breeders who have successfully used genetic selection to breed naturally short tail animals that do not need tail docking. The SRS Merino Company, founded by sheep geneticist Jim Watts, has led genetic development in skin and fleece biology and among the many advances made by Dr Watts and SRS Merino breeders is the elimination of the need for tail docking, a long held practice among traditional Merino sheep breeders. Under the SRS breeding system, tail docking can be optional rather than a standard practice for Merino breeders wanting to differentiate their flocks and wool on easy care and animal welfare grounds. Parkdale SRS Merino Stud breeder, Don Mudford, is the first breeder in the modern era that has had success using genetic selection. But while the NSW Parkdale SRS Merino Studâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success in breeding shorter tail sheep is a significant genetic achievement, it has not yet become a commercially viable strategy and continues to face dis-

crimination â&#x20AC;&#x201C; similar to that faced by unmulesed clean breech sheep - in the store and replacement ewe market place. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Store lamb or ewe buyers are not prepared to purchase animals with any tail as they perceive them (tails) as a management problem, such as making the animals more prone to flystrike, or creating an issue with shearing or crutching,â&#x20AC;? Mr Mudford said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In our experience with using short tail genetics, these have definitely not been an issue.â&#x20AC;? Mr Mudford describes a genetically short tailed lamb at eight weeks of age as one with a tail that is less than 20 centimetres (cm) long, which is about half the standard tail length of 36cm to 40cm. Some animals have tails only 10cm long. To achieve this result, Mr Mudford and Dr Watts followed an approach used by New Zealand geneticists, who had bred short tail meat sheep animals by incorporating Finnish Landrace genes into a breeding program. The naturally short tailed breed is commonly used in meat sheep flocks to incorporate its high fecundity gene, that

EASY-CARE ANIMALS: Having woolly short tails does not present any management issues in Parkdale Merinos as these 18 month old ewes in 10 months wool demonstrate.

is, the ability to produce multiple births. The geneticists found that as the percentage of Finnish Landrace increased in progeny, the tail lengths became shorter. They concluded that the ability to pass on the short tail genes (it is thought only a few genes are involved) is very high compared with other

common genetic traits such as growth rate or fleece weight. Over the years, the Mudfords have retained around 150 short tailed lambs. This was to learn more about their lifetime performance. Mr Mudford said the short tailed sheep have excellent muscular control which allows the tail

to be elevated clear of the urine stream. At half-length, the sheep do not need to be tail docked and the under-surface and sides of the tail are mostly free of wool. Dr Watts believes that genetic selection can play a large and potentially lucrative role in producing sheep that can offer significant

management and textile market opportunities for farmers who are prepared to differentiate their flocks. But he said traditional Merino producers need to become more open to change, particularly in the face of increased awareness by consumers around animal welfare issues and ethical production.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Breeding for short tails and non-mulesing in a productive Merino wool/meat sheep enterprise demonstrates how stud breeders and scientists thinking outside the square for genetic trait improvement can open up new welfare and management opportunities for the Merino stud industry,â&#x20AC;? Dr Watts said on the issue.

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Page 8

AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW BENDIGO - JULY 2013

Breeding true to type Corriedales By DAVID PALMER GAMBIER View and Compton House Corriedale studs will again be offering sheep at a regular midspring, multi-vendor Corriedale sale. It will be at the Stanbury family’s West Cloven Hills Camperdown property on Thursday, October 31. Gambier View and Compton House principal, Milton Savage, said the offering would total about 70 rams of which his two studs would be offering about 35. He said the two studs would also offer young ewes, mostly of joinable age, although some might be offered with lambs at foot. Other vendors at West Cloven Hills would be Stanbury Corriedales, Loddon Park stud, Baringhup and Fairburn stud, Daylesford. Mr Savage said Gambier View, now comprising about 300 stud ewes on volcanic country, six kilometres south of Derrinallum, was started near Mount Gambier by his grandfather in 1957. Compton House, also with about 300 ewes, is on a separate property near Skipton. The objective of the three generations of Savage stud-

masters has been to breed true to type dual-purpose Corriedales, capable of consistently producing topquality meat and wool sheep. Mr Savage said wool generally tested about 27 microns, although the drought year just past had seen fibre diameter forced back to about 25 microns, but with individual rams still cutting up to seven kilograms per head. So far this year there has been 34 millimetres of rainfall up to May 1, followed by 38mm that month and another 50mm up to mid-June. That is well down on the annual average of about 650mm, he said. He described the dry 2012 and early 2013 year as particularly tough, although the sheep had come through in better condition and growing better quality wool than more normal years. Mr Savage said he carefully introduced new blood to the studs to ensure the sheep continued to breed true. However, he has regularly sought the genetics the stud requires from New Zealand and has imported appropriate semen from time to time.

“We are careful in the way we introduce new sires, as we pride ourselves on the way our sires breed true to type,” Mr Savage said. “The last few years we have used three sires from New Zealand, to push muscling in carcases and produce harder black feet, but without losing the wool aspect of Corriedales.” He said that the main advantage of the Corriedale is that it is a true dual-purpose sheep and with lamb, mutton and wool all selling well, “we have a big advantage over other maternal breeds of sheep”. “In New Zealand they blood test their rams, to foot score for foot root resistance and we have adopted this process,” he said. “The New Zealand rams we used had the best foot scores possible, of 1: 1,” he said. On a practical management level, Mr Savage aims to produce ewes with adequate milk and strong mothering ability, to raise a significant proportion of twin lambs. Lambing begins next month and generally about one-third produce twins.

ON SHOW: Gambier View and Compton House principal Milton Savage shows off one of his stud rams.

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IF you are looking for practical information on agriculture and the environment, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) offers free email alerts when new updates become available . CSIRO Publishing operates as an independent science and technology publisher with a global reputation for quality products and services. According to CSIRO Publishing digital marketing coordinator, Anna Molan, the company’s internationally recognised publishing program covers a wide range of scientific disciplines, including agriculture, the plant and animal sciences, and environmental management.

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Show ticket prices 2013 Entrance fees for 2013 are: * Adults $20 * 3 day pass for 1 adult $50 * Pensioners $15 * 3 day pensioners pass $25 * Students 14 and over $10 (3 day student pass $20) * Children under 14 free * Family Pass (2 + 2) $40 (3 day family pass $80) * Tour/student groups of more than 20 people $10 per head * Car Parking on the ground $5 per day (3 day parking pass $10) The Australian Sheep and Wool Show is open between 9am and 5pm each day.

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AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW BENDIGO - JULY 2013

Page 9

Flystrike prevention study inspires AWI to investigate further EARLY trials of two technologies used to treat human conditions warrant further research as potential flystrike prevention alternatives according to Australian Wool Innovation (AWI). O ve r t h e p a s t 1 8 months, AWI has conducted early scoping studies using liquid nitrogen and laser treatments, with researchers concluding both treatments deserve further investigation. Flystrike prevention is AWIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top research priority, having invested $45 million in animal health and welfare research, and development and extension since 2005, including more than $26 million on flystrike prevention. Steinfort AgVet and Enduro Tags managing director, John Steinfort,

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and owner Marilyn Lanyon describes sleeping on the under blanket, like â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sleeping on a cloudâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. They also have a range of quilts from one blanket warmth through to four blanket warmth, and they can also custom-make quilts to be warmer on one side than the other - the marriage-saver treatment. This is great for cou-

ples who have different warmth comfort factors. As well as customising quilts, Marilyn can customise under blankets for caravans and campers, so you can be truly comfortable while you are away from home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Really - if you think of something, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make it for you,â&#x20AC;? Marilyn said. All products are hand-

made at the family farm, and factory direct, bringing the wool from the ewe to you, and all at a great price. View the Aussie Wool Quilts collection of doonas, quilts, pillows and under blankets at www.aussiewoolquiltsboort.com.au or phone Marilyn and her team on (03) 5455 4237.

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ing of the surrounding skin and reduction in wrinkle. The scoping study using laser treatment to potentially remove wool from around the breech and tail have not yet demonstrated a proof of concept, but according to AWI it warrants further investigation. Meanwhile, the latest results for the sodium lauryl sulphate treatment (skintraction) that were presented at the recent AWI research and development update revealed that an application is currently with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for registration approval. This approval is required before further development into its commercialisation occurs.

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THE North Central Victoria Sports Shears Association is proud to present the Australian Sheep and Wool Showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shearing and wool handling competition. Victorian State titles and other competitions include: Â? <]R[ `URN_V[T Â? @R[V\_ `URN_V[T Â? 6[aR_ZRQVNaR shearing Â? 9RN_[R_ `URN_V[T Â? <]R[ d\\Y UN[QYV[T Â? ;\cVPR d\\Y handling Â? ARNZ RcR[a Â? <]R[ OYNQR Â? >bVPX aU_\d

has been conducting the scoping trials that have been running for 12 months. He said the liquid nitrogen has shown a proof of concept. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Results have been promising with reduction of tail and breech wrinkles and increase of bare skin, with reduction of dag accumulation in comparison to the controls,â&#x20AC;? Dr Steinfort said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These factors are well documented to reduce the fly strike incidence in sheep.â&#x20AC;? Three scoping studies have used liquid nitrogen in the same way it is used when removing unwanted skin conditions in humans, which is to freeze the treated area which subsequently forms a scar that lifts off over subsequent weeks. The result is a tighten-

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132nd BALLARAT SHEEP SHOW Texel Sunday, 28th July, 2013 Feature BALLARAT SHOWGROUNDS Show Midland Highway, Ballarat Catalogues and entry form s available at

www.ballaratshow .org.au

Monday 29th July 2013 BALLARAT SHOWGROUNDS AT 12 NOON For sale details contact conjunctional selling agents:

Ross Dickinson Bus (03) 5337 9999 Mob: 0438 847 871

Office (03) 5334 1030 John McGrath - 0417 047 648 Ted Wilson - 0409 368 376

Sale rams available for inspection at the Ballarat Sheep Show, Sunday 28th July and on the morning of Sale.

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For details contact the BALLARAT AGRICULTURAL & PASTORAL SOCIETY PO Box 401, Ballarat. 3353 Telephone (03) 5338 1877 Email: admin@ballaratshow.org.au

2013 BALLARAT MERINO RAM SALE


AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW BENDIGO - JULY 2013

Page 10

Soaring interest a welcome boost for Sheepvention sale THIS yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sheepvention committee is looking forward to the eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pen of 5 Ram Saleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; due to the large number of entries that have already been received for the popular event to be held on Monday, August 5, and Tuesday, August 6, at the Hamilton Showgrounds. Sales in 2012 topped $800,000, with the highest priced ram exceeding $20,000. Sheepvention president, Rob Hartwich, said the committee is looking forward to a strong and competitive ram sale which is located in the Wool Shed Selling Centre. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are delighted with entries exceeding 80 pens,â&#x20AC;? Mr Hartwich said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a key sale for the industry as we attract buyers and vendors from all over Australia. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is a fantastic networking opportunity, with all the top producers and companies in the precinct plus organisations like the AWI (Australian Wool Innovation),â&#x20AC;? he said.

Alongside the Merino show will be another 800 sheep competing in the Sheep Pavilion. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feature breed is the Poll Dorset, with additional classes having been included in this section. There will be a variety of breeds on display and plenty of sheep producers keen to talk to prospective clients. Mr Hartwich said the strength of events like Sheepvention is supported by its sponsors, with Virbac, Rural Finance and the Commonwealth Bank having been sponsors for many years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It says a lot when you have sponsors that have been with the event since it commenced,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Companies like Coopers Animal Health and the Hamilton Spector have been involved since day one of Sheepvention. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It must mean that there is still a huge degree of relevance for businesses at Sheepvention.â&#x20AC;? For more details, visit www. hamiltonshowgrounds.com.au.

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WOOLLY WONDERS: The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria is providing exhibitors, producers and members of the industry the opportunity to celebrate the sheep and wool industries at its Sheep and Wool Celebration Function.

THE Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) is anticipating an increase in entries to this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Royal Melbourne Show Sheep Competition as a result of the increase in prizes to more than $30,000 in cash, awards and trophies. The sheep competition, which is held on the opening weekend of the Royal Melbourne Show, is offering prize money for all ordinary classes and a signiďŹ cant increase in prize money for major awards. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feature breed is the Poll Dorset,

recognising the breedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution to Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prime lamb industry with the Poll Dorset Feature Show which will reward the Supreme Exhibit with $5000 in cash and prizes and offer $1500 for each of the Champion Ram and Champion Ewe. New for 2013, the RASV will provide exhibitors, producers and members of the industry with an opportunity to celebrate the sheep and wool industries at its Sheep and Wool Celebration Function to be held during the Royal Melbourne Show on Sunday, September 22.

RASV chief executive ofďŹ cer, Mark Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Sullivan, said the show will have a strong focus on the sheep and wool industries and is committed to showcasing and rewarding the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The RASV is dedicated to attracting and showcasing the ďŹ nest stud sheep and goat breeds at the 2013 Royal Melbourne Show Sheep Competition,â&#x20AC;? Mr Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Sullivan said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The RASV encourages members of the sheep and wool industries to come along to breed judging at the show and

attend the Sheep and Wool Celebration Function.â&#x20AC;? The Ram Trifecta will be returning this year, with $1500 in prize money awarded to the winning Breed Society and the owner of the three rams selected by the Breed Society to participate. The RASV is offering a complimentary daily shuttle service for exhibitors during the show and on-site facilities for Breed Society meetings will also be available, free of charge. For more information, visit www.rasv.com.au/ sheep.


AUSTRALIAN SHEEP AND WOOL SHOW BENDIGO - JULY 2013

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Down Under for 20 years Texel, thriving since introduction, to feature at regional sheep shows A select Australian flock began quarantine in New Zealand in 1988 and an objective genetic selection program was implemented. According to Australian Texel Stud Breeders Association president, Peter Russell, it was the beginning of a new investment for breeders that could deliver a gene pool with carcass qualities of lean meat with the tasting eating qualities that “melt in your mouth”, not forgetting the dual purpose of the ewe. “Since arriving, the Texel breed has demonstrated their attributes and dominance in prime lamb competitions in all states,” Mr Russell said. “The carcass competitions have proved a Texel sired lamb out of a cross bred ewe will consistently yield more than 50 per cent, which equates to extra dollars in your pocket. “Increasingly, we are seeing Texel promote other breeds, especially with infusion into maternal dams creating a dual purpose composite ewe. “The attribute of Texel has added strong maternal attributes coupled with placid temperament with the ability to finish twins,” he said.

Mr Russell said the Texel has the ability to flourish, forage and survive Australia’s varying harsh seasonal conditions. The Australian Texel Stud Breeders Association’s role in the industry is to implement progressive breeding policies and provide assistance in regional sales including the domestic and export trade. Also, to offer a nationwide region network and offer performance and genetic improvement programs through Lambplan and Stockscan. Lincoln University in New Zealand is also doing a test for myomax gene, which is the double-muscle gene. “This year at Bendigo we celebrate 20 years since the arrival of Texels in Australia,” Mr Russell said. “And there will be a great exhibition of quality and new look Texels being shown on Saturday, July 20.” The Texel breed is also the feature breed at this year’s Ballarat Sheep Show, Horsham Agricultural Show and Royal Geelong Show. For more information, please visit www.texel. org.au.

TEXEL LINE-UP: Past competitors at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo: (l-r) Karen and Bill Agnew, Liz Russell, Liam Chambers, Peter Russell, Basil Jorgensen, Ashley Smith and Tim Jorgensen.

THE CARCASE BREED IMPROVE YOUR LAMBS WITH TEXEL RAMS

Doug and Jacquie Bottcher PeterStud: andBaroa Liz Russell Area: CreightonsPark Creek www.texel.org.au Stud: Tullamore Tullamorepark.com Ph:03 5790 3268

Peter and Liz Russell

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Mark &Tullamore Helen Chambers Stud: Park Area: Donald Park Stud: Lyndale Ph: 03 5497 1682 Area: Donald Area: Marong, Vic Basil, Heather and Tim Jorgensen Ph: 03 5497 1682 Ph:Ashley 0418Smith 371 964 Mobile: 0417 373 101 Stud: Cypress Park Stud: Mertex Area:&Ballarat Area: Antwerp Steve Lisa Parker Ph: 03 5344 8296 Ph: 03 5397 5224 Ashley Smith Stud: South West Genetics Stud:Don Cypress Park Area: Mortlake, Wayne, Vicki and Vic Aaron Wigg and Rosemary Muir Area:Stud: Ballarat Stud: Yindi Penryn Ph:Area: 0429 992 476 Ararat Area: Mortlake Ph: 03 5344 8296 Ph: 03 5352 3645 Ph: 03 5599 2617 Andy & Gai Roberts Matthew Grooby ChrisVicki and Tania Wayne, and Parker Aaron Wigg Stud: Hillside Pastoral Stud: Romack Summit Park Stud:Stud: Yindi Area: Cootamundra, NSW Area: Langwarrin Area: Hamilton Area:Ph:Ararat 8831141 857 0429 992 477 Ph:Ph:020431 6942 Ph: 03 5352 3645 Stephen & Kathryn Matthew Grooby Chaston Stud: Romack Stud: Stephryn Area: Langwarrin Area: Kybybolite, SA Ph: 0431 883 857 Ph: 0428 854 863

Chris and Tania Parker Stud: Summit Park Area: Hamilton Ph: 0429 992 477

Athol and Pat Skelton Stud: Notleks Area: Maitland, NSW Ph: 02 4930 6104

Doug and Jacquie Bottcher Stud: Baroa Area: Creightons Creek Ph:03 5790 3268 Basil, Heather and Tim Jorgensen Stud: Mertex Area: Antwerp Ph: 03 5397 5224

Bill & Karen Agnew Stud: Willaren Area: Millicent, SA Ph: 0427 973 340

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www.texel.org.au F/12d11875/27.13

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THE Texel breed of sheep was the new immigrant on the block, arriving in 1993 from the Isle of Texel in the province of North Holland. Texels were selected from Denmark and Finland to suit Australian and New Zealand conditions. In addition to their natural attributes of heavy muscling and leanness, they had to be mobile sheep capable of travelling distances, free lambing and easy care. In February 1993, selectors appointed by the Australian Texel Stud Breeders Association Inc chose 790 Texel ewes and 50 Texel rams from a base flock of 2220 Texels available for import to Australia. The Australian Texel Corporation Pty Ltd was formed by a group of investor-breeders who imported the sheep to Australia and undertook all the embryo transplants and semen collections, and was responsible for the release of foetuses via recipient ewes to Australian studmasters. The first Texels were born in Australia in September 1993, and the first volume of the Annual Flock Register was produced in April 1994.

DAPPER: Pictured at Lord’s, models are dressed in cricket whites and sharp clothes, many featuring Merino wool.

Merino shines in collection elegance to an international audience of buyers and journalists. The tailored collection represents a combination of beautiful materials principally Australian Merino wool and fine lightweight Cool Wool -

together with first-class craftsmanship. For the spring-summer’s 14 season, Cool Wool was to be showcased and its natural qualities will be the focus for the ongoing designer collaborations.

Andrew Marks Tess Mason

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Daniel Sexton 0427 581 005 Peter Kirkwood 0417 122 885

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AUSTRALIAN Merino wool has featured on the hallowed surface of Lords Cricket Ground in England. Savile Row and The Woolmark Company recently presented the modern face of British


OVER-SOWING

CLOVER SUCCESS AT TABLE TOP Table Top, sheep and beef stock farmer, Terry Wright seeded 500 acres of his undulating pastures this year. He segmented the 500 acres into two 50 acre bundles and a 400 acre general area. Terry used a base of four clover varieties across the entire 500 acres: 1kg/H Prima Gland 1kg/H Haifa White 1kg/H Balansa Perdona 1kg/H Roion Medic

PADDOCK ONE: On the first 50 acres, Terry used the clover mix to over-sow his wheat crop. His method was to round-up and harrow prior to direct drilling the wheat, then the next day over-sowing the clover mix (Prima Gland, Haifa White, Balansa Perdona and Roion Medic) at 1kg/Hectare in one pass with the Lehner MiniVario Spreader. Terry said the Prima Gland comes from Israel and has a particularly short growing season, to take advantage of current favourable conditions. The view from within the wheat field couldn’t be any better with all four varieties of clover coming through strongly. The wheat will act as great shading for the clovers when it gets hotter. “The secret is to put the small clover seeds on top. The second pass of the harrows, I hadit on its back for a much more passive run to get the soil touching the seed,” Terry said. BELOW LEFT: Terry Wright surveys his favourite result – the establishment of long lasting Cock’s-foot in his hilly paddocks.

ABOVE RIGHT: The view from within the wheat field couldn’t be any better with all four varieties of clover coming through strongly. The wheat will act as great shading for the clovers when it gets hotter.

PADDOCK TWO:

PADDOCK THREE:

The second 50 acres was round-up in preparation for the same clover mix plus 3kg/Hectare of Cock’s-foot and 1kg/Hectare of Tetilla added. 3kg/H Cock’s-foot 1kg/H Tetilla (Rye) 1kg/H Prima Gland 1kg/H Haifa White 1kg/H Balansa Perdona 1kg/H Roion Medic The Tetilla (Rye) was included in the mix in case the Cock’s-foot failed as it can be quite difficult to establish. This second 50 acres is situated on a steep hillside and in the past, has had difficulty maintaining pasture. Terry is pleased the Cock’s-foot has come through so well, as it should last a minimum five years, and with the clover mix also thriving, will deliver abundant feed for his stock over summer. The strike through of Cock’s-foot intermingled with Tetilla and clovers. “The reason I went for the Cock’s-foot over Phalaris is that Cock’s-foot handles dry conditions better and will hold up better when it gets drier again. I may put down some Phalaris in a few years to come up under the cock’s-foot,” Terry said.

ABOVE: Upping the quantity of Tetilla has paid off with the perennial rye taking beautifully. With the even spread of the clover mix, this will make for an excellent pasture.

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On the larger 400 acre sowing, Terry prepared the soil by round-up and scarifying and added 15kg/H of Tetilla and 1kg/H of Riverina Clover to the seeding mix. He still seeded all in the one pass. As stock had been on these paddocks all year, they had no clover present at all. 15kg/H Tetilla (Rye) 1kg/H Riverina Clover 1kg/H Prima Gland 1kg/H Haifa White 1kg/H Balansa Perdona 1kg/H Roion Medic “You can see the different colours of each type of clover showing how even the spread is. The mini-Vario has certainly proven its point,” Terry said. Terry also used the Mini-Vario to put out Super at 40kg/hectare across the entire 500 acres. The Clovers and Tetillas in paddocks A and C were over-sown in one pass in mid-May. The clovers, Cock’s-foot and Tetillas in paddock B were over-sown in one pass in Mid-July. “I can tell you, I was better off sitting in the cab of the ute rather than on the tractor putting the seed and Super out with the spreader mounted on the tray. Not to mention to cost virtually nothing in fuel!” Terry commented. On the reliability of the Mini-Vario Terry said: “I’ve worked that machine 100 hours in hot, dry, dusty conditions. It amazes me that it never heats up. In fact, the only problem I have encountered is to replace one bearing, keeping in mind that it lives on the back of the old ute and is permanently out in the weather!” “Interestingly, my neighbor Garry Hore saw mine and went and bought one himself - I think one of the Super-Varios. He is rapt with it and runs it on the back of his four-wheeler,” Terry said. Terry plans to purchase a second Mini Vario unit next year and will set them up on a telescopic mount to work in tandem, with the ability to fold away for easy road transport.

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ABOVE LEFT: Terry Wright shows off the four distinctive flowers from the four clover mix of Prima Gland, Haifa White, Balansa Perdona and Roion Medic.

BELOW RIGHT: The strike through of Cock’s-foot intermingled with Tetilla and clovers.

Southernfarmer  
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