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    Landcare News Items

    Feral Fighters Ready for Action

    feral pigs320A call to arms is going out across the Northern Tablelands to arrest invasive species in our landscape.

    With the economic impact of pest animals in NSW estimated to be $170 million, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services are unveiling a program to provide landowners with the tools they need to help manage feral animals.  

    Image - By working together in the Feral Fighters program, a wider knockdown of the target species, in this case feral pigs, can be achieved.

    Dry Sowing for Quicker Feed

    farmer sewing in dry paddock Jennifer Ingall ABC320Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Agronomists, Georgie Oakes and Jeff Lowien note that dry sowing of winter cereal forage crops is an option that a number of producers are considering to achieve quicker feed for when it does rain.

    Obviously there are risks involved but for quite a few it may be worth a punt, at least for a portion of your planned area of cereal forage crops.

    Image - Dry sowing winter cereal forage crops is an option that some farmers are considering at the moment. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Ingall, ABC.

    O'Week Volunteers Needed for Native Plantings

    UNE landcareThe third annual UNE Orientation Week planting will be held on Friday 1 March.

    The event starts at 10:30 am, and will be followed by a free BBQ lunch generously provided by Armidale Dumaresq Lions Club. A key aim of this event is to get students new to Armidale interested in Rivercare and Landcare opportunities!

    Help on the Ground for Bush Fire Affected Farmers

    Fires Near MeLocal Land Services veterinary officers and biosecurity staff are on the ground assisting communities affected by bush fires. They are primarily dealing with animal welfare-related issues.

    Access to the fire grounds due to safety concerns is limiting the ability to assess the full extent of the damage, however the number of stock losses is expected to grow over the coming days as landowners gain access to their properties.

    Landholders who need assistance with emergency fodder, livestock or domestic animal assessment should call the Ag and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647.

    Image - the Firest Near Me App for smart phones provides detailed information and updates on all firest in NSW.

    What does the future hold for Chilean Needle Grass?

    CNG Guyra flierWhat does the future hold for Chilean Needle Grass?

    Southern New England Landcare will host and guide a conversation at the Guyra Show from 3 - 4pm on Satuday 23rd February 2019.

    The main Pavilion will be the site for a discussion panel with:

    • Dr Judi Earl, a grazier, researcher and educator
    • Derek Smith, grazier, 3rd generation farmer and educator, 
    • Bec Smith, teacher, grazier and experimenter
    • Mystery farmer, sharing their experiences.

    All invited to this free event. For further information, please contact Sara Schmude.

    Landcare Member Shares Drought Management Strategy

    Cows1 320p

    Recent media stories of dry conditions affecting New South Wales and Queensland have shown the depressing conditions that seem to go hand in hand with the regular onset of dry weather in Australia, but this New England grazier and Southern New England Landcare Member, has an alternative approach to drought management...

    How to 'Unstress' when Evolution Bites Back

    Ron Ehrlich Headshot 320p

    If you've ever wondered how gut health, epigenetics, ethical food choices, low-toxicity living, chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, resilient cities and regenerative agriculture relate to holistic dentistry and human health, this is your chance to find out!

    Special guest speaker, Dr Ron Ehrlich, an Holistic Dentist from Sydney and founder of Nourishing Australia, will present “Evolution Bites Back” at the Southern New England Landcare Member Muster on Thursday evening 21st February.

    The seminar will explore key drivers of human success in evolution, how these drivers are coming back to bite us in our busy modern lives and constructive ways to manage the resulting challenges. All members and friends are welcome!

    Field Day Inspires Birdwatching Group

    Speckled Warbler Ian Colley planetbirds.blogspot.320

    Following our last Landcare field day at “Eastlake” an attendee, Colin Ritchie who had travelled from Inverell, was so impressed that he has formed a new birdwatching group in the area. While he lives in Inverell, he plans to organise birdwatching visits to various areas in the New England and NorthWest area and connect with the other birdwatching groups in the area.

    Tails Wagging on the Research Trail

    Baxter Detection Dog320When attempting to sniff out solutions to learn more about Australia’s biodiversity such as koala populations, what better way than to enlist man’s best friend for the job?

    Detection dogs may not spring to mind as the first thing we think about when looking for koala habitat, but Northern Tablelands Local Land Services has commissioned a team of researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast to find out more about local koalas.

    Steaming Ahead to a Chemical-Free Future

    steam weederArmidale Urban Rivercare Group (AURG) have received $25,000 in funding through the NSW State Government's Community Building Partnerships Program.

    The funds will go towards the purchase of a steam weeding machine to be used for planting preparations and maintenance in the Armidale creeklands and bushlands.

    "Currently, Landcare, Rivercare, and Bushcare groups and the Armidale Tree Group (ATG) around Armidale use chemicals to eliminate invasive weeds, annual weeds and environmental weeds from areas they wish to restore or rehabilitate," said Bruce Whan, a spokesperson for AURG and the successful grant writer.

    Field Day to Focus on Habitat for Woodland Birds

    Bush4Birds3TOSFSquareSmallSouthern New England Landcare will host a field day on Saturday 1st December targeting bird lovers and landholders who are keen to skill up on revegetation and habitat creation techniques.

    "During the morning, we will be coached by ornithologist Andrew Huggett, on habitat design and monitoring techniques for threatened woodland birds," said Struan Ferguson, Southern New England Landcare Project Officer.

    "We may even spot some rare or threatened species," she said.

    "Then, after a delicious picnic lunch, we are planning several local revegetation experts to demonstrate ground preparation, weed control and watering options for revegetation projects," said Struan.

    Read more...

    Bell's Turtles Forever in Our Region

    Bells Turtle hatchling captive rearing programThe ‘Turtles Forever’ project, now in its third year of the ten-year project, is providing protection for the endangered Bell’s Turtle which is only found in the Namoi, Deepwater, Gwydir and Severn River systems.

    Strategies for coping with the adversity of drought - an invitation

    Dry Dam 320The recent dry times have been a challenge far and wide for our region with a lot of media coverage of the struggles that people are having as a result. While these climate challenges are common for Australians on the land, there’s a fair chance with climate change that conditions like we’ve been seeing are going to become more frequent and intense. So we have an invitation for landholders in our area...

    Landcare Plantings Save Threatened Woodland Birds

    CTGPosterA landcare project among local graziers is seeing them close a 23 km gap in habitat connectivity for threatened woodland birds and other fauna from Mount Butler and Invergowrie in the west to Gara Gorge and Dangars Falls in the east.

    “Closing this gap in habitat is helping to save from local extinction, some very precious threatened woodland birds,” said Southern New England Landcare’s Karen Zirkler.

    Australian Agriculture - Vicious to Virtuous?

    Vicious to virtuous cycles 2015IMAGEInterested in a regenerative agriculture that can change the future of Australia's landscapes and economies? "The underlying resource base of Australian agriculture has been gripped in a cycle of decline for decades," states Ogilvy, Kulkarni and Hurley (2015).

    The authors assert that Australian agriculture is trapped for the most part in a vicious cycle that they describe and illustrate clearly. They then envision another way: a strategic future for Australian agriculture that embraces a virtuous cycle.

    This report is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in the broader regenerative agriculture discussion: download the report here Sue Ogilvy, Dr Anand Kulkarni, Sam Hurley, 2015. "From vicious to virtuous cycles: a sustainable future for Australian agriculture", A Discussion Paper, Centre for Policy Development.

     

    Malpas Catchment – support available for pasture monitoring

    Rachel Lawrence SmallThe recent rainfall has given much of the Malpas Catchment a bit of a break from the dry conditions we’ve all been experiencing. Fingers crossed the good conditions continue. Whether or not they do though, pasture monitoring and feed budgeting is an essential tool to plan into the future.

    Rachel Lawrence, Malpas Catchment Coordinator, has experience with pasture species identification (both native and exotic) and monitoring of pasture biomass and condition of the ground and litter layer. Rachel is available to provide support to small groups within the Malpas area who would like to implement pasture monitoring and feed budgeting. Rachel would work with graziers to follow the methodology put in place by Dr Judi Earl and Dr Lewis Kahn from Agricultural Information and Monitoring Services (AIMSAG). Small groups of three or so people is ideal, fewer is ok, but preferably no larger.

    If this is of interest to you, please contact Rachel via email  or at the Southern New England Landcare office on 02 6772 9123.

    GGTP Sponsors Biological Farming Conference

    SNELANDCAREadvertSmallGrass Grower's Tea Party (fondly known as GGTP), a sub-group of Southern New England Landcare Ltd, is proud to announce it's Silver Sponsorship of the 2018 Australian Biological Farming Conference & Expo to be held at Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast from 9-12 November 2018.

    Grass Grower’s Tea Party, an Armidale-based group formed in 2001, coordinated the highly successful 2005 conference ‘People in the Landscape—Produce it, Protect it, Proft’.

    More than 300 delegates experienced Allan Savory (Savory Institute), Arron Wood (2001 Young Australian of the Year), Constance Neely (USA) and Dick Richardson (South African Holistic Management educator) on:

    • education for environmental change
    • regenerative land management
    • learning from the land and more than 120 delegates visited Tim Wright’s property ‘Lana’.

    Now, GGTP is 'paying it forward' to help make this event one not to be missed!

    Download the conference flier here and the program here. Visit https://www.australianbiologicalfarmingconference.org/ for more information.

    SNELandcare Members may be able to obtain free tickets (conditions apply).

    Southern New England Landcare’s mission is to lead, connect and enable our communities to reach their sustainability goals and we continue to champion the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices.

    Raising funds for Regent Honeyeater Recovery

     

    Regent Honeyeater WEBThe National Twitchathon is BirdLife Australia's spring race for bird conservation. It's a friendly competition in which teams of birders race to see or hear as many bird species as possible in a set time, while raising funds for BirdLife's crucial conservation and research projects.

    Free Tickets: Australian Biological Farming Conference

    BFCLogoWould you like to attend the Australian Biological Farming Conference & Expo on the Gold Coast 10-11 November 2018? Southern New England Landcare has a further TWO FREE TICKETS to give away!

    The first two current financial members of Southern New England Landcare who email Karen Zirkler, stating why they would like to attend and the speaker they are most looking forward to seeing will receive the tickets, worth $440 each. The recipients of the free tickets will also be asked to provide a photograph and a short paragraph on their conference highlight for our next edition of Landchat. Note, only one free ticket per couple please.

    Serrated Tussock a Serious Threat in Current Conditions

    Serrated tussock320Serrated tussock is a weed of national significance. Highly adapted to a range of environments, it seeds prolifically and is difficult to control. The wind spreads large volumes of seed across long distances, allowing new populations to establish over large areas.

    Jonathan Lawson, Regional Weeds Coordinator at Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, cautions against the threat and is keen to emphasise the serious risk it presents to the Northern Tablelands grazing system.  

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