Hello again, and thank you. The Greater Sydney Small Farms Network has now grown to over 400 members since its launch only seven months ago!
The recently announced Smart Farms Small Grants Round 3 is now open! Grants of up to $50,000 are available to individuals and organisations to help with the adoption of smart farming techniques and best practice land management. Applications close on 19 December 2019. For more information, please read the Funding section below. If you want to apply and would like help, please contact me via email [email protected]u, phone 02 4724 2151 or mobile 0436 803 337.
If you know someone who might be interested in joining the Greater Sydney Small Farms network, they can register HERE. To provide ideas on how the Greater Sydney Small Farms network can help you, contact me via email orphone 02 4724 2151 or mobile 0436 803 337.
Richard Stephens Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF)
NEWS Soil Organic Carbon Across the world, there are 530 million farmers managing half a billion hectares of land. Soil organic carbon levels are a true measure of soil health as they influence the infiltration and storage of soil water, contribute to nutrient cycling, diminish the need to add fertiliser and reduce topsoil loss. In other words, soil carbon is the foundation of fertility in any soil.
Here in Australia, every one per cent increase in soil organic carbon: - doubles rainfall infiltration - adds an extra 20kg of plant-available nitrogen per hectare - allows an additional 14,000 litres of water to be stored in each hectare of soil to be used by plants.
SoilCQuest 2031 is researching and developing endophytes that improve agricultural productivity and increases carbon sequestration. Farm trials are currently underway. For more research information, click HERE, or connect viaFACEBOOK
Endophytes exist within plant roots and exchange nutrients for carbon. Certain strains of endophytes enable carbon to be stored and preventing carbon being returned to the atmosphere.
Lucerne plants growing in sterile agar gel. The plant on the left is untreated, while on the right the seeds have been inoculated with melanising endophytic fungi.
Results from the Greater Sydney Direct to Market Survey In early 2019, Greater Sydney Local Land Services coordinated a survey of farmers in NSW selling produce direct to local markets including farm gates sales, restaurants, Community Support Agriculture, farmers markets and local specialty stores. Below are some key results from the survey for the Greater Sydney region. To view the entire results, click HERE.
Farm locations: - 47 percent are rural - 43 percent are semi-rural - 10 percent are urban Most common industries: - Vegetables - Livestock - Poultry Most common business goals: - Leaving the farm in good or better condition - Biodiversity - Steady income - Productivity Most common challenges: - Production costs - Climate events (flood, fire) - Reliable markets - Climate change
Most common farming philosophies: - Regenerative - Organic - Holistic - Conventional Overview: - 73 percent of produce is sold to customers within 50 kms of the farm - 50 percent have farming for less than 10 years - 88 percent were committed to environmental sustainability Future learning needs: - Soil health - Business Skills - Financial Skills - Marketing - Holistic decision making - Pasture management - Grazing practices
NSW Landcare Award - Land to Market Australia Members of Land to Market Australia are excited to be recognised as agriculture land management innovators in a major award from NSW Local Land Services and Landcare NSW. Land to Market Australia have pioneered the Ecological Outcome Verification process which allows monitoring and verification of the ecological health of farmland, while it continues under agricultural production. The process helps to ensure the resilience of farmland. For more information, click HERE.
Health and sustainability market could be worth $25 billion to Australian producers by 2030 CSIRO has calculated market demand for healthy and sustainable products could be worth $15 billion in Australia and $10 billion in exports by 2030. The high growth opportunities include: foods with added ingredients to improve health; 'free-from' and 'natural' products, including gluten-free and certified organic; vitamins and supplements; and personalised nutrition. To review the CSIRO economic analysis, click HERE.
Protect Australia from harmful pests, diseases and weeds We all have a role in Australia's biosecurity. You can help protect our industries, our pristine environment and our way of life. To report a biosecurity concern, understand the biosecurity emergency planning and response process and determine your biosecurity responsibilities, click HERE.
Australian farmers watching new US restaurant chain that gives farmers a better deal US Founding Farmers restaurants were created to cut out supermarkets to give more money to farmers and cheaper prices for customers. Founders say it's designed to 'disrupt the system' rewarding the farmer rather than 'the whole industry in between'. Farming lobby groups in Australia are keeping a close eye the concept. For the full article, clickHERE.
Farm water supply figures To assist with farm water supply planning, a guide has been produced. Note, individual requirements vary: - Adult dry sheep – 2-6 litres per day. - Ewes with lambs – 4-10 litres per day. - Lactating cows – 40-100 litres per day. - Weaner cattle – 25-50 litres per day - Dry Cattle (400kg) – 35-80 litres per day. - Horses – 40-50 litres per day. - Household septic - 175 litres per person per day. - House Garden – up to 1350 litres per 1000 square metres per day. For more information, clickHERE.
WORKSHOPS & EVENTS
Richmond Woodlands Biodiversity Forum Date: Saturday 16 Novembber 2019 Time: 9.30am - 2.30pm Location: 40 Edwards Road, Richmond Lowlands Cost: FREE, but bookings are essential. Discover why the remnant woodlands in Western Sydney are so important for Biodiversity and People. - Inspiring talks - Information displays - Learn about volunteer opportunities - Sign up for guided birdwalks For further details, click HERE.
Want to export your produce?
Date: Thursday 28 November 2019 Time: 8.30am - 12.30pm Location: Campbelltown Catholic Club, 20-22 Camden St, Campbelltown Cost: $15 Are you a small business that wants to start exporting or learn how to grow your exports? If so, come along to learn the basics from the Export Council of Australia with case studies from local businesses. To register, click HERE.
Precision Agriculture and related technology Date: Friday 6 December 2019 Time: 12noon - 4pm Location: 40 Edwards Road, Richmond Lowlands Cost: FREE VegNET will be showcasing Precision Agriculture and Related Technology at the Greater Sydney Local Land Services Demonstration Farm in the early afternoon. Join us for lunch and demonstrations on the newest technologies in farming as well as Ace Ohlsson’s zucchini variety trial. For more details and to register, please click contact Sylvia Jelinek on 02 4724 2113 or email [email protected]
Smart Farms Small Grants Round 3 now open! Grants of between $5,000 and $50,000 are available to help farmers, fishers, foresters and regional communities adopt smart farming techniques and best practice land management. Applications close on 19 December 2019. For the grant opportunity guidelines and application form, click HERE.For help with developing your Smart Farm Small Grant proposal, contact Richard Stephens, phone 02 4724 2151 or email [email protected]
Community action grants to reduce the impacts of climate change To help communities take practical steps to reduce climate change impacts such as heatwaves, bushfires or floods, grants for between $10,00 and $30,000 are now available. The grants can foster partnerships between community groups, not for profits and indigenous groups and local councils. Round 1 is open until 31 January 2022. For more info, clickHERE.
Horizon Scholarship The AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship is awarded to students studying an agriculture-related undergraduate degree or a Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths/Finance (STEM) degree with relevant majors which align to agriculture. The scholarship provides $5000 per year for the final two years of your degree, professional development workshops, annual industry work placements and opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events. Applications close at 5.00pm AEDT Friday 22 November 2019. For more details, click HERE.
Pollinators in the Australian Horticulture Industry
Western Sydney University is investigating the diversity and abundance of pollinators in horticulture and the populations required in a changing climate. Many horticultural cropping systems rely on honeybees for pollination services , but these populations may collapse if Varroa mite establishes in Australia. For more information on Australian native bees and healthy bee populations for sustainable pollination in horticulture, click HERE. To participate in an Australia wide survey on the status of pollinators in Australian Horticulture, click HERE.
Create your own biosecurity kit Biosecurity is about reducing the risk of transmitting infectious plant and animal diseases. As more and more farmers want to implement a proactive biosecurity plan, the big question is, "How does biosecurity fit into everyday life on the farm?" To create your own biosecurity kit, click HERE.
The Farmer Exchange The Farmer Exchange is an online agricultural community where Australian primary producers connect online. It is a simple way for farmers to connect, ask questions and share information. It is like a dedicated social media platform developed specifically by and for farmers. To connect with Farmer Exchange, click HERE.
Grazing guidelines for conservation outcomes Livestock grazing can be used to help achieve biodiversity conservation outcomes, in certain circumstances. The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) has developed grazing guidelines for land conservation and can establish agreements to conserve and manage high-value biodiversity. To view the guidelines, click HERE.
This project is supported by Greater Sydney Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.
The information contained in this publication is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing. However, because of advances in knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure that the information upon which they rely is up to date and to check the currency of the information with the appropriate officer of Local Land Services or the user’s independent adviser. For updates go to www.lls.nsw.gov.au
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Lvl 4, 2-6 Station Street Penrith NSW 2750 Australia