Greater Sydney Local Land Services recently resumed face to face workshop events, incorporating COVID safe protocols.
Pasture management and holistic grazing workshops were recently held, see below.
If you would like to better understand how to set up a soil carbon project, register for the soil carbon online workshop on 8 December, details below. And see below for more resources being devoted to helping small farms, such as the Blockies Bootcamp website, where you can receive regular emails on managing land for lifestyle, the environment and production.
Also featured in this edition are several important biosecurity concerns, funding opportunities, research projects and a wide range of available resources.
If you know someone who might be interested in joining the Greater Sydney Small Farms network, they can register HERE. To view previous newsletters, click HERE. To provide ideas on how the Greater Sydney Small Farms network can help you, please email or phone me on 0436 803 337
Richard Stephens Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF)
Successful return to face to face workshops
In late October, 'Pasture Recovery' workshops were held in Camden, Richmond and on the Central Coast. Clare Edwards, Agronomist from Central Tablelands Local Land Services, presented these practical workshops in an interactive way, receiving very positive feedback:
“An excellent workshop with many take home messages. The presenter was very informative, knowledgeable and approachable. .”
“This has been one of the best workshops I have attended, brilliant presenter.“
“I have learnt new weeds, weed types and the ideal phase for grass to be eaten by cattle.”
Participants of the 'Pasture Recovery' workshops said they refreshed their knowledge on pasture management, including methods to physically assess pasture condition and quality, gathered resources to identify plant species and gained information about pasture establishment.
In the first week of November, an 'Introduction to Holistic Grazing' workshop was held in Camden with Brian Wehlburg from Inside Outside Management. Brian explained many practical tips and strategies for determining how pastures should be grazed, enabling maximum long-term pasture production and sustainable grazing. Again, very positive back was received:
“I learnt lots of practical stuff.”
“Brian has a great way of explaining. A pleasure of a course. “
Participants of the 'Introduction to Holistic Grazing' workshop said they learnt how to judge feed levels and can now assess how many animals can graze in each of their paddocks per day.
Learning how to be resilient and profitable
How to run a resilient and profitable agricultural enterprise on the peri-urban fringe of Sydney is the focus of a current project which is establishing three learning groups, in SW Sydney, NW Sydney and on the Central Coast.
Participants (farmers, land managers and agribusiness representatives) are able to participate in workshops, access key resources and expertise, discuss innovation, market trends, the circular economy, supply chain management as well as the changing climate and be supported in making changes on and for the farm business. The project is being run by Regional Development Australia Sydney, in conjunction with several local councils, Greater Sydney Local Land Services and is funded by the National Landcare Program.
National Agriculture Day - Friday 20 November On Friday 20 November, Australia celebrates National Agriculture Day (AgDay). This year, Australians are encouraged to hold a COVID safe Long Table Lunchor get involved in the #AgDayAU Bake Off. Whether you’re celebrating at home, in your backyard or in the paddock, ‘I Love Farmers’ merchandise can help you make a statement. Click HERE.
City farming on the rise Urban farmer Rachel Rubenstein thinks the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down major cities, state and international borders, has given us a chance to rethink where we get our food from. Rachel believes having food grown close to home is important, because we have seen a lack of access to fresh food with the bushfires and then COVID," Converting sections of green spaces into farmland to create a local food bowl is already a reality in Western Sydney Parklands. Click HERE.
Farmers need to slow down to avoid injury SafeWork NSW is reminding experienced agricultural workers and newcomers alike to slow down while working with machinery. Farmer Adam Symons from Ganmain in the Riverina was lucky to escape with his life after he became entwined in the hay baler. He was just doing a routine check on his baler and has got his hand caught in the baler, and it took it completely off from the elbow. Also, snakes are now active, so take care! Click HERE.
Urban agriculture month April 2021 is the first-ever Urban Agriculture Month (UAM), celebrating and raising awareness of Australia’s growing urban agriculture movement. If you’re an individual, organisation, group, or business involved in urban agriculture, register your interest in hosting an event during UAM 2021 and celebrate what you are doing! .Organised by Sustain, UAM spreads conversations of the Urban Agriculture Forum to all corners of Australia. Click HERE oremail Julia Pecoraro.
Beetles set to get our pastures out of the crap A new species of dung beetle has been imported into Australia to help fill seasonal gaps in activity of native dung beetle species and reduce the amount of animal dung for flies and nematodes to breed up in. The Dung Beetle Ecosystem Engineers (DBEE) project has culminated with over 300 Moroccan dung beetles (Onthophagus andalusicus) beetles arriving safely at Canberra's CSIRO importation facility. Click HERE.
Fall army worm alert Landholders are asked to be on the lookout for fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) after a positive identification of a single male moth in northern NSW. Populations of fall armyworm have already been established in WA, NT and QLD since first being identified in Australia in early 2020. Fall armyworm larvae feed on more than 350 plant species. For more information, how to identify
fall armyworm and how to report suspected cases, click HERE.
Dad, its time to talk about climate change Fourth-generation cattle farmer Josh noticed changes on the property weren't just reflecting natural cycles. Until recently, his dad disagreed. Josh Gilbert and his dad Andy haven't always seen eye-to-eye. But in recent years, there is one thing they have finally come to agree on: climate change. "I used to think climate change was an absolute load of bullshit. No-one could convince me otherwise.". Gradually, conversations between the pair proved that wrong. Click HERE.
Check your Paterson's curse for biocontrol Many of you will have seen an outbreak in Patterson’s curse this Spring. Why? Due to the dry weather over the past several years, crown and root weevils that can kill the weed have reduced their populations and may take up to 18 months to resume. Look for small shot holes in Paterson’s curse leave, as they mean crown and root weevils are on the job. Contact your local Council Weeds Officer or for more information, watch this VIDEO.
Bird Flu Poultry owners are asked to be aware as 500,000 birds in Victoria have now been destroyed as a result of a bird flu outbreak. Housing and intermingling with wild birds is one of the key risks for the introduction of diseases like avian influenza (bird flu). Practising good hygiene at all times regular cleaning and disinfecting of feed and water containers and not sharing equipment with other bird keepers unless it's been cleaned and disinfected, are just some control measures. For more info, click HERE.
WEBINARS, SHORT COURSES & EVENTS
Exploring beyond diesel
Over 80% of agricultural energy is supplied by diesel fuel. Take a break to explore alternative low or zero carbon fuels including biofuel and hydrogen. This free online event is the third of three parts taking place live at 1.00pm - 4.30pm, Wednesday 11 November. Recordings of parts one and two are available online. Click HERE.
Pollinator health in protected cropping systems Protected cropping provides the opportunity to control some of the variables that come with growing horticulture, most of these controls involved physical barriers. These barriers keep out lots of bad things, but also happen to keep out important pollinators and affect how they operate. This webinar will look at the future of pollination and how we will ensure pollinator health with the expansion of protected cropping systems. Webinar being held 2.30pm Thursday 12 November, register HERE.
Pasture and weed management field day
Greater Sydney Landcare Network is holding a weed management field day on Sunday 22nd November at Glenorie for landholders and hobby farmers who are keen to take a holistic approach to weed and pasture management. Presenter, Harry Rose, DPI agronomist and weed specialist Harry Rose invites participants to bring along their problem weeds, in a sealed bag, for identification. For more info or to register, email Glenda Steain or phone 0418 244 418 by 22 November 2020.
Two day holistic grazing planning workshop Date: Thursday & Friday, 3 & 4 December 2020 Location:Western Sydney University, Richmond Limited spaces available, registration essential! If you have participated a 'Grazing management for drought resilience' workshop and want to go the next step, this workshop is for you. Understand how to: use animals to increase biodiversity and long term profitability; Monitor grass growth and give plants the maximum opportunity to thrive; Estimate standing feed and budget stock feed requirements; Set up monitoring sites, click HERE.
Soil carbon online workshop Learn the basics of setting up a soil carbon project under the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). Explore if you can be paid to increase soil carbon on your property and what the productivity and environmental gains could be. When: 8 December 2020, 11:00am – 1:00pm. Join Louisa Kiely (Carbon Farmers Australia), a pioneer soil carbon farmer in the Central Tablelands, Lorraine Gordon (Regenerative Agriculture Alliance, Southern Cross University) and learn about the CSIRO developed online tool that allows you to quickly assess options for earning carbon credits on land under the ERF. Register HERE.For more information contact Madeleine Florin via emailor phone 0427 197 860.
Eight day holistic management course Inside Outside Management is offering an 8-day holistic management at Gosford on Eagle Ridge Farm. There are four, two days sessions on: 11-12 March; 29-30 April; 27-28 May; and 24-25 June 2021. Learn how to improve profitability, drought resilience, soil fertility and biodiversity. Presented by Brian Wehlburg, fees apply. Email Kerry at [email protected] or click HERE.
Indigenous Fire and Land Management Grants are available to support the delivery of workshops across Australia that are Indigenous led and share knowledge of Indigenous fire and land management practices. Grants of $20,000 to $200,000 are available for eligible applications that deliver projects in conjunction with Traditional Owners. Click HERE.
Bushfire assistance still available The Rural Financial Counselling Service, Central Region, has confirmed several bushfire assistance programs are still available. They include: $10,000 Small Business Bushfire Support Grants; $50,000 Disaster Recovery Grants; $75,000 Special Disaster Grants for Primary Producers; 0.45% interest rate Special Disaster Loans; $15,000 Natural Disaster Transport Subsidy. Call 1800 840 404 or click HERE.
Instant asset write-off The Federal Government has extended the COVID-19 response $150,000 instant asset write-off to 31 December 2020. Businesses with an annual turnover of less than $500 million will benefit from the extension, with farmers given some welcomed breathing space to benefit from the much-needed tax break. Click HERE.
Protecting ground cover, native vegetation and waterways Greater Sydney Local Land
Services can assist with up to $10,000 funding for farmers
to install infrastructure that
has significant long-term environmental benefits. Criteria includes protecting
native vegetation, biodiversity
and ground cover as well
as improving farm
operations. Landholders must also contribute and commit to
long term management and
maintenance of installed infrastructure. Click HERE for previous examples and contact Linda Hanlon via emailfor more information.
Local pasture trial results With more than 6,000 beef farms in Greater Sydney, as well as sheep, horses and other
livestock, it is important landholders to have access to reliable, local research on pasture production. As a result, a pasture trial has been established on the Greater Sydney Local Land Services Demonstration Farm at Richmond. The trial measures the effect of compost and
irrigation on different pasture
species blends. Click HERE
to review the initial results, further results will feature in future newsletters.
Global best practice in urban agribusiness The Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is a national initiative that commenced in December 2019. It is currently undertaking a project in surveying global best practice in urban agrifood design and planning. Focusing on industry clusters in Australia and overseas that have achieved significant economic, social and environmental outcomes, the project includes a comparative study of leading global examples relevant to Australia. ClickHERE.
Indigenous grasslands for grain The University of Sydney is undertaking research into farming Australian native grains for food, culture and the environment Aboriginal people have sustainably produced food from native ecosystems for thousands of years, including the world’s oldest bread. This project works with Aboriginal people to bring this system to modern agroecosystems and foods. Click HERE.
Blockies Bootcamp website Are you new to land management? Local Land Services from four regions (North Coast, Hunter, Greater Sydney and South East) have developed an email series called 'Blockies Bootcamp' - a "101" on managing land for lifestyle, the environment and production. Join the free Bootcamp email series HEREand start learning how you can get the best out of your land and lifestyle.
Are you flood ready? Grazing on floodplains With predictions of a 'La Niña' driven
wet Summer, are you flood ready? This short video contains useful tips for floodplain graziers to help ensure you are ready for the potential flooding events ahead. To watch the video, click HERE.
The Food Farm video Tim Eyes, and his partner Hannah, are young farmers from 'The Food Farm' in the Yarramalong Valley on the NSW Central Coast. They are one of six online 'Startup Stories', part of the Young Farmer Business Program and Future Farmers Network. They are passionate about growing and producing food in a regenerative way, growing beef, lamb, chicken, and eggs! Learn about their story HERE.
Climate Change, Fire, and Biodiversity webinars International and national climate policies have seen a growing interest in carbon accounting and investments in carbon-rich systems, including a focus on carbon stored in biodiverse systems. Speakers discuss the concept of ‘green’ and ‘blue’ carbon accounting in biodiverse systems and integrating biodiversity, social and cultural values within carbon accounting, HERE.
Cultivate Communities Guide The Cultivate Communities Guide provides regional communities with inspiration and know how to make farm ownership possible for young people and to support retirement aged farmers. Options including: Leasing, Share farming, Lease to buy, Vendor finance, Collaborative farming and Joint venture/equity partnerships are explored. Click HERE.
Stories of of hope and courage Take Time Magazine brings you stories of hope and courage from across NSW. Read about life’s challenges and how real people have found connection through change. Be inspired by the strength, vulnerability and tenacity of everyday Australians, picking themselves up through tough times and asking for help when they need it. Brought to you by the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP). Click HERE.
Harvest Farms farm tours for school groups In conjunction with the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education, Harvest Farms is offering a series of programs for school groups, including: Paddock to plate (for years 8&9); Land stewardship (years 11&12); Careers platform (years 7 through 12); How Did This Get Into My Lunchbox? (K through to year 6); Water Management (years 11&12). Click HERE or phone 0474 217 646.
The capital conundrum Are you a farmer wanting to understand how easy (or hard) it is to raise capital for a Co-operative? Learn about debt securities, borrowing, member capital and carbon capture, utilisation and storage
. What are the advantages of co-ops when it comes to capital including tax and co-op loans? Watch this webinar recording of an international panel of experts 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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