Hello everyone, Special disaster grants are now available for those affected by the recent flood event. Also, in response to the flooding emergency, we are hosting a Pasture and fodder options for flood recovery workshop this Thursday, 15 April, at our Demonstration Farm in Richmond. Learn how to replace or reinvigorate your flooded pastures. Register HERE.
Also in this edition: Making the most of farm dataandPlanning for emergencypodcast episodes; Participate in the Local Land Services land management practices survey; Dishing out the Dirt, interactive workshops on understanding soils, 16 April at Richmond and 29 April at Dooralong; Urban high tech horticulture; The Soil Carbon Field Day, Friday 23 April at Richmond, and much more. 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
Sincerely, Richard Stephens Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF)
Small business recovery grants up to $10,000 (income loss)
Small business recovery grants up to $50,000 (direct damage)
Primary producer recovery grants up to $75,000 (direct damage)
Low interest loans and other smaller grants to meet more immediate recovery and clean-up costs.
Applications for these special disaster grant are open until 31 October 2021. Primary producers are encouraged not to self-assess for the Primary Producer recovery grant. The Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) NSW or the Rural Financial Counselling Service Central Region (RFCSCR) can help you with applications and your eligibility. Visit RAA Special Disaster Grants – Floods or call 1800 678 593
Rural Financial Counselling Service Central Region (RFCSCR) have staff in attendance at a number of the Flood Recovery Centres, but primarily at Windsor and North Richmond. Alternatively, contact the RFCSCR or call a Rural Financial Counsellor on 1800 940 404.
For more information on available flood assistance, click HERE or call the Disaster Customer Care Service on 13 77 88.
13m of water over a Hawkesbury turf farm
Share your experience with us - so we can better help you!
Local Land Services has commissioned Ipsos, an independent research firm, to conduct social research about land management practices. Small Farms Network subscribers will receive a link from Ipsos to an online survey. By spending 15 minutes sharing your experiences with us you will contribute to Local Land Services’ understanding of the changing needs and practices of farmers and other landholders. This will help us design support and resources that work for you. Participation will be voluntary and anonymous. All information collected will be reported at an aggregated level.
Keep an eye out for the link in the coming weeks! Help us so we can help you!
The Big Shift for Small Farms Podcast - Series II
Making the most of farm data:According to The Economist, the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data. And what makes it valuable is what we do with it. In this episode we’ll get some tips from farming consultants about how to use data to improve your management both in the paddock and on your balance sheet. And we’ll find out why owning a bird book is a sign that business is going well.
Planning for emergency:In this episode we’re talking about emergency management. We’ll hear from field officers and researchers about making plans and keeping yourself in check. And we’ll talk to a farmer who’s using animals as a tool to reduce his fire risk. So let’s get planning.
Barber's pole worm explosion
Sheep on some New South Wales properties have been killed by barber’s pole worm infestations only two weeks after drenching. Capable of laying up to 10,000 eggs per day, the Barber's pole worm lifecycle is about 21 days, so about 3-6 weeks after a rain event is when clinical signs in sheep can be expected. For more info, click HERE.
African lovegrass resistance to herbicide Farmers in New South Wales have raised concerns as African lovegrass is showing signs of resistance towards a key herbicide, Flupropanate. As only two chemicals are currently used to prevent the weed's spread in Australia, this is concerning development. Click HERE.
Rewarding farmers for land stewardship The opportunity exists to join a mutual designed to assist farmer access to Environmental Goods and Services (EG&S) Markets. This access will enable returns from land stewardship, high profile environmental branding, education and support for your stewardship practices and control over your data. Register your interest for a Protected Habitat Farmers Mutual HERE.
Check your livestock after heavy rains With the recent heavy rain, energy deficiency issues in livestock may appear. Management actions, particularly for animals in late pregnancy or early lactation, newly shorn sheep, poor condition, sick or injured animals should be undertaken. Regularly monitor and condition score your livestock, monitor pasture quality and consider supplementary feed to boost energy intake. Click HERE.
Coastal harvestable water rights Coastal harvestable water rights is being reviewed and your input is is sought to help ensure decisions about improving access to water are well informed. A discussion paper, appendices and supporting documents are now available with public consultation and submissions open till 18 April 2021. ClickHERE.
Planning amendments for agriculture A simplified planning and approval process for NSW landholders is being proposed for those who want to undertake activities, such as agritourism and low-impact agricultural development. Changes include amending the definition of ‘farm stay accommodation’, introducing new definitions for ‘farm events’ and ‘farm gate activities’ and allowing low impact agricultural activities as exempt, such as small processing plants. The proposed changes are on public exhibition until 19 April 2021. Click HERE.
Land Use Conflict in NSW Land use conflict has significant effects on primary producers and the agricultural sector in NSW. Farm-related land use conflict extends beyond neighbourhood disputes and peri-urban zones, encompassing water management rights, health concerns, disagreement on zoning or planning choices and debates over best-practice farming in regions. View the Australian Farm Institute report into Land use conflict in NSW HERE.
EVENTS, SHORT COURSES & WEBINARS
Pasture and fodder options for flood recovery A half day workshop, hear from Neil Griffiths, former District Agronomist, about pastures that can survive a flood, replanting (how, when and what to plant?), how to sow (seeding rates and fertilizer), weeds after a flood, and using hay or silage. This interactive event will enable you to ask questions, discuss and take part in a flooded paddock walk (subject to conditions).This Thursday, 15 April, 9:30am to 12pm at 40 Edwards Rd, Richmond Lowlands. Free but registration is essential. Click HERE.
Holistic management business fundamentals Learn successful business strategies and enterprise opportunities for small-scale farms in our region. Full Circle Farm have a great story to tell of their success and challenges as small farm operations. Organised by 'Young Farmers Connect', explore this pasture-based, regenerative farm located in the beautiful Dooralong Valley, Central Coast NSW. Friday 16 April, 9.30am to 12 noon. Register HEREor for more info, click HERE.
Dishing out the Dirt
Come along and get your hands dirty at these interactive workshops exploring the importance of soil and how it can be maintained and nurtured for optimal sustainability and productivity. These three hour workshops have been rescheduled for Friday 16 April at Richmond and Thursday 29 April at Dooralong,both starting at 10am. Registration is free but places are limited. For more information and registration, click HERE.
Soil Carbon Field Day Learn how to improve your soil, how to set up a soil carbon project and be paid to increase soil carbon on your property. An interactive workshop with Susan Orgill from NSW DPI, bring your questions. When:Friday 23 April 2021 - NOTE THE NEW DATE! Where: Local Land Services Demonstration Farm, 40 Edwards Road, Richmond Lowlands. For more information, click HERE, or register HERE.
The business of regeneration This two-day course provides an introduction for new, young and aspiring farmers that are interested in applying Holistic Management to build profitable and regenerative farm businesses. Presented by Brian Welhburg and Jen Ringbauer, learn from case studies that demonstrate valuable mindsets and processes that help you to operate your business successfully. Young Farmers Connect members and non-members are welcome, fees apply. To be held at Lawson, 23 & 24 April. Click HERE.
Care Farming & Gardening in the Climate Emergency The third national Urban Agriculture Forum, Care Farming & Gardening in the Climate Emergency, will take place online from 23 to 24 April. Explore growing urban ag initiatives and the positive impact they have on our health and wellbeing. Themes include; indigenous agriculture, gardening & mental health, and green infrastructure. Click HERE.
Indigenousagriculture webinar series The first in a new webinar series showcasing the many aspects of Australian Indigenous agriculture. Held online every third Wednesday monthly between February to November 2021. In this webinar, speakers will improve our understanding and awareness, share knowledge of many aspects of Australian Indigenous agriculture and help increase connections to culture and Country. Cost is $15 per webinar or $89 for the series, or free for Ag Institute members. Click HERE.
Young farmer business program conference Learn about the drivers of successful primary production businesses, the support services available and practical steps they can take to achieve your dream. Delegates will hear from experts on finance, negotiation and planning, as well as from people who have made the successful journey as young entrants to the industry. Friday 28 May in Dubbo. Click HERE.
Mudgee small farm field days For over 40 years, the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days have attracted approximately 20,000 people per year and aims to promote innovation and sustainability in agriculture and rural living. The field days inform, educate and connect rural people with information and solution providers with free demonstrations and talks along with commercial stalls, live music and activities. Click HERE.
National Landcare Conference The 2021 National Landcare Conference will be hosted by ABCTV host, Costa Georgiadis. The themes include: Sustainable Agriculture; Environment & Climate Change; Community Partnerships in Action; and Landcare Impact. Early bird tickets available NOW! When: 4-6 August 2021 Where: Convention Centre, Darling Harbour NSW For more details, click HERE.
Diversity in agriculture leadership program In 2020, twelve outstanding women with skills and a vision for agriculture were selected for the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program. Applications are now open to women over 25 yrs and due by 14 April 2021 for the 2021 program. Recipients are matched with a mentor to help establish leadership goals, steps to achieving these goals and measures of progress. The National Farmers Federation aims to double the number of women in agriculture leadership positions by 2030. Click HERE.
Fine Foods Australia - subsidy to participate Fine Food Australia is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest food & beverage trade show. This year, the show will be held from 6 – 9 September at ICC Sydney. Subsidies of $4,000 are available for up to 12 emerging NSW food & beverage producers and technology manufacturers to exhibit in the Flavours of NSW zone at Fine Food Australia. Expressions of Interest are open now and close on Friday 30 April 2021. Click HERE.
Horticulture scholarship opportunities Hort Innovation supports a range of scholarship opportunities for growers, including: - Emerging Leaders - Protected Cropping program - Produce Executive Program for vegetable levy payers - The Leadership Development Program run by The Right Mind for industry-specific scholarships (Vegetable, Strawberry, Rubus, Sweet potato, Potato, and Nursery).
Community Wellbeing Grants The devastating 2019/20 bushfires continue to have long lasting effects on impacted communities (not to mention COVID and the floods). Community grants of $1,000 are still available which can include community barbeques, art classes, music lessons, yoga, social events, DIY classes, playgroup, gardening, working bees, nature walks and more! More grants of up to $10,000 will soon be available for larger activities. ClickHERE.
Urban high tech horticulture Will cities play a significant role in the future of horticultural production through the use of technology such as vertical farms? Hort Innovation is working with a consortium of partners to understand the potential of emerging production technology and whether it can be applied to the Australian urban landscape. ClickHERE.
Survey of beef/sheep farmers affected by bushfires
The effects of bushfire on livestock wellbeing is being surveyed as part of collaborative research project. The ultimate aim is to develop an evidence-based Livestock Wellbeing Bushfire Preparation and Recovery Manual for producers. Beef and/or sheep farms who were fire-affected in the 2019-20 fire season are invited to participate. Click HERE.
New carbon farming research Southern Cross University is undertaking national, collaborative research involving farmers, consultants, natural resource managers and researchers. The focus is on using regenerative practices to restore degraded soils and increase soil carbon. Examples include various applications of multispecies cover crops, effects of pesticides on soil microbial diversity, integrating biochar into regenerative agriculture practices and building soil carbon through regenerative practices. Click HERE.
Honey bee health The 2019 Honey Bee Health Survey report provides a snapshot of bee health in the Australian honey bee industry, focusing on issues such as pests and diseases and pollination. The survey examined the level of biosecurity awareness amongst Australian beekeepers, including knowledge of pest and disease symptoms, and the Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice. View the 2019 Honey Bee Health report HERE.
Soil carbon for your farm business webinar series Hear from expert presenters on all things carbon: the science, producer experiences and carbon accounting. Webinar 1: The science of soil carbon - Tuesday, 20 April at 12pm. Webinar 2: Farmers trading carbon - Tuesday, 4 May at 12pm. Webinar 3: Carbon accounting - Tuesday, 18 May at 12. Click HERE.
Regional Extension Manager, Hort Innovation
Horticulture continues to grow, with a 40 per cent rise in value in Australia over the last five years. As a result, Hort Innovation has launched an extension initiative to help the coordination, communication and application of R&D outcomes. Regional Extension Managers are now based in the regions. Adrian Englefield looks after South East Australia. Click HERE.
Tips and tools for your soils Want to learn more about healthy soils and sustainable soil management? Meat and Livestock Australia’s new soil hub is filled with resources and case studies to help you. Soil health and fertility involves managing the physical (soil texture, structure and resilience), chemical (nutrient supply and cycling) and biological (organic matter, soil animals and micro-organisms) components. Click HERE.
Road to 'net zero' - understanding soils The potential of Australian soils to sequester carbon and offset emissions is a hot topic right now. But how do you go about building soil carbon? View Dr Schefe's presentation on the many complex factors involved in building soil carbon, which is part one in the Farmers for Climate Action video series. Click HERE.
Fungi on the Farm Fungi, sometimes known as the Forgotten Kingdom, has the ability to increase nitrogen, carbon, oxygen and phosphorus in the soil through decomposition of organic matter. Ecologist Alison Pouliot and Central Tablelands Local Land Services have produced a series of videos that explore the Forgotten Kingdom to help you understand the role of fungi and its impact on soils and plants. Episodes include identifying, fungi on the farm, symbiosis and more. ClickHERE.
Sustainability Credentials If you want to incorporate sustainability credentials into your farm business, you may be interested in this recorded webinar. Hear from practicing farmers including: Lynette Ryan - SunRice's head of sustainability, Tess Herbert - Chair of the beef sustainability steering group and Gil Sanbrook and Sam Johnson - producers from Land to Market Australia. ClickHERE.
Friendly farms The Friendly Farms network promotes events, field days, workshops and webinars for regenerative agriculture groups and individuals. Friendly Farms is using the power of story telling, communication and collaboration to create a more beautiful food future for Australia though healthier land, food and people. Click HERE.
Flavours of NSW The Department of Industry invite NSW food and beverage manufacturers to register and participate in the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Connect program. The Connect program aims to strengthen engagement and collaboration across the food and beverage manufacturing industry. For more details, click HERE, or to register, clickHERE.
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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