Hello readers, I am the newly appointed Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF) for the Greater Sydney region. My role is to support farmers and landholders in Greater Sydney with their sustainable agriculture and land management practices and to create a Greater Sydney Small Farms Network.
Whether you run a farming business, have a hobby farm or manage animals on your acreage, the Greater Sydney Small Farms Network is designed to provide you with relevant information and a forum for interacting and learning. Launched in April 2019, the network already has 340 members.
By providing a tailored monthly e-newsletter, you will get information about training and workshop events, help with funding applications, access to research results and providing relevant resources, the network can help you improve your sustainable agriculture and land management practices.
If you would like to nominate your biggest farming or land management challenge or if you have ideas on how the Greater Sydney Small Farms network can best help you, please contact me via email on[email protected],phone 02 4724 2151 or mobile 0436 803 337.
Richard Stephens Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator
NEWS Successful workshops on grazing management for drought resilience Almost 50 landholders recently attended two grazing management for drought resilience workshops held in Kulnura and Lower Portland. Holistic management, planned grazing and feed budgeting were covered.
Building drought resilience into a landscape is not determined by how much rain that falls. As land managers, we determine how much rainfall is retained in the soil profile and landscape.
Feedback from participants:
“Brian is one of the best presenters and subject matter expert in this field I have ever encountered. The knowledge base provided in this workshop was first class," Wayne (Central Macdonald).
“The presentation and input discussion from everyone was great. I’ve learnt so much today," Craig (Lower Portland).
Workshop presenter, Brian Wehlburg, at Hebron Farm, Lower Portland, explains how the health of cattle is indicated by dung characteristics.
Farmers and landholders in Greater Sydney prefer to learn information through face to face and peer education opportunities.
Greater Sydney Small Farms Network results are in! The results of this survey have given us great insight into the type of information and resources subscribers are interested in. Key findings include
Who you are: - 43 percent say farming is their primary income source - 31 percent identify as hobby farmers - 24 percent as having animals on a ‘lifestyle’ block Most common industries: - Livestock (horses, cattle, poultry) - Vegetables Most common challenges: - Managing weeds - Pasture management - Water availability - Pest animal control Areas of interest: - Regenerative agriculture - Organic produce - Holistic management - Conventional farming
Preferred information sources: - Face to face - Peer education Overview: - More than 50 percent have been farming for 10 years or less - 45 percent have property of 10 ha of less Most common property goals: - Healthy food production - High productivity - Improving the condition of the land Top priorities: - Soil health - Weed control - Grazing and pasture management - Drought resilience
Proposed reforms to the Property Identification System In NSW, an eight character Property Identification Code (PIC) is assigned by Local Land Services to identify a property involved in a livestock industry. PICs play a vital role in enabling traceability by identifying properties involved in production, processing and distribution. Proposed reforms to the PIC system may result in a PIC also being required for properties involved in a plant industry. To submit comments on the proposed reforms, by 1 November 2019, click HERE.
Go forth and generate carbon credits The Climate Solutions Fund is providing an additional $2 billion in funding for farmers, landholders and communities to undertake emissions reduction projects that provide local benefits. Activities to earn carbon credits can include: storing carbon in soils; planting native trees and shrubs; reducing methane production within cattle herds; and small farm aggregation, which enables the minimum 2000 tonne parcel of units (the smallest tradeable amount) to be produced. Click HERE.
Fruit fly management Spring has sprung, which means it is time to make sure your fruit fly management practices are up to date to protect your produce and nearby properties.Similar control methods and strategies can be used to control the two main pest species of fruit fly in Australia: the Queensland fruit fly and the Mediterranean fruit fly. Early Spring is the time for monitoring traps and the use of protein bait sprays and traps. In Summer, fallen fruit should be collected and destroyed. Read more HERE.
NSW government calling urban farmers for Western Sydney Parklands The Western Sydney Parklands Trust is calling for expressions of interest in a new release of urban farming lots and are requesting “viable” applications that demonstrate sustainable farming practices.The six land parcels range from three to nine hectares and are available for mixed agricultural uses such as open growing, orchards and glasshouses. Applications for farming proposals are open until 14 October. Read the full articleHERE.
Have your say on NSW water sharing plans The Natural Resources Commission has extended the time for submissions for its reviews of water sharing plans for the Greater Metropolitan Region Groundwater Sources 2011 and Unregulated River Water Sources 2011.This is your opportunity to comment on the plans which govern water sharing arrangements. The Commission is interested in your comments regarding the associated environmental, social and economic outcomes.Submissions will close on Friday 25 October 2019. For more information, click HERE.
WORKSHOPS & EVENTS
Native bee workshop for vegetable growers Date: Friday 11 October 2019 Time: 12pm-3pm Cost: FREE Location: 40 Edwards Road, Richmond Lowlands This workshop will explore good pollination for quality crop yields, potential effects of native bee and other insect pollinators and how to increase populations of native bees. Registration is essential. For further details, click HERE.
Thinking outside the square bale Date: Monday 14 October 2019 Time: 9.15am - 4pm Location: 1900 Wombeyan Caves Rd, HIGH RANGE Cost: FREE Whether you are feeding for maintenance or production, this workshop will explore practical, cost-effective ways of feeding livestock. Two farms will be visited to look at how Dried Distillers Grain (pellets) is being fed to lactating cows, lactating ewes and to finish lambs. Participants will get to see all aspects of the feeding system and hear first-hand from the producers. To register, click HERE.
Holistic management in the Kangaroo Valley
Eight day course
Session 1: Oct 15-16 Session 2: Nov 12-13 Session 3: Dec 10-11 Session 4: Jan 14-15 Location: Kangaroo Valley
Presenter: Brian Wehlburg, Inside Outside Management Cost: $2,200 (inc GST), RAA funding available if eligible. Learn how to grow pasture for profit, work with nature, make holistic decisions and use livestock as a tool. Inquiries:[email protected]
Mangrove Mountain Country Fair Date: Sunday 19 October 2019 Time: 10am-4pm Location: Cnr Wisemans Ferry Road & Waratah Road, Mangrove Mountain This annual community event is filled with fun activities for the family with stalls, farm animals, pony rides, arts and crafts, celebrating the community of Mangrove Mountain. For more details, click HERE.
Introduction to organic market gardening Date: 1-3 November 2019 Time: 8:30am-4:30pm Location: Pocket City Farms, Camperdown Cost: $750 Learn how to start an organic market garden from scratch with a combination of theory + on-farm knowledge. This course is for those who want to establish a viable, small-scale organic growing enterprise. For further information, read HERE.
Who's living on my land? workshops
Date: Tuesday 5 November 2019 Date: Thursday 14 November 2019 Location: Annangrove Location: Central Coast For more details and to book, click HERE. For more details and to book, click HERE.
Time (both workshops): 10.00am - 3pm Cost: FREE, but bookings are essential. Landholders are invited to learn about who is living on their land. by learning about native and feral animal activity by studying their footprints, scats and also using motion sensor cameras. Speakers include Robyn Urqhuart, a Conservation Land Management teacher and Stephanie Clark from National Parks Association. Morning tea and lunch will be provided.
'Free up your natural capital' conference Date: 3-4 March 2020 Location: Albury The Australian Holistic Management Co-operative is organising two days on the theme that agricultural production and environmental stewardship can both be part of the same approach. This will include a conference and field trips. For more information, contact Tony Hill on 0412 128 755 or email[email protected]
Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Community and government organisations can apply for grants of up to $100,000 for projects that achieve long-term outcomes for the NSW environment. The Restoration and Rehabilitation grants program is now open, applications close on Monday 18 November 2019. To read further, click HERE.
AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program The AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program is open for applications from emerging rural industries to partner with AgriFutures Australia to increase the production capacity and value of their industries to overcome technical and biological constraints. Applications closes Friday, 25 October 2019. For more details, click HERE.
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. For more details, click HERE.
New dung beetle released
The Dung Beetle Ecosystem Engineers project continues to go from strength to strength, as the first of thousands of beetles have emerged at Charles Sturt University and CSIRO. The beetles are the new generation of the Onthophagus vacca (O. vacca) Moroccan strain; their emergence a key milestone towards releasing the first of three new imports on farms across southern Australia, with major economic and ecological benefits estimated.
A long term project studying regenerative grazing of grassy woodlands in NSW has found the average profit levels from the regenerative graziers were: - comparable with elite producers. - consistently higher and less variable than average ABARES farm data. - reliably better in low rainfall years. Regenerative managed farms also had substantially lower cost structures.
51 Opportunities to save money on energy A practical new guide which outlines 51 opportunities for farmers to save money on their energy bills by embracing clean energy is now available. The guide looks at increasing on-farm efficiency and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon farming handbook Want to understand Carbon
Farming and the contribution farmers can make to the health of farm
landscapes and rural economies? With the passing of the Carbon Farming Initiative into law,
farmers can now be rewarded for changing the way that they manage the
land and their animals.
Get in touch with your inner centre of gravity This video looks at how to get in touch with your inner centre of Gravity which is very important for a rider to be balanced and secure.
Regenerative agriculture podcast Kerry Cochrane speaks to renown author and regenerative farming revolutionary, Dr Charles Massy, a well known grazier from Cooma in the southern Snowy region of NSW. Want to listen? 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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