Also featured in this edition: learn how much carbon is contained in our soils, understand COVID-19 considerations when completing your tax return, sign up for a webinar or farm walk, apply for a variety of funding opportunities and access resources to create your own holistic land plan.
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, please email or phone me on 0436 803 337
Richard Stephens Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF)
The 'Big Shift for Small Farms' Podcast
This week we are featuring the last two episodes in the first series of The Big Shift for Small Farms Podcast. The first podcast series has been so popular that we have commissioned another series to be released later this year.
These last two podcast episodes cover Certification and Holistic Thinking. You can listen to these or any of the other eight episodes on your favourite podcast platform. If you have never listened to a podcast before click HERE to watch a video about how to get listening.
Certification. There is a growing trend among consumers to know how their food is produced. Certification offers some assurity to customers and a point of difference for producers. But is certification effective? We’ll chat with farmers who are certified and let you in on a secret that can be even more powerful than a certified label.
Holistic Thinking. This year has been challenging and at moments like these it's great to ask yourself, why do you farm the way you do? In this episode we’ll hear from farmers who, through personal illness, tragedy and awakening have been forced to reimagine their farming values and practices. We will hear who’s leading the way in holistic land management to help you make the big shift.
The other eight topics covered in the podcast series are: Urban farming; Startup farming;
Healthy soils; Cultivating Wellness; Community Supported Farming; Supply chain innovations - mobile abattoirs; Compost; and, Farm Resilience in a Changing Climate. Access the entire series HERE. This project has been developed by Greater Sydney Local Land Services and the Grow Love Project through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.
Why Soil Carbon Matters
The upper metre of the World’s soils contain more carbon than the world’s vegetation and atmosphere combined. Even small changes in the amount of soil carbon can have large effects on the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere. In addition, the amount of organic carbon in the soil directly affects agricultural productivity. Soil carbon improves water holding capacity, nutrient availability for soils, and stimulates soil biology. When water and rainfall are used more effectively growing seasons extend and farms become more drought tolerant and resilient.
Farmer and landholder interest in soil carbon credit projects is increasing. The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is a government-run offsets program which allows landholders to implement carbon storage or emissions abatement activities to generate and sell carbon credits. These carbon credits represent one tonne of stored carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) or avoided emissions through approved management activities and methodologies.
Recently, soil carbon credits have sold in Australia at $15.75 per tonne. Carbon Farming projects generate income for landholders through changes in land management practices which reduce greenhouse gas emissions or store carbon in soil and vegetation.
For more information on the ERF, click HERE. Several organisations are now offering help farmers and landholder set up soil carbon credit projects, including Green Collar and Agriprove, and click HERE for more info on the global carbon cycle.
The Global Carbon Cycle
Tax time changes due to COVID-19 2020 has been difficult and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have recognised that businesses have had significant challenges. To help make tax time easier, the ATO has a range of different approaches to support you, particularly where new circumstances mean that people are receiving a different type of income or able to claim new deductions. Click HERE to find out the how different types of income and expenses may affect your tax obligations this year.
Showcase Your Success Story Are you a Greater Western Sydney based business or professional with an inspiring success story to share? The 30th Anniversary Western Sydney Awards for Business Excellence (WSABE) have sixteen award categories. If you have an inspiring success story to share, entry is free and celebrate your success through the WSABE platform. Entries close 17 August, click HERE.
Australia now has world's most expensive cattle Australia now has the most expensive feeder steers in the world and analysts believe the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator will hit a high of 800 cents a kilogram carcase weight by next January Previously it peaked in March at a record of 765c/kg. All categories continue to climb as low supply tightened its grip. Feeder steers recently reached 373 cents a kilogram live weight. Click HERE.
National Wild Dog Action Plan A new National Wild Dog Action Plan has been launched that promotes a strategic approach to wild dog management including humane, safe and effective management to mitigate the impacts of wild dogs. The plan is endorsed by producers, peak farming bodies, the Australian Government, state governments and research and development corporations. Click HERE.
Weed hygiene station Winter is upon us and when grass goes dormant, weeds take over. To control the spread of weeds, Wagga City Council has installed a weed hygiene station in Pomingalarna Reserve, Moorong. The design of it enables people to clean their boots of dirt and weed seeds before entering sensitive areas. For more information, click HERE.
WEBINARS, SHORT COURSES & EVENTS
Food system change-makers Join Young Farmers Connect at 11am on 15 July for a conversation on new farming and food system models and opportunities for the next generation. Young Farmers Connect believe food systems can provide community resilience and connections to the land and each other. Sustain's 'Transition & Recovery' conversation series bring together experts to discuss how we can all work together to build sustainable and resilient food systems. Free to Sustain members, click HERE for more information.
Soil CRC webinar series The Soil Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) is holding a series of webinars covering soil data, herbicide residue, financially rewarding soil management and bio-solid injection into soils. These webinars draw upon the expertise within and research conducted by the Soil CRC. The next webinars are being held on Tuesdays at 11am to 11:45am on 14 and 28 July. Click HERE for more info.
Young Farmers Connect field day & farm walk Piccolo Farm is a small scale organic market garden on Sydneys urban fringe supplying vegetables, edible flowers and a weekly CSA - Community Supported Agriculture - veggie box. Owners Lizzie & Gianluigi Buscaino use permaculture principles and incorporate community engagement and education into their enterprise. Due to COVID19 restrictions, numbers limited to 20 people, RSVP essential. Sunday 2 August 10am -12.30pm. Click HERE.
Bob Hawke Landcare Award Nominations are now open for the Bob Hawke Landcare Award, closing on 31 August. The award recognises an individual’s leadership and commitment to Landcare, natural resource management and sustainable agriculture. The award prize is a $50,000 package for further development of their knowledge and skills in sustainable land management and the Award will be presented at the National Landcare Awards gala dinner on Thursday 11 March, 2021 in Sydney. Click HERE.
2021 Nuffield Scholarships Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships are a unique way for primary producers to participate in a life-changing experience, travel overseas and study an agricultural topic of choice. There are 20 different Nuffield Scholarships on offer for 2021, each valued at $30,000. And for the first time, a Farm Biosecurity Nuffield scholarship is being offered for a primary producer to study on-farm biosecurity. Applications close 11 September, click HERE.
COVID-19 assistance finder tool Service NSW has launched a COVID-19 Assistance Finder tool to help business owners and individuals affected by the pandemic find benefits, rebates and concessions available to them. It has information about options and assistance available in health and wellbeing, employment, food, housing and finances. For example, a new small business recovery grant of up to $3000 to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 safely re-launch their operations is now available. Applications opened on 1 July and close 16 August. Click HERE
Tackling Tough Times Together The Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) grant program helps communities access resources to support one another through the ongoing effects of the drought. Grants are available for a broad range of grassroots, community-led initiatives that directly benefit local communities. Applications are assessed quarterly with round 18 applications closing on 16 July for the $150,000 funding tier and 27 August for the $20,000 and $60,000 tiers. Applicants must speak with the TTTT team to discuss their project before applying. Click HERE.
Changes to the Farm Household Allowance As of 11 June 2020, changes are in effect to the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) program. The activity supplement amount has been increased from $4,000 to $10,000 and the asset test threshold increased to $5.5 million. The changes are aimed at making the FHA payment easier to access and to improve the support available to farmers and their families. Click HERE.
Are you the next Soils For Life case study? Soils For Life are currently inviting farmers and land managers from across Australia to apply to be case studies. While they are interested in applications from all enterprises, they are particularly looking for more representation of farmers working in horticulture, viticulture, dairying and cropping enterprises. If you think your property is a good example of the environmental, social, economic and production benefits brought about by your regenerative practices, please apply. Click HERE.
Building a native grain industry Native grains and grasses could hold the key to a whole new industry. A group of Indigenous leaders and the University of Sydney are developing a market for native grains. These grains and grasses have been a food source and part of Aboriginal culture for more than 100,000 years. Research will be conducted to develop a market, create a beautiful food product, learn how to mill and commercially grow these native grains and grasses. Click HERE for more information.
Feasibility of urban farming in Sydney’s light industrial area Students from the University of Technology Sydney are investigating the feasibility of establishing urban farming in Sydney’s light industrial lands nestled in between residential and commercial properties in high-density areas within the city’s east. Case studies and urban farming models from across the globe have been investigated, a survey conducted and a series of social media videos produced. Click HERE to see the tik tok video and click HEREfor more information.
Pandemic Gardening 2020 has been a year of enormous change and challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand the extent to which COVID-19 has impacted the attitude and actions of community members towards edible food growing, The Urban Agriculture Forum has initiated a national survey. Help make the case for greater recognition of and resourcing for edible gardening and urban agriculture. Click HERE.
COVID safe check for businesses Businesses can now check, test and promote their 'COVID Safe' credentials through the NSW Government’s online COVID Safe Check. Businesses can complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan using the online PDF template. Plans are not required to be submitted, however, some businesses are required to keep a copy of the plan on premises. Businesses can also register as being COVID Safe and promote this by downloading free posters and online point of sale items. Click HERE.
Holistic land planning The Holistic Land Planning process provides a structured way to plan the development of your land in-line with your Holistic Context/Vision and create an action plan for your development over time. A properly structured land plan can ensure fences and tree lines wont conflict with where you might put a major dam or a building, and roads can be developed to provide long-term durability and low maintenance. Land Planning workshops and contour maps are available, click HERE.
Help for small businesses Business Connect is a NSW Government business advisory program that provides small business advice. Experienced Business Connect Advisors know how to tackle a range of business challenges including business planning, how to start up, marketing and accessing finance. Over 60 free online workshops and webinars are available to help small business manage cashflow, change their business model, sell goods and services online and marketing. Click HERE.
Rendering beeswax - the easy way Illawarra Beekeepers have released a video on rendering beeswax [the easy way]. The video shows no need for a wax melter, or a specially modified urn. Just a few things almost everyone would have in their house is all that's needed. It's ideal for the amateur beekeeper with only 1 or 2 hives and it's easy enough for almost anyone to do. Click HERE.
Tax time tools and resources This end of financial year comes with more complexities than in previous years. Business Australia have created free easy to use tools and resources. Whether its understanding your tax requirements with the JobKeeper allowance or trying to plan for the next financial year in uncertainty, help is available via downloadable checklists, information sheets and other resources to help your business manage tax time and plan for the next financial year. Click HERE.
Can Co-operative Farming Future Proof Australian Farmers? What are the situations where co-operatives work and what does it take to make them succeed? Where, when and why do they fail? Hear some of the nation’s best agricultural experts debunk some myths about co-operative farming. And find out more about the government’s $2.5 million Starting New Farm Co-operatives program. To watch the webinar, 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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