Issue 42 - 14 April 2022
Message from RALF

Hi everyone,

Unfortunately we have been hit by yet another flood emergency with many farms impacted. There is help and support available, see below. Also Local Land Services is holding two
flood recovery workshops, on 28 and 29 April, Richmond Lowlands and Wisemans Ferry. Register HERE.

In other news, Local Land services has developed a Small Farm Property Planning process, workbook and web-based mapping tool. If you want to achieve your holistic vision for your property and lifestyle, a three-part workshop series being held in May is for you!

Also in this edition; farmers switch to electric motor cycle, making sense of soil tests workshops in June, primary industries productivity and abatement program, unique Aussie protein on the global menu and the 10 must dos for farm profitability.

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) 

Flood recovery workshops

Want help with pasture recovery and care for livestock during and after floods?

Hear from agronomist Neil Griffiths about flood affected pastures, listen to livestock rescuer, David King, about moving and rescuing flood affected animals, learn from local and LLS Veterinarians about animal health and take a flooded paddock walk with Adam Little from Ace Ohlsson. 

Richmond: 9.15am - 1pm, Thursday 28 April - LLS Demonstration Farm, 40 Edwards Rd Richmond Lowlands
Wisemans Ferry: 9.15am - 1pm, Friday 29 April - 'Retreat at Wisemans', 5564 Old Northern Rd, Wisemans Ferry    :  

Register HERE. Free, light lunch, provided, registration essential!
Continuing support for flood affected landholders 

General flood support:
On farm:
Animal Health and Welfare:
Pests & Weeds after flood:
 Natural Resource Management:
Regenerative farmers won appeal for flood assistance
Regenerative farmers Nick and Brydie Holliday were initially rejected for flood recovery assistance because they earned more money from their second jobs than they did from their fledgling farm business. However, on appeal, they had their application approved for $14,500 to repair roads and fences damaged in February's flood. The Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements scheme is under review. Click HERE. 
Seasonal climatic outlook and parasites
The Bureau of Meteorology's 3-month seasonal outlook indicates that most of NSW has a 50% to above 80% chance of above median rainfall between April and June. While the La Niña has weakened in the tropical Pacific Ocean, it may still contribute to weather events in the coming months. And the current high level of moisture in the soil and high humidity has increased the risk of internal and external parasites. Click HERE for the 3-month seasonal outlook and click HERE to learn about the favourable conditions for parasites. 
It is sugar shake season
Autumn is Sugar Shake Season, encouraging awareness and surveillance for exotic bee mites in Australia. During autumn, all beekeepers are encouraged to perform a sugar shake test and submit their results to NSW DPI.
Read how to detect an exotic bee pest incursion
HERE or watch this short video to learn how to determine if a honey bee colony is affected with mites and perform your own sugar shake test
Jude isn't your ordinary teenager
Stuck in lockdown with a broken ankle, Jude decided to give gardening a go. Two years later, he's turned a small bed of snow peas into five big garden patches. This is a beautiful story about a very special member of the 'Farm It Forward' team. Jude discovered his love for gardening after he broke his ankle. Helping to feed his community has now become a enjoyable focus of his life. Watch this Gardening Australia clip HERE.
Farmer switches to an electric motor cycle
Sheep farmer Ian Kelly worries about his lambs dying to miscarriage and mismothering. Checking the flock every day on a loud petrol motorcycle was not helping, so this year he bought an electric motorcycle. For day-to-day jobs on the farm, range is not a problem. A relatively small 2.1kWh battery gives him about 40 kilometres of range at low speed. Technology has improved. New batteries are lighter, charge faster and new bikes can do  8 to 10 hours of mustering! Click HERE.
Alpacas used to guard against foxes 
Alpaca breeders say increased pest numbers, especially foxes, have significantly increased demand for their guardian animals. Anne Fuller manages an alpaca farm at Bilpin, in the Blue Mountains, which predominantly sells young male alpacas to people with fox problems on the Central Tablelands where there is a huge fox problem. Alpacas can play a role in guarding vulnerable livestock against foxes, click HERE.
Farmstay providers can accept 'Stay NSW Vouchers' 
If you’re an accommodation provider, check your eligibility and register for the Stay NSW Vouchers. Once approved, you can accept and redeem Stay NSW Vouchers using the Service NSW for Business app. Businesses registered for Stay NSW Vouchers can also accept Parents NSW Vouchers. To register, you must have an eligible NSW accommodation business, an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST. Click HERE.
Farm safety program 
A NSW farm safety advisory program has dedicated advisors who can provide support, advice, and resources to improve WHS on farms. An advisory session with a Farm Safety Advisor can be delivered in various settings, including on your own farm with discussions tailored specifically to your farm business operations. A WHS advisory line and an online repository of WHS resources is available to farming businesses in NSW, click HERE.    
Conservation in action
Conservation in Action is a unique conference that brings together industry leaders in the conservation field. From scientists to policy makers, program managers through to implementation specialists, this event brings together multiple natural resource management disciplines to facilitate the transition of environmental research into on-ground action. 2-4 May, Orange NSW, click 
Small farm property planning workshops
Want to achieve your holistic vision for your property and lifestyle? This three-part workshop series will take you through the planning process, a self assessment checklist, use of an online mapping tool to create various property maps and have access to experts on biodiversity, biosecurity, sustainable agriculture and Aboriginal cultural heritage. All sessions to be held at the Demonstration Farm, Richmond Lowlands, 9.30am to 2.30pm on 12, 20 & 27 May. This is a free workshop series with catering provided. Register HERE by COB 29 April.
So you have bought your first farm
All you need to know about owning your first livestock: cattle, sheep, goats, bees alpacas or horses. Hear from experts and join in on the discussions. Organised by  Orange Field Days and to be held at the field day site, 563 Borenore Road, Borenore NSW 2800. $20 per Adult or $45 per family. Saturday 7 May 2022. Click HERE.
Where farmers & foodies meet
Since 1985, PRIMEX has evolved from a relatively small local event to one of the country’s leading primary industries expos. Now with more than 300 exhibitors, 1000 different companies and  25,000 visitors across the three days, PRIMEX is Australia’s sustainable farm and primary industries exhibition. PRIMEX offers a complete Paddock to Plate Experience 'Where Farmers & Foodies Meet'! Learn about the 19-21 May 2022 PRIMEX, HERE.
Carbon farming comes of age
After more than 10 years of development, carbon farming and trading is now almost 'mainstream' providing income diversification, productivity improvements & biodiversity benefits. On 23-26 May 2022 in Albury NSW, learn about renewable energy, emission reduction credits, soil carbon credits, agroforestry, water credits, carbon offset credits, biodiversity credits & blockchain technology. Click HERE.

Making sense of soil tests - June workshops 
A one day workshop with soils expert David Hardwick will cover understanding your soil tests. Learn how to make sense of your soil test results, identify soil constraints and key nutrient issues. This workshop will help you be more informed about your soil test when getting agronomic advice. Bring your own soil test results! 
      Tuesday 7 June  - Central Coast
      Wednesday 8 June - Richmond
      Thursday 9 June - Camden 
Click HERE for more information.   
Greater Sydney Landcare Gathering - July
The date for the Greater Sydney Landcare Gathering is Sunday 6 July 2022. Small farmers, landcarers, bushcarers and environmentalists are invited to connect, imagine and create a future together. It’s been a difficult couple of years with drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19. Together, find new connections and develop positive ideas and initiatives. Be a part of the Greater Sydney "care" community at Rhodes. Register HERE. 

Mudgee small farm field days
The Mudgee Small Farm Field Days has been running for over 40 years and attracts approximately 20,000 people per year. Its aim is to promote innovation and sustainability in agriculture and rural living by informing, educating and connecting rural people with information and solution providers. There are free demonstrations and talks along with commercial stalls, live music and activities to suit the whole family. Click HERE.


Primary industry productivity and abatement 
The Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program is part of the Net Zero Plan to support farmers and land managers reduce emissions, improve carbon management and enhance biodiversity on their farmland.
Support is available to 
implement carbon abatement projects, access environmental markets, accelerate finance for natural capital and low carbon farming, and demonstrate environmental performance to consumers and the supply chain. Read more HERE.
Low cost soil testing 
Funding is available for farmers to access low-cost soil testing in exchange for sharing their data to build a national soil database. Farmers and land managers can apply for soil testing grants of up to $10,000 and get assistance from soil extension officers to interpret their test results. This Pilot Soil Monitoring and Incentives Program is being  delivered by Southern Cross University, Click HERE to find out more or register your interest. 
Rebates for small business fees and charges
Sole traders, small business owners and not-for-profit organisations in NSW may be eligible for small business fees and charges rebate of $3,000. This rebate can help businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and encourages growth by reducing business running costs. Funds can be used to offset the costs of eligible NSW and local government fees, until 30 June 2022, for charges due and paid from 1 March 2021, Click HERE.


Unique Aussie protein on the global menu
CSIRO research indicates Australia can provide a wider range of high-quality protein products to feed the world’s growing population and help capture a $13 billion market. The report ‘Protein: A roadmap for unlocking technology-led growth opportunities for Australia’ also outlines how Australia could create up to 10,000 jobs and become a global leader in feeding the  extra two billion people on the planet by 2050. Click HERE.
Transformational change needed 
The good news from latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we already have the tools needed to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius. The bad news is they need to be implemented NOW! "We are at a crossroads," IPCC chair Hoesung Lee said. "The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming." Click HERE.
Beyond the burp 
A sustainable diets study looking at our nutritional needs and environmental limits concluded that people should only consume 14 grams of red meat per day. However, beef production can offer valuable social and environmental solutions, including biodiversity, soil health and economic opportunities for marginalized groups. Read about the American research and four examples
Ending plastic waste
By 2030, CSIRO are aiming to reduce plastic waste entering the Australian environment by 80 per cent. While plastic is useful and can make life easier, it can have detrimental impact on  the environment and our economy. Alternatively, plastic waste can be transformed into a valuable resource and support Australia’s circular economy. For more information, click HERE.


The 10 must do's for farm profitability
Do you use fertilisers that are biologically friendly? Do you focus on 100% ground cover all year round? Do you use a penetrometer to test for compaction? Do you use a brix meter? Are you increasing your soil carbon levels? Are you increasing plant biodiversity on your farm? Do you maintain a healthy soil food web? Are you minimising soil disturbance? Are your animals free of health problems? Are you grazing to avoid fodder conservation? For a free report, the 10 must do's to farm profitability, click 
Farmer's markets
At last count, there are more than 50 farmer's and fresh produce markets within a 250 km radius of Sydney. So, if you have excess produce and want to know what markets are nearby, click HERE. If you are aware of any additional farmer's or fresh produce markets, or if any of the information provided needs to be updated, please email me or phone 0406 803 337. 
Natural asset farming
CSIRO publishing have released 'Natural Asset Farming: Creating Productive and Biodiverse Farms'. This book provides practical guidance on enhancing seven natural assets on farms an d brings together the stories and experiences of farmers with the results of extensive on-farm research. Whether it's fencing a paddock tree or enhancing a farm dam, protecting natural assets helps to improve biodiversity and farm resilience. Click HERE. 
Electric vehicle guide
The 2022 NSW Electric Vehicle Guide lays out key aspects for consideration prior to purchasing a battery electric vehicle (BEV). By providing user-friendly information  and, therefore, confidence to weigh up the purchase, you will be able decide if a BEV is right for you. Click HERE.
New look AdaptNSW website
Many areas in NSW have felt the effects of our changing climate. Average temperatures have increased 1.4 degrees since 1910 and  the frequency and intensity of storms and floods is increasing.   Visit the new look AdaptNSW website to increase your awareness of climate change and how it will affect your communities.

Carry a vehicle biosecurity kit
A vehicle biosecurity kit can help limit the spread of unwanted pests, diseases and weeds on-farm or between farms. A kit should be carried and used by anyone working on or visiting multiple farms. The basic contents should include items for cleaning hands, shoes, small equipment (such as  soil moisture probes) and vehicle interiors etc, click 
HERE. For an outline of farm biosecurity basics, click HERE.
Greenhouse gas calculator
The American Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies calculator allows you to convert emissions or energy data to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. Calculate abstract measurements into concrete terms that can be easily  understood, such as the annual emissions from cars, households, etc. Measure and communicate your greenhouse gas reductions 
Got a difficult decision?
The Ethics Centre is providing a free and confidential service, 'Ethi-call', to help you decide what is the right thing to do. They talk you through a series of questions that help shine a light on the problem you’re trying to solve. They won’t tell you the answer, but will provide you with the tools to get to a decision that’s right for you. Click HERE.
Drought resilience self assessment
'Dr SAT, a drought resilience self assessment tool, along with 'Climate Services for Agriculture' tools, are designed to support farmer decision-making in regards to drought and a changing climate. These tools are now available and are currently being revised for new a release. For a short video on Dr SAT, click
HERE or access the tool
HERE. For a video on the Climate Services for Agriculture tools, click HERE or log into the platform HERE.
Grazing charts
Grazing charts are used to match stocking rate to carrying capacity throughout the year. Measuring weight gain, DSEs/ha and pasture growth at the start and end of the season, as well as pregnancy scanning, help to understand actual production and therefore plan appropriately. Trigger dates can then be nominated for deciding livestock numbers, such as late Autumn in preparation for Winter slow growth months. Click HERE. 
Slaughter of animals for human consumption
The legal slaughter of animals and the sale of the meat for human consumption in NSW is strictly controlled and legislated by law for food safety, biosecurity and animal welfare. The illegal slaughter of animals in an unlicensed abattoir and the sale or intended sale of the meat as food for human consumption is a criminal offence and carries significant penalties. This fact sheet provides information on the slaughter of animals where the meat is sold for human consumption in NSW. Click 
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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