Issue 51 - 18 January  2023
Message from RALF

Hi all,

Happy new year! 

In this edition: learn what Kim Whelan and Ben Azzopardi can do for you, prepare for the NLIS changes regarding dairy and miniature goats, register for the holistic management course in North Richmond, sign up for the Sydney shale soil pit workshop on 30 March, participate in a national livestock parasite survey, access the new feral deer guide, soils near me app or the farm carbon management handbook.

Please note: The NSW Government is restricting its communications leading up to the State election on 25 March 2023. As a result, this newsletter edition will be the last until after the election results are confirmed. I apologise for the inconvenience. However, rest assured that we will be back in April 2023 with a bumper edition! 

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) 

Livestock health concerns this summer

Our wet and warm summer is giving rise to parasites, disease-causing bacteria and viruses thriving on farms and among livestock. So be on the lookout for the following:
  • Ticks. Paralysis and bush ticks are prevalent at the moment. A female paralysis tick has enough toxin to paralyse (and kill) a young calf, sheep or goat, and less than ten bush ticks can cause anaemia, even death. These ticks spend most of their life in the paddock and only 5-7 days at a time on the beast. So, it’s not always easy to find ticks on calves and many people think their property has no ticks. It is highly unlikely a coastal farm would have no ticks. Learn more about ticks HERE, go to TickBoss and find out about Vaccines and prevention” 
  • WormsGo to WormBoss and “Worm Control Program for Sheep” offers region-based worm control programs 
  • Flystrike. Go to FlyBoss and gain an insight into monitoring for flystrike. 
  • Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEv). JEv spreads by water birds and infects pigs (a ‘multiplying host’), horses, as well as humans (for which vaccines are now available). If you work outdoors and consider yourself at risk and contact your general practitioner for advice. Download the Mosquito Management Plan 
  • Bovine ephemeral fever (BEF). Commonly known as three-day sickness, BEF is a disease of cattle and buffaloes, marked by short fever, shivering, lameness and muscular stiffness. A vaccine is available and effective.
  • Virulent footrot. A notifiable disease caused by a highly contagious bacterium. It spreads quickly in warm, moist conditions causing painful inflammation of the interdigital skin, eventually becoming deep-set in the hoof. 
  • Botulism. A serious, fatal disease caused by a toxin produced by a bacterium found in the gut of animals. After a major flooding event, cattle may become exposed through decomposing carcases and decaying vegetation.  Vaccination is essential. Botulism can also enter through deep wounds.
  • Hoof abscesses. Any minor injury or damage to the hooves of pigs, sheep, horses and cattle can become infected by bacteria. This is exacerbated by wet, muddy conditions. 
  • Mud fever. Pastern dermatitis in horses is often caused by a variety of bacteria, which thrive in muddy, wet conditions. The infection can stay dormant in the horse’s skin and becomes active when the surface is compromised, usually by prolonged exposure to wet conditions. 
For more information on various livestock health concerns this summer, click HERE.
More help for you

Greater Sydney Local Land Services has recently welcomed Kim Whelan & Ben Azzopardi to provide additional support and resources to landholders and primary producers as part of the Early Needs Recovery Program. The program aims to give primary producers in the most flood-impacted regions of NSW access to a range of technical support and recovery advice

Kim & Ben will conduct various farm visits and workshops in flood and wet weather recovery, soil agronomy, plant biosecurity and pasture management. They are available for consultation and assistance in helping you recover from our extended period of wet weather and flooding.

Kim Whelan is working with horticultural producers throughout Greater Sydney and Central Coast, email [email protected], mobile 0437 440 902.
Ben Azzopardi is working with pasture and livestock producers, email [email protected], mobile 0473 950 997.
Are you preparing for drought?

As our extended period of La Niña weather is showing signs of ending, the possibility of a drier, El Niño influenced weather pattern is increasing. So when is the right time to start talking about and planning for drought? The best time to prepare for a drought is before it happens. Click HERE.
Ways to avoid and deal with a snake bite
Australia has a reputation for being home to some of the world's most dangerous animals, including the eastern brown snake, and most snakes bites occur near people's home. One easy measure to reduce the likelihood of a snake bite is to wear long pants, a long shirt and enclosed shoes. Keeping a snake bite bandage in the ute, tractor and at home is also worthwhile. If you get bitten, remain calm, stay as still as possible, dial 000, and then bandage the entire limb of the snake bite, preferably with a splint, to stop the venom from spreading. Click HERE. 
Local Land Services rates 2023 
Your Local Land Services rates
 enable boots on the ground to protect NSW communities against pests, weeds and diseases and helps maintain vital market access. They contribute to our sustainable agriculture, biosecurity, animal health and emergency management work, resulting in a secure, healthy and productive landscape. Your LLS rates notice for 2023 will be in the mail in January and due in February. Click HERE.
New healthy vegetable snack food 
A new healthy vegetable snack, drawing on innovation from CSIRO and Nutri V, will see food waste reduced and support farmers to be more sustainable. Nutri V Goodie snacks contain broccoli, pumpkin and cauliflower, which couldn't be sold and would otherwise have gone to waste, often as landfill or animal feed. The Nutri V vegetable powders, a key ingredient in Nutri V Goodie snacks, help Australians top up their veggie consumption while supporting farmers in reducing waste. Click ​HERE.​  
Breed your own dung beetles
A group of East Gippsland farmers are learning how to trap dung beetles and build the nurseries needed to breed them. Dung beetles clear grazing pastures of dung, incorporating nutrients and helping water permeate into the soil. However, as different dung beetle species are active at different times of the year, you need to learn how to have year-round beetles. Farmers in Gippsland have learned how to identify and breed their local species to reinvigorate populations. Click HERE. 
NLIS updates from March 2023
NLIS provides whole of life traceability for Australian livestock and underpins emergency disease response, food safety and market access for both meat and the export of live animals. In NSW, there have been tagging exemptions in place for wild rangeland goats, dairy goats and earless goats. However, from March 2023, all dairy, earless and miniature goats must be identified with an accredited visual or electronic ear tag or an accredited electronic NLIS leg band  before they leave their property of birth. Click
Think holistically and regeneratively
The eight day training course "Holistic management: a foundation for regeneration" is coming to the Hawkesbury. Hosted by
Happy Farm in North Richmond, learn how to improve profitability, drought resilience, soil fertility, and biodiversity. This eight day course is held over four two day sessions: 28 Feb-1 March 1; March 28-29; May 9-10; June 20-21. For more information, click HERE. To register, email Kerry Wehlburg HERE.

Sydney shale soil pit workshop
An underground look at soils and sustainable management, this workshop will focus on managing soils formed on Wiannamatta Shale. Landholders will learn how to work with soils to inform farm planning, understand the characteristics of their soils, soil sampling, soil fertility and management. Understand clay soils found in south-west Sydney and see how these soils vary, even across a paddock. An opportunity to work with leading experts from the NSW Soil Knowledge Network. Thursday 30 March 2023 at Menangle. Register NOW!
Soils Alive - soil biology field days
Join Greater Sydney Local Land Services and Soil Land Food for workshops and demonstrations at one of three soil biology field days. Soil Land Food will help you get your head around the life in your soil and the LLS team will take you through the results from a biological fertiliser demonstration looking at five biological products on standing pasture. Field days will be held in Somersby 19 April, Richmond 20 April and Camden 21 April. Register

Farming Matters Conference 2023
Farmers, consumers, business and government will come together at Farming Matters 2023 in Canberra on 3 -5 May 2023. Farmers are now embracing regenerative practices, consumers are calling for verifiably responsible produce, businesses now need to accurately report their environment, social and governance credentials, and governments need sustainable policies for agriculture. Workshops, key note presentations and local field trips are on offer. Click 
NSW Landcare gathering
Recharge and reconnect at the NSW State Landcare Gathering, Coffs Harbour, 16-18 May 2023. This gathering will bring the Landcare community together in person after years of online meetings and no events. In addition, share skills through networking, participant in workshops, listen to presentations, and recharge in a relaxed environment that enables personal interaction. For more info, email [email protected]
Managing bushfire together
The Nature Conservation Council 13th Biennial Bushfire Conference will be held from 24 to 26 May, 2023 at Surrey Hills. The conference theme 'Managing Bushfire Together: applying science, skills and stories' will be addressed by a range of experts, agencies, traditional owners and practitioners. This will be a live event with some hybrid capacity. For more information, click HERE.
Healthy soils symposium 
On 26 May 2023, South East and Greater Sydney Local Land Services will combine forces to hold a Healthy Soils Symposium at Moss Vale on the Southern Highlands. The symposium will include results from our regional biological fertiliser demonstrations, managing nutrient levels, increasing organic carbon, improving moisture holding capacity, soil structure and enhancing soil biology. To register your interest, click HERE.
Nature based solutions
The inaugural Nature Based Solutions Conference & Expo will be held in Brisbane, 17-19 July 2023. It will bring together practical natural solutions to mitigate climate change including; blue carbon sequestration, soil and tree carbon initiatives as well as biodiversity improvements. Domestic and international case studies will feature along with taking a holistic approach. For more information, click HERE.
Food in the Capital 3
The ACT is developing its own agrifood strategy to create a Canberra region food bowl. Realising the vision of a fully integrated city-region food system needs strong governance and a participatory co-design process involving all stakeholders. The Resource centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF) is a global partnership on sustainable urban agriculture and food systems providing a platform for learning and knowledge brokering between science, policy and practice. This event will be held from 8-9 September 2023. HERE.     


Funding for agricultural processing businesses impacted by floods  
First receivers that process primary produce in affected primary industries impacted by the February/March 2022 severe weather and floods may be eligible for up to $2 million. Processors can apply for up to $2 million to support projects such as replacing damaged plant and machinery, business and product diversification, or transporting products from outside the area. Applications close 20 January 2023, click HERE.
Fee free training in agriculture 
Fee free training is available if you are 15 years or older, have left school, live or work in NSW and are a New Zealand or Australian citizen, permanent resident or humanitarian visa holder. Free courses include: Certificate IV in Agriculture; Certificate IV in Agribusiness; Diploma of Agriculture; Diploma of Agribusiness management; Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management. Click HERE.
Free veterinary laboratory testing
Free veterinary laboratory testing is available for disease investigations on cloven-hooved livestock until 30 June 2023. Free testing is available due to the increased risk of
foot-and-mouth disease and other emergency animal diseases. Tests must be approved by a Local Land Services District Veterinarian and samples processed at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute. Private vets are required to request the fee waiver via a short form and tests can be sent to the laboratory prior to approval. For more information, click HERE, or contact your local District Veterinarian.


Transitioning away from diesel fuel  
Twenty per cent of Australian cars run on diesel, as do most of the country's trucks, farming and mining equipment. However, the end of diesel fuel is closer than you think with alternative fuels and diesel-to-electric conversions developing rapidly. Efficiencies of the new technology engines and their purchase cost are getting to a point where there will be wide scale transition to either battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell electric. Click HERE.
Emissions higher from soils lacking organic matter 
Nitrous oxide emissions from soil can be drastically reduced by adding carbon-rich manure. Nitrous oxide is roughly 300 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and fertilised soils are its major source. Human-induced gas emissions have increased worldwide by 30% over the last forty years, mainly through increased use of chemical fertilisers. Click HERE.
Researching pest and parasite control in livestock 
Did you know there are 123 registered drench products in Australia? How well do they work for your livestock? What management practices are others using? Does this vary around Australia? University student Megan Lewis is conducting a survey to find the answers these questions. The results will help livestock management and survey participants can win a weekly shop. Participate HERE.
State of the climate report
The recently released 'State of the Climate 2022' report has found that changes to weather and climate extremes are happening at an increased pace across Australia. There is an increase in extreme heat events, intense heavy rainfall, longer fire seasons and sea level rise. The concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to rise, along with increasing acidification of the oceans around Australia, which have warmed by more than one degree since 1900. Click HERE.
Low cost soil carbon testing
Farmers could soon access low-cost carbon soil data to inform their land management. Research is being conducted to enable landholders to earn carbon credits with a fully integrated measurement system using CO2 flux, remote sensing and carbon models. This system may replace expensive soil testing and give real time feedback on the effectiveness of land management practices. Click HERE.
CSIRO assesses carbon sequestration technologies 
Twelve carbon sequestration technologies have been assessed, along with the role they could play in helping Australia reach net zero emissions. The research assessed permanent plantings, plantation and farm forestry, natural regeneration of native forest, avoided land clearing, savanna burning, soil carbon, blue carbon, pyrolysis biochar, bioenergy and various carbon capture processes. Nature-based technologies, such as permanent plantings, plantation and farm forestry and soil carbon, showed significant potential. Click HERE. 


Maximising ecosystem opportunities
Five notable experts discuss carbon literacy for producers and land managers in Landcare Farming's most recent webinar 'Maximising Ecosystem Opportunities to fit your business: Carbon'. The role of carbon sequestration solutions in reaching decarbonisation targets, the cost-benefit analysis of carbon opportunities from the Emissions Reduction Fund scheme, and future opportunities for Australia’s agricultural industry are covered. Click HERE.
Free mental health services  
Up to ten psychological therapy sessions are available per  year for eligible people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander's, carers, children 0-11 years of age, and people effected by bushfires, floods and COVID-19. Depending on eligibility, a General Practitioner referral may or may not be needed. Click HERE. Another option for mental health support is the free Head to Health phoneline, call 1800 595 212 Monday to Friday from 8:30am - 5:00pm, excluding public holidays.
Do you have your bushfire plan for your livestock? 
The recent wet weather has generated large volumes of vegetation, creating a higher fire risk. Do you have a bushfire plan? Consider your fire risk and assess your proximity to bush and grasslands to understand the way a fire might behave on your farm. It’s important to have a plan for your livestock as there is often no time to move livestock in the event of a fire. Preparing safe areas now for livestock may be critical for their survival. Click HERE.
Biosecurity and food safety strategy

To help us deal with our increasingly challenging environment, the NSW Biosecurity and Food Safety strategy 2022-2030 sets a vision for biosecurity and food safety in NSW. It 
is designed to improve and evolve how we prepare and prevent, respond, contain, and minimise impacts by defining objectives and prioritising  actions. read the strategy HERE.
Beekeepers course   
Beekeepers can benefit from a revamped Biosecurity  course that makes it easy for them to learn how to care for honey bees in accordance with the Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice. The redeveloped online course now has improved functionality, navigation, interactive elements and a fresh look and feel. The course is free for all beekeepers based in Australia. Register HERE.
Small property landholder guide and self assessment tool
The Hunter region Small Property Landholder Guide includes a range of topics relevant to managing a property, links to resources, case studies from local farmers and links to community and environmental networks. Click HERE. The online Self Assessment Tool enables you to assess your current property management, identify opportunities and constraints, determine priorities and next steps to effectively manage your property. Click HERE.
Feral deer guide 
Feral deer are an introduced species that can cause significant damage to crops and plants. They can compete with livestock and native animals for food and water, damage fences, spread weed seeds, cause vehicle and train accidents and make it harder to control livestock diseases.  We need your help!! If you see feral deer in your area, record your sightings using DeerScan, a free community resource. The Identifying Feral Deer Field Guide will help you to identify feral deer species.
Soils near me app
The Soils Near Me NSW app is a simple and accurate way to find information about the capabilities and limitations of soils and landscapes, soil types in New South Wales and acid sulphate soil risk. If you are interested in soil fertility, growing pastures or crops, bush regeneration or restoring native landscapes, then knowing about the local soil types will help you to select appropriate plant species. Download the app HERE.     
Soil hydrology in a changing climate

A changing climate is causing challenges for soil and water management, including soil hydrology and soil water dynamics. This comprehensive book from CSIRO is a valuable resource for land managers, soil conservationists, researchers and available for purchase as a hardback or e-book. Click HERE.
A farmer's handbook to carbon management 
AgriFutures Australia has produced 'A farmer’s handbook to on-farm carbon management' to help producers with practical information on the feasibility of carbon sequestration activities on their farm. This handbook is a handy introduction to carbon concepts and the requirements of participating in a carbon scheme. The handbook details practical carbon sequestration activities and the potential cost and income implications. Click HERE.  
Which plant where?
The Which Plant Where project is a culmination of five years of research investigating which horticultural species will survive in Australian urban landscapes, not only now but under future climates. This plant selection tool is underpinned by the latest scientific evidence, providing growers, nurseries, landscape architects and urban greening professionals with integrated tools and resources to develop resilient and sustainable green spaces for the future. Click 
Alpaca workshops for small farms 
Little Valley Farm at Laguna in the Hunter Valley is holding regular workshops throughout 2023 for landholders who have or are thinking of buying a small herd of alpacas. While alpacas are fascinating animals, they require special management. Learn about their needs and whether alpacas are suitable for you and your farm. Book online before March 2023, and get a 10 percent discount using the code: LOCALLANDSERVICE. 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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