Issue 43 - 19 May 2022
Message from RALF

​​Hello all,

Farm property planning is very popular across NSW at the moment. Greater Sydney Local Land Services have developed a
Small Farm Property Planning workbook, self assessment, a web-based mapping tool and workshops have begun. Other regions are also delivering property planning workshops, see below.

Also in this edition;
express your interest in dung beetles, a warning for livestock owners as 18 animals die from eating weeds, understand soil tests and pasture trial workshops, quad bike and drone rebates are now available, learn how to use a brix meter, and who is responsible for Sydney's food security?
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) 

Express your interest in dung beetles

Are you interested in assisting with the rearing, distribution and establishment of several new dung beetle species and strains across southern Australia?
With a goal of establishing an ongoing network of dung beetle suppliers and Beetle Collaborators, groups are being set up
to run beetle monitoring sites and provide information on activity gaps within specific regions. Groups are able to identify potential sites for beetle release and then monitor these sites in future years to check for establishment.

Core training will be provided along with materials and knowledge. Current and/or new beetle species will be available and members of the Dung Beetle Ecosystem Engineers (DBEE) program can assist with submission of grant applications for state and/or federal funding opportunities.

Please note that beetles cannot be sold for profit and the present EOI process should not be taken as a business opportunity or ‘side hustle’.

Interested? For more information click 
HERE and please let me know via email or phone 0436 803 337.
Small farm property planning

Last week, almost 30 landholders participated in Greater Sydney LLS first Small Farm Property Planning workshop.

Participants were able to learn about the planning process, do a small farm property planning self assessment and use an online mapping tool to create their own property maps.

At the next workshop in the three part workshop series, participants will have access to experts on biodiversity, biosecurity, sustainable agriculture and Aboriginal cultural heritage.

If you are interested in participating in a future Small Farm Property Planning workshop series, please email or phone me on 0436 803 337.
Warning - 18 animals die from eating weeds
Greater Sydney Local Land Services (LLS) has issued a warning for livestock owners in the Hawkesbury following a spate of fatal poisonings from weeds. Weeds can be toxic to livestock and producers are being asked to monitor paddocks for new weeds in flood impacted areas. An investigation into the sudden deaths of 18 cattle on flood affected properties in the Hawkesbury revealed the cause of death was severe liver damage and kidney failure resulted from the consumption of lantana. For more information, click HERE. 
Bob Hawke Landcare awards
Nominations for the 2022 Bob Hawke Landcare Award are open! Every two years, the award publicly recognises an individual involved in championing the national Landcare movement through encouraging others to take action and have demonstrated a commitment to natural resource management and sustainable agriculture. If this sounds like you or someone you know, click 
HERE. Nominations close 5 June 2022.

Marketing campaign for Regen Ag
After almost 50 years, Harris Farms is promoting Regenerative Agriculture. Why? They say they want to be part of the climate solution. Healthier soil means healthier food and a healthier you and planet as food is only as sustainable and nutritious as the environment it grows in. Harris Farm is at the beginning of their Regen journey. If you are a supplier interested in Regen Ag or a customer, click HERE.
Foot-and-mouth fears 
Holiday-makers returning from Bali pose a high risk of accidentally bringing back a severe animal disease that could devastate Australia's livestock industries. Indonesia is dealing with an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease which affects cattle, sheep, pigs and goats. A vet says flights from Bali pose the biggest risk of spreading the infection. Click HERE.
A Riverina-based charity has been helping to rehome working dogs from all walks of life, aiming to give dogs a more suitable home when their original circumstances changed. Dogs4Jobs works with farmers  experiencing hardship and need to rehome their dogs.  "A dog for every job and a job for every dog". Dogs4Jobs now operates in nearly every state in Australia, with 116 volunteers across the country. Click HERE.
Australia's 1st commercial kelp farm
Auskelp is seeking approval for Australia's first commercial ocean seaweed farm. If approved, kelp would be farmed on 200 hectares off the NSW south coast near Eden. Kelp can be used in pharmaceuticals, human food, and to reduce carbon produced by livestock. The leases will harvest two main species found in southern NSW, golden kelp (Ecklonia radiata) and Durvillaea, also known as southern bull kelp. Click 
Japanese encephalitis detected in piggeries 
There are now 30 New South Wales piggeries affected by the mosquito-borne virus and 11 people have been infected, with three deaths nationwide. Japanese encephalitis is endemic in other parts of the world, but it has never before been seen this far south in Australia. NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Sarah Britton said it had been a stressful time for pig producers. Click HERE.
The 'carbon sponge' and natural farm assets 
Central Tablelands Local Land Services is hosting a workshop to explore the science, available programs and methods to bounce forward in an ever-changing climate.
Sustainable Farms Director, Michelle Young, world-renowned soil microbiologist, Walter Jehne, and research scientists from the Mulloon Institute will present and discuss the 'carbon sponge' and natural assets on farms. Free to attend,
registration essential, lunch provided. Friday 20 May, 10am to 1pm, Orange NSW. Click HERE.
The Battle for a Future: Farming and Extraction 
The University of Sydney is hosting an online webinar that will explore how Australia could ensure its agricultural future through regenerative farming and transitioning away from harmful coal seam gas extraction. Free, being held Wednesday 25 May at 5pm. Click 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.

Small farms for success - 'ALAN foods' 
Alison and Michael from ALAN Foods at Jilliby run a small permaculture market garden producing 'all natural', fresh and nutritious food. The Young Farmers Connect (YFC) program is holding this on-site, interactive event on Sunday 5 June, 9.30am start. Lunch provided, registration essential. To register, click HERE. Free for YFC members, join/renew your membership HERE. 
Making sense of soil tests 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.   
Property planning workshop
Central Tablelands Local Land Services is running a two day property planning workshop tailored to lifestyle and small hobby operations at Lithgow 9.30am to 4pm on 7 and 8 June. The course focuses on soil and water management, biodiversity, vegetation, production, farm biosecurity and basic financials. Contact Casey Proctor, email 
[email protected] or mobile 0429 110 072 for more information. Register HERE. 
Drought science to practice forum
Learn how to be more drought resilient at the  Future Drought Fund’s Science to Practice Forum, 7 - 9 June 2022. Speakers include farmers, ag tech entrepreneurs, leading researchers, natural resource managers, resilience experts and industry group representatives. For more info and registration, click HERE. The hybrid format enables you to attend interactive online sessions and/or in-person events in hub regions. View a promotional video HERE.
3rd Australian Native Bee Conference
The Australian Native Bee Association (ANBA) invites beekeepers, farmers, educators, industry leaders and researchers to share knowledge at the 3rd Australian Native Bee Conference. Increase your understanding and unlock the potential of our native bees, a valuable but underutilised natural resource. ANBA members receive registration discounts. Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, Saturday 11 to Sunday 12, June 2022. Click HERE.
The grass is greener... even after floods
Explore a variety of pasture options available to graziers in the Sydney basin. At this event, see how our pasture trial has survived and thrived despite the impacts of floods and grazing pressure (sheep). The pasture species sown during summer and autumn are now green and continuing to grow during winter when feed and cover options are limited. 10am - 2pm, Friday 24 June 2022 at Greater Sydney LLS Demo Farm, 40 Edwards Rd, Richmond Lowlands, Bookings essential, click 
Convergence conference
Convergence: agriculture, human and planetary health is a two day regenerative agriculture conference. With presentations by soil scientists and eco-farmers, medical professionals, ecologists and financial experts, feel empowered to increase farm profit, improve the health of the land and lift  food and fibre quality. Hosted by RCS, participate virtually or in person, 16–17 July 2022 in Brisbane. Click HERE.


Quad bike and drone rebates available
Safe work NSW provides eligible farmers with funding and rebates for farmers to fit roll bars on quad bikes and to purchase drones to view inaccessible areas on farms. For more information and free training from Safework NSW visit quadbikes HERE and drones HERE.
Special disaster grants
Up to $75,000 is available to eligible primary producers who have been impacted by the floods and sever weather that occurred
 from February 2022 onwards. Assistance is now being provided to 60 local government areas in NSW. Once approved, eligible primary producers can access $15,000 in assistance up-front, with a further $60,000 in financial assistance available thereafter upon submission of valid tax invoices. Click HERE for more information.

Grow your farm management skills 
Would you like $15,000 to immerse yourself in Agricultural study with experienced trainers in Armidale? Practical hands-on learning is provided in the AHC50116 Diploma of Agriculture or AHC60319 Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management. Mid-year intake commences 20 June. Click HERE. for more information. 
Kids to Farms – school funding
Funding of up to $1500 is available to NSW primary schools for excursions to farms or agricultural sites. The aim is to remove some of the financial barriers that may be preventing primary schools in NSW from taking part in excursion opportunities where students can develop their understanding of food and fibre production systems. Click HERE for more information. 
Nuffield farming scholarships
Interested in driving your knowledge and business further? Annually there are approximately 15-20 scholarships on offer, each valued at $30,000. Scholars will: s
ee leading and innovative businesses and identify new best practices and ideas, building capacity in agriculture, forge connections with the global alumni network, 1800 worldwide. For more information, click HERE.
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.


Crickets tipped to be mainstream superfoods 
2022 is the year creepy-crawlies are finally tipped to make it onto mainstream Australian supermarket shelves. Eighty per cent of the world's population already eat insects as a part of their everyday diet. How do you 'farm' insects? Unlike cattle properties and broadacre cropping, insects do not need much space. The Edible Bug Shop' in Western Sydney is a converted warehouse that is now an insect protein farm. Click
Who is responsible for Sydney's food security?   
The multiple crises of COVID-19, floods and catastrophic bushfires exposed underlying fragilities in our food security. Supply chain issues contributed to empty supermarket shelves and as many as one in six Australians lacked regular access to food in 2021. Food security is defined as ensuring food is accessible, affordable, healthy and desirable. It should also be produced and distributed sustainably, include sufficient local production, support farmer livelihoods and contribute to our  economy. For more info, click HERE.
Protecting koalas from wild dogs
Research has indicated that wild dog predation is a significant cause of koala mortality and strategies to reduce predation on koalas should focus on reducing the impact of free-ranging wild dog populations. In one Queensland study, of 144 koala deaths confirmed as predation, wild dogs accounted for 81.3 per cent, domestic dogs 4.2 per cent and a further 38 deaths were suspected but unconfirmed predation events due to wild dogs. Click HERE.
Calculating the role of climate change in natural disasters 
When a natural disaster occurs, scientists often get asked ‘did climate change contribute?’. CSIRO knows with great certainty that human-caused climate change has made some extreme events more likely or more severe than they would have been in a world with no human influence, a feature in the IPCC Sixth Assessment ReportHow do we know this is the case, and how can we comment on a single event in particular? Click HERE.



Managing African Lovegrass

NSW DPI recently delivered this comprehensive webinar on the different management options for the very invasive African Lovegrass. Click HERE to check out the recording. 
Shop Together
Are you interested in selling more to your local community? Are you able to deliver boxed seasonal produce? Would you like to partner with local delivery providers? Shop Together encourages regenerative & sustainable farming with the goal to create more land sinks and help reverse climate change. If you are interested in exploring an online marketplace alternative, email Rob at
[email protected], phone 0468 346 989 or click HERE.
Be inspired 
Australians see a future in which people and nature thrive together. This vision has been transformed into the
Regenerating Australia film. The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) are building a powerful network to regenerate Australia. If you have ideas, expertise and support to empower Australian communities, drive regeneration and create a healthy future for people and nature, get involved! Click HERE.
Mental health matters
Mental health at work matters, it matters to the bottom line and business success. Know the mental health of your workplace, take the Workplace Pulse Check just developed for regional businesses, encouraging them to take the first step towards creating mentally healthy workplaces. Click HERE for a simple 5 min survey to determine how you are performing and tailored actions for improvement based on the results. 
Carbon farming 101
Are you still sitting on the fence about carbon farming and not sure where to start? Now is the best time to discover more about Carbon Farming. This webinar provides a s
traightforward step-by-step explanation of how the system works, the different ways farmers can be involved, the pros & cons and  the processes involved in undertaking a carbon project. The webinar also introduces you to the Carbon Farming Foundation. Click HERE.
A brix meter
A brix meter (refractometer) is used to measure the plant nutrient density and the higher the reading in a plant the healthier it will be. A nutrient dense plant has a dramatically reduced likelihood of pest attack, fungal disease and provides healthier more nutritious feed for his stock. There are charts which show the standard brix levels of crops, vegetables and fruit. Want to know more? Click HERE.
Lexie the driving dog 
"I was just moving a mob of sheep and I thought now is the time that I could teach the dog to drive." Lexie the farm dog is small in stature but big on work ethic and she's proving her worth on the family property near Hamilton, in Victoria, where she does more than just round up sheep. watch this clip and put a smile on your face, click HERE. 
Removing pests from peri-urban areas
Are pest animals impacting your peri-urban property? Rabbits in your vegetable patch? Foxes taking your chickens? In this step by step video, the Hunter LLS Biosecurity Team take you through the dos and don'ts of pest animal management in a peri-urban area. Remember you can contact us for more advice on 1300 795 299 or visit the small landholders portal Every bit counts.
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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