Issue 32 - 13 July 2021
Message from RALF
Hello everyone,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well during this new lockdown period. This edition features a wide variety of online resources and information on COVID-19 support services. These resources a 'Big Shift' podcast episodes on 'Soil carbon and carbon farming opportunities'.

Also in this edition, learn how you can get subsidised tailored farm resilience support, updates on changes to face to face events, understand lease calculations and/or agistment rates, get your own handy booklet, 'Ten Ways to Build Soil Carbon' and more.

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) 
COVID-19 Support

Unfortunately, Greater Sydney is in a COVID lockdown again. Keeping abreast of the latest news, restrictions, funding opportunities and support services is moving target. Below are some website links to help you keep up to date.  
Remember, wear your face mask correctly (see below), get vaccinated ASAP and get tested even if you have just the mildest of symptoms. 
Soil carbon and carbon farming opportities podcast

Soil carbon and carbon farming opportunities
The benefits of increasing carbon in the soil include less erosion, better soil structure, improved fertility, enhanced water efficiency and greater resilience to droughts and floods. Also, while interest in carbon farming is growing,  it can be difficult to keep up with the processes and procedures. In this episode we explore the science of soil carbon with Dr Susan Orgill followed by a chat with Dr Lorraine Gordon about her journey into carbon farming and how it could be the crop of the future. Click
Farm Business Resilience Program

The Farm Business Resilience Program is a new program to help farmers, farm managers and their employees prepare for and manage risk, adapt to a changing climate and improve their business’ economic, environmental and social resilience.

Farmers will receive an expert coach who works with them and helps with their farming business, people and anything else that pops up. What do you get? 
  • One hour of one-on-one coaching via phone or video every fortnight 
  • Eleven months of support from your coach 
  • Phone and email support from your coach 
  • Four group coaching workshops
  • Four farm tours of participant's farms. 
The cost is $450 for small farm enterprises (market value  $25,000 - $30,000) or $1,500 for large farming business (over $50K annually). For more information or to register your interest, click HERE.  

Learn something new
Having an open mind and eagerness to tackle new challenges can help you. As humans, we’ve evolved to continue chasing knowledge and make sense of the unknown. It is part of human nature and it also helps to make us healthier. Dr Narelle Lemon from Melbourne’s Swinburne University, claims there are eight benefits of learning something new and describes how those benefits can help us, and our brains, Click HERE. 
Have you got your PIC?
A Property Identification Code (PIC) is a unique eight character number that Local Land Services assigns to properties that have livestock. This system means that we can trace and protect animals when there is a disease outbreak or assist in the case of an emergency. To help avoid a disastrous disease outbreak in the future, play your part by getting a PIC. Click HERE.
Benefits from being involved in Landcare
For decades, people involved in Landcare say they have a greater sense of self, both physically and mentally, and have feel more engaged with their local community and the environment. In a recent report from KPMG Australia, more than 1000 Landcare volunteers claim they enjoy substantial improvements to their mental and physical wellbeing, resulting in a significant decrease to their healthcare costs. To view the report, click 
Annual Stock Returns
Annual Land and Stock Returns will soon be in your letterboxes. Annual Land and Stock Returns are a valuable planning tool in the event of an emergency, so please keep an eye out and have them back to us by 31 August. If you’re ready to go now, you can lodge online via www.lls.nsw.gov.au/alsr
Minimum wage increase
The Fair Work Commission has announced its annual wage review decision for 2021 to increase the minimum wage by 2.5%. The decision took affect in a phased approach from 1 July 2021, with the national minimum wage rate rising from $19.84 to $20.33 per hour. For more detail, click HERE. 
A wet winter and spring
South Eastern Australia is in for a wet winter and spring, thanks to a climate driver known as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). The IOD affects rainfall and temperature patterns across the country, particularly during winter and spring. While currently neutral, the IOD is looking more likely to kick into negative gear by late winter and into spring, bringing with it a wetter-than-average season for south-eastern Australia. Click HERE.
Promote your business with Destination NSW
Get free promotion for your business and list your business on sydney.com or visitnsw.com via Get Connected. Also, get social with the hashtag #LoveNSW and #NewSouthWales, and tag @VisitNSW on Facebook and Instagram. Watch the NSW First Quick Tips Web Tutorial on Social Media to find out more. And finally, use content to make your business shine and access images, videos and copy on the Destination NSW Content Library to use them in your marketing.
'Virtual' pathway to productive pastures
The Grassland Society of NSW 2021 conference will now be a 'Virtual' event on 20-21 July 2021. Registration ($120) provides live virtual attendance, conference proceedings, bus tour booklets, a recording of the conference, a conference satchel, sponsors promotional material, a seat on the farm tour bus with lunch, morning and afternoon tea (date to be set). Click HERE.
National Landcare Conference now free!
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in Sydney, this year’s 2021 National Landcare Conference and National Landcare Awards events will be free and hosted online, 4-6 August 2021. There is a great program with over 700 delegates registered to attend the online conference. The 2022 National Landcare Conference will be held at Darling Harbour, Sydney from 23 to 25 August, 2022. Click HERE. 
Rescheduled - Making sense of soil tests workshops
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the "Making Sense of Soil Tests' workshops with David Hardwick have been rescheduled for:
Tuesday 7 Sept - Central Coast - register HERE
Wednesday 8 Sept - Richmond - register HERE
Thursday 9 Sept - Camden - register HERE.
Learn how to make sense of your soil test results, identify soil constraints and key nutrient issues.
AgCatalyst 2021: Facing the future
CSIRO's AgCatalyst will showcase cutting edge work  to prepare our agriculture and food sectors for the future. To be held at Luna Park, Milsons Point Sydney on 22-23 November 2021. Registrations will open as confirmation is received that the event will go ahead. Click 
'Rethink, Renew, Recharge'
Landcarers from around the state will converge on Tweed Heads on 15-17 March 2022 for the NSW Landcare and Local Land Services conference ‘Rethink, Renew, Recharge’. The three-day event will feature expert speakers and testimonies of Landcarers from around the state who will challenge delegates to rethink how they can best care for land and waterways. The conference will also include the NSW Landcare awards. Click HERE.


Safe work rebates
Additional funding has been allocated to the
NSW Quad Bike Safety and the small business safety program. Roll bars, helmets, drones, upgrades to safer side-by-side vehicles and free safety training is available until 2023 under the new Quad Bike Safety program. In addition, the small business rebate provides up to $500 to NSW small business owners and sole traders who buy and install equipment to make their workplace safer. Click HERE.
Protected cropping scholarships & internships
Western Sydney University (WSU) is offering Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates in Protected Cropping. Enrolment is now open and there are 65 industry scholarships and internships on offer to students, and the majority of content is online. Enrolment is now open. For more information, email Professor Zhong-Hua Chen [email protected] or click HERE.
Tax rebates for Landcare works   
Primary producers are eligible for a number of tax rebates for undertaking Landcare works. But sometimes it can seem more effort than it's worth to wade through the technical language and forms to get to the nitty gritty. A series of guides to help farmers get the rebates they are entitled to for doing Landcare works have been produced. Tax deductions can be obtained for shelterbelts, fire prepardness, Landcare waterway operations and tree farming and forestry. Click HERE. 
Farm emergency water infrastructure rebates
To help farmers better prepare, respond to and recover from drought, rebates to buy and install on-farm water infrastructure to water livestock and permanent horticulture plantings are now available. Eligible farmers can claim up to 25% of expenses for on-farm water infrastructure up to a maximum total rebate of $25,000. The scheme will close on 30 June 2022 or when the funding is exhausted, whichever occurs first. For more information, click HERE.


Carbon trading - doing it right
Farmers can earn carbon credits via emissions trading markets, such as the Australian Emissions Reduction Fund. However, NSW DPI researchers claim that ‘getting it right’ is vital and methods that measure soil carbon gains must be reliable and carbon trading must be regulated to ensure credits are awarded for genuine abatement. Click HERE.
Food system’s carbon footprint vastly underestimated
A new analysis pins one-third of global greenhouse gases on the food system by including long-overlooked factors such as transportation, packaging, and waste. The food system involves much more than just agriculture, it includes packaging, transportation, disposal and more. As a result, the food system’s overall share of emissions has long been underestimated. Localisation, therefore, is an absolute must to decarbonising our food system. HERE.


Ten ways to build soil carbon
Check out this handy booklet, 'Ten Ways to Build Soil Carbon' developed by Regional Landcare Coordinator for Greater Sydney, Madeleine Florin and Greater Sydney Local Land Services. This booklet is designed as an introduction to 10 strategies farmers can use to build soil organic carbon within their farming systems. Click HERE.
New leasing & agistment toolkit
The Young Farmer Business Program has developed a range of videos, factsheets and templates for leasing land and/or through the agistment of your stock. These resources help to understand leasing and agistment models, assist lease calculations and/or agistment rates and things to look for when developing a lease or agistment contract. Click 
Measuring biodiversity on farm
The Sustainable Food Trust’s webinar on measuring biodiversity on farms is now available, click HERE. In addition, John Meadley’s presentation on 'Celebrating our Pastoral Diversity' and Marion Hammerl’s overview of the Biodiversity in Standards and Labels for the Food Sectorare also available online.
Understanding soil nutrition
Soil nutrition (fertility) and soil carbon cycling are inherently interwoven concepts. as a result, soil fertility should be considered holistically and that there are various interactions between plants, soil biology and chemical fertility that factor into building soil carbon. Read the article HERE. Also, to view the recent Farmers for climate action 'Road to net zero' soil webinars, click HERE.    
Community food enterprises - making informed decisions
How community food enterprises and producers make informed decisions is the focus in this webinar recording. Guest speakers from the Prom Coast Food Collective and Melbourne Farmers Markets discuss informed decision making approaches used by and insights from successful community food enterprises. Click HERE.
The magical world of soil biodiversity
A children's book contest on "Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity" has lead to the publication of a collection of stories covering the importance of soil organisms and urgency of protecting soil biodiversity. Targeting children aged 6-11 years, the collection of 10 stories includes the best entries received from a total of 80 books from over 60 countries. Click HERE.
Horse health and welfare
Understanding your horse's needs is essential to their health and welfare. A great guide from NSW DPI is the six page Be a responsible horse owner. Also, as, horses are big and smart, understanding their psychology helps your relationship and reduces the risk of injury to you both. Read the Primefact Common sense with horses. For Information about the transportation and movement of horses in NSW, click HERE. And for help regarding the preparation of horses for emergencies, Click HERE.
All about alpacas
Do you have an alpaca or two? Would you like more information on how to care for them? Perhaps you inherited a few when you purchased your small farm. This webinar with Dr Lou Baskind is about the basic care and management of alpacas. The webinar was recorded on 3 March 2021. Check it out here 
Want to own your farm?
The podcast series 'Propagate' talks with young farmers who are succeeding and rising to the challenges of balancing business, family and technology. In the new season of Propagate, farmers from all over NSW who haven't inherited a farm tell how they're forging their own path to farm ownership and describe how you can too. Hear from farm managers, livestock traders, contractors, and more, click HERE.   
Managing and controlling rabbits
To understand the extent of the rabbit problem on your land, assess the amount of fresh scats, grass/soil scratchings, vegetation chewed to 4cm, burrowing or tracks leading under structures or piles of debris, and the presence of warrens, click HERE. Control options include baiting, warren/harbor destruction, biological control, fencing, shooting, trapping and fumigation, click HERE. And to access the Rabbit Control Decision Tool, click HERE.
Pig requirements
The pork industry has a code of practice for pig welfare and it is a legal requirement for anyone looking after pigs to be suitably qualified or work under supervision of someone who is. Find out more HERE. To keep your pigs healthy and free from disease, develop your own Herd Health Program. If you have pigs processed at an abattoir or sell them, you must register them with a PigPass National Vendor Declaration​​​​​​  and properties with pigs must have a property identification code (PIC). Get your PIC HERE.
A to Z of biodiversity
CSIRO has launched AmAZed! which is an A to Z of Biodiversity. It has been written to encourage an appreciation for the natural world and for school students to consider a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). AmAZed! is available from all good booksellers or through CSIRO Publishing with resources for teachers also available 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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