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Livestock | farm expansion | walnuts | brumbies | home butchery | biosecurity | research and development

DECEMBER 2017

Feathered
flock
Rearing game birds

Well, I’ll be
peppered!
Business beckons
on bush block

Pasture
renovation
How to plan and prepare

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Contents
Bush pepper business 6
Carbon farming 9
Coffin Bay brumbies 10

Cover photograph: Thinking big: small farm expansion 14


Rearing game birds.
— Page 32 Non-browning apples save wastage 18
Influencing the sex ratio of progeny 19
What’s new 22 6 Bush pepper business
Trial aims to lower farming costs 24
Pasture renovation basics 26
Hobby produces walnut enterprise 30
Rearing game birds 32
Keeping Cayuga ducks 36
Livestock feature: Wiltipoll sheep 37
Livestock feature: Ryeland sheep
Livestock feature: Speckle Park Cattle
39
42
14 Small farm expansion
PUBLISHER
McPherson Media Group Reader story: Bonding the Dusty way 46
PO Box 204,
Shepparton, VIC, 3632 Biochar: tonic for soils 49
EDITOR
Corinna Boldiston Market options for sheep and cattle 52
GENERAL ADVERTISING Cattle Health Declarations 56
Jamie Gilbert
Ph: 1300 012 183 Restricted animal feed (RAM) 58
Mob: 0419 522 844

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Pig protocol: what you need to know
Quinoa and salt-tolerant crops
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49 Biochar
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Sean Cox Home butchery: Poultry stir-fry strips 62
OFFICE AND BOOK SALES Organic carob 64
Jackie Fogarty
Ph: (02) 4861 7778 Idol working dogs in the spotlight 67
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTION
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Livestock for sale 72
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rural books at Vegetable glasshouse for food future 76
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Lifestyle 78 Market options

3 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


The Editor’s Desk
S ometimes a chance comment may
change the course of your future.
income, but are not sure where to start.
Check out the ideas from two businesses
in our farm expansion feature (page 14).
For Tim Wimborne and Meraiah Foley
this was the case during a stroll on their There are also plenty of tips on how
bush property with a wildlife expert to to improve the performance of your
discuss incorporating their property into pastures — in our story on pasture
a system of wildlife corridors. renovation basics (page 26).
They had never heard of bush pepper As always, livestock features throughout
until
SF JULY the wildlife expert’s1 throwaway
Sproutwell:Layout 8/5/17 3:53 this
PM Pageissue,
1 and it is with pleasure we
SF JULY Sproutwell:Layout
remark 1 8/5/17
about the large quantity 3:53
of the PMpresent
Page a1 reader story from self-
native
SF JULY plant on their property.
Sproutwell:Layout 1 8/5/17 3:53 PMproclaimed
Page 1 cattle “novice” Stephen
Three years later, and that chance Kennedy from Taree, NSW (page 46). Corinna Boldiston, editor
comment has seen the couple embark Stephen and his wife Anne-Marie are
on a successful commercial venture, new to running a small herd of Lowline
Australian Mountain Pepper. cattle, and had to learn on the run
The beauty of this venture, is that it has in October when one of their cows
not interfered with the existing wildlife abandoned her bull calf at birth.
habitat. Through a lot of googling, helpful
While Tim and Meraiah’s property was advice at the local rural store, and a
peppered (yes, pun intended) with a tireless effort of nurturing by three
rewarding business opportunity, I hope generations of Kennedy family, Dusty the
their story (page 6) inspires you to calf enjoyed his first drink from his mum
look at your property from a different on the 11th day.
angle; and perhaps see, or create a new So, grab a cuppa, and enjoy these
opportunity you had previously not stories and other great reads in our final
considered. Perhaps you are starting to issue for 2017.
“think big” about your small farm, and Merry Christmas — and we look forward
looking at ways to expand your means of to your company again in the new year.

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5 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
Chance comment
sparks bush
pepper business
By David Mason-Jones

T hree years ago, a walk through the bush


with wildlife expert, Lesley Peden, led to
an unexpected finding for landowners Tim
One of the requirements for growth of the plant
is a high rainfall of about 1300 mm per year, and
protection from intense heat of summer and hot
Wimborne and Meraiah Foley. It was the winds. The conditions for bush pepper are ideal
presence of a large amount of bush pepper at Tim and Meraiah’s property in the foothills
(Tasmannia Laceolata) growing naturally on west of Mt Budawang in the coastal ranges on
their property. the south coast of NSW. The elevation of the
Tim and Meraiah had purchased the property block is 650 m.
15 years before the unexpected finding but, due Tasmannia Laceolata is often referred to by
to their expatriate lifestyle at the time, had taken various common names such as; mountain
a fairly ‘hands-off ’ approach to the property for pepper, Tasmanian pepper, native pepper,
a long time. They regarded it as somewhere to pepperberry and pepperleaf. It is a plant in which
come back to when they returned to Australia. the berries and the leaves are spicy.
Of the 16 ha comprising the block, 12 were natural Tim started researching and found the plant had
wet sclerophyll forest with patches of remnant been used by the first Australians as a medicine.
rain forest in the deep gullies. Four hectares had He also found the early European settlers used
been cleared for grazing by a previous owner. the berries in food preparation.
When Tim left his Singapore-based position A tantalising question then arose. Could he
as a photo-journalist, and Meraiah secured an and Meraiah actually achieve two objectives on
academic position in Canberra, they did precisely their land? Could they participate in the Land
what they had planned and returned to see what for Wildlife program and its associated idea of
could be done with their beautiful bush block. creating wildlife corridors, as well as gaining a
Creating space for wildlife habitat was high on valuable commercial income from the property?
their agenda. Could these two purposes be achieved in an
So it was that the original reason for the ecologically sound and sustainable way?
bush walk had nothing to do with identifying
“The more we looked into it, the more the
a commercial opportunity or discovering
commercial possibilities of bush pepper seemed
bush foods or finding bush condiments useful
to tick a whole lot of boxes for us,” says Tim. “We
in cooking. In fact, the walk with Lesley — an
liked the concept that harvesting a naturally
ecologist working with the Kosciuszko to Coast
growing plant represented a ‘path of least
program — had the purpose of researching how
resistance’. That is, to gain the harvest we did
Tim and Meraiah could best preserve wildlife
not have to clear more land, we did not have to
habitat and how to incorporate their property
plough and we did not have to interfere with the
into a system of wildlife corridors in eastern
existing wildlife habitat.
Australia.
But a casual comment by Lesley aroused Tim’s “And, since pepper is a commonly used
interest. As they walked, she turned to him and spice — both for high-end foodies and chefs
said, “You’ve got an awful lot of pepper here.” as well as for your average bloke doing a
“What’s pepper?” was Tim’s reply, not knowing barbecue — we did not have to engage in a huge
whether this was something likely to be good or marketing campaign to convince the public to
bad, such as an invasive species. use a new product coming from the bush,” he
Lesley’s reply confirmed the presence of the says.
bush pepper was a native Australian plant. Tim and Meraiah also recognised the 4 ha of
Tasmannia Laceolata is a mid-storey rainforest previously cleared land on the property could
plant found in patches in south-eastern Australia be developed into a bush pepper grove, and
and more prolifically on the west coast still be consistent with the naturally occurring
of Tasmania. vegetation of the area. >>>

6 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


The berries have a strong spicy flavour and are well suited for
use in a wide range of kitchens, from top-end restaurants to
the backyard barbecue. Image: courtesy Tim Wimborne

The spice creating benefits of Mountain Pepper


are not confined to just the berries. The leaves
too are spicy and add zest in a wide range of
dishes. Image: courtesy Tim Wimborne

7 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


BUSH PEPPER

>>>
More research followed and about 900 In the lead-up to the next harvest
Part of Tim and Meraiah’s mature pepper plants were identified Tim and Meraiah are refining various
plan is to develop a grove on the property, with about 45 per cent marketing aspects of their business,
of these natural bush being female and 55 per cent male. It is such as engaging a graphic artist to
plants. Here they are the females that produce the berries. design appealing packaging and fully
trialling various cuttings Tim and Meraiah found the trees were developing their website.
in order to become
insect pollinated and the continued They are also planning for the future.
knowledgeable about
propagation techniques. presence of bees — both native and “We are considering using the cleared
European — was important. They hectares to develop a bush pepper grove
discovered the harvest season was about of around 3500 Tasmannia Laceolata
10 weeks starting in late February, and trees,” says Tim. “These will be planted
some plants were naturally more prolific in a ratio of eight female trees to one
than others. Annual yield of each plant male tree, and we will also have up to a
could also vary with conditions. hundred blackwoods spread about in the
They also found the plants grew best in grove. The cuttings for the female trees
a deep soil with good drainage. will be taken from trees in our forest we
They identified a fascinating relationship have already identified as above average,”
between the blackwood trees growing says Tim.
“In order to on their place and the pepper trees. “In order to encourage insect activity,
Whether or not it is a truly symbiotic we will also deploy four beehives for
encourage insect
relationship or not is uncertain — because European bees and around two dozen
activity, we will also
there are pepper trees growing in places ‘bee hotels’ to encourage native bees.
deploy four beehives
where there are no blackwoods — but “The grove will be developed on the
for European bees
what is certain is that if you look under natural contours and hill slopes of the
and around two
the canopy of a blackwood tree, you cleared land and this will mean that
dozen ‘bee hotels’ will see a huge number of pepper tree our grove will be, to a large extent, a
to encourage native bushes and seedlings. restoration of a pre-existing vegetation
bees.” Tim and Meraiah conducted their own type in which wildlife will find habitat.”
Tim Wimborne food preparation tests with the pepper The development of the grove is a
and found it to be an appealing spice. mid-term project because the trees
They gained an approval from the Food take about six or seven years until they
Authority of NSW and registered a are of sufficient maturity to produce a
business name — Australian Mountain good crop. “Once developed, however,
Pepper. Using global positioning our hope is that we will harvest around
technology, they also marked the 750 kg of berries from the grove per year.”
position in the forest of the most prolific
berry producers.
Their first trial harvest was in the 2017
For more information:
season, and they collected 50 kg of wild
Phone Tim Wimborne
harvested pepper berries and a quantity
and Meraiah Foley at
of leaves. “We conducted some word-of-
Australian Mountain Pepper
mouth marketing,” says Tim, “and we had
on 0436 409 449, email
no problem selling the whole 50 kg. The
AustralianMountainPepper@
feedback we received has been positive.
gmail.com or visit
“In the 2018 harvest season, we aim
www.mountain-pepper.com
at collecting 250 kg, again, fully wild
harvested.”
8 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
NEWS

Carbon farming can cut


pollution and create jobs
F armers for Climate Action have
supported the development of
carbon farming as a way to attract
finance and investment, unravel complex
barriers to carbon farming and to build
community capacity to maximise the
For more information
about Farmers for Climate
investment and jobs to regional opportunities.”
Action, visit http://www.
Australia, and reduce emissions from The Carbon Farming Industry Roadmap
farmersforclimateaction.org.au/
the farming sector. lays out a number of methods, including
The Carbon Farming Industry Roadmap optimising policy frameworks, unlocking
developed by the Carbon Market finance and investment, quantifying co-
Institute in consultation with industry and benefits and creating new markets.
government, provides a clear plan for “Policy uncertainty and political What is carbon farming?
turning the carbon farming industry into backflips at a federal level is hampering
a vibrant sector of the economy. Australia’s ability to take action on • Carbon farming refers to
FCA chief executive Verity Morgan- climate change and embrace emerging land management activities
Schmidt said carbon farming would market opportunities,” Ms Morgan- that reduce GHG emissions
generate jobs and investment while Schmidt said. from agricultural practices
helping Australia to work towards “Farmers and investors need certainty or sequester carbon in the
achieving a 26 to 28 per cent reduction to invest. The lack of a clear, plausible landscape.
in emissions on 2005 levels by 2030. emissions reductions policy to meet • Carbon farming initiatives are
“As an emerging and rapidly growing our Paris targets is doing no favours for managed under the Emissions
industry, carbon farming offers farmers and rural Australia. Reduction Fund, with about
significant potential for diversifying “We welcome the carbon farming 189 million tonnes of contracted
and enhancing the economic, social roadmap as an important step towards a abatement as at October 2017.
and environmental resilience of rural zero net emissions future.” Of this, about 81 per cent of
and regional communities,” Ms Morgan- The Carbon Farming Roadmap can be contracted projects come
Schmidt said. viewed at http://carbonmarketinstitute. under land sector methods.
“We need a clear path to encourage org/roadmap/

9 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


Coffin Bay
brumbies
by Liz Rymill

Back in 1839, the ship Abeona K angaroos and emus roam the
streets of the tiny, rugged and
secluded coastal inlet of Coffin Bay,
mare gave birth to a foal at Streaky Bay,
about 260 km north along the coast, and
the foal accompanied the well-known
landed on South Australia’s
rugged Eyre Peninsula, some 700 km west of Adelaide on explorer on his expedition. By 1847, all of
bringing with it about 60 South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. The Captain Hawson’s Timor brumbies were
Timor brumbies, the ancestors moved to Coffin Bay Run, where they
of the Coffin Bay brumbies. remote fishing village may be tiny in
size, but it is famous world-over for would have new pastures to expand his
Image: Liz Dessart, The Dapper
ever-growing business.
Crow Photography two things: its oysters and its unique,
“Somewhere within 1857 and 1858, Coffin
wild horses, the Coffin Bay brumby.
Bay Run was sold to WR Mortlock,” says
“Coffin Bay brumbies have roamed this
“After Mortlock bred region for 178 years, and they are as
Kym. “Mortlock saw the potential of
in the many desirable this hardy little brumby and decided
versatile today as they were when their to bring in selected stallions to expand
characteristics of ancestors arrived here in 1839,” says
each type, buyers their versatility by adding height and
Coffin Bay Brumby Preservation Society enhancing natural characteristics. The
began coming to president Kym Schlink. stallions were believed to be Welsh Cobs,
Coffin Bay from near It was aboard the ship Abeona thoroughbreds and Arabians.
and far to purchase that some 60 Timor brumbies were “After Mortlock bred in the many
four-in-hand, transported by Captain Hawson to the desirable characteristics of each type,
matched pairs, polo Eyre Peninsula from the Rajah of Sumatra buyers began coming to Coffin Bay from
brumbies and army for breeding. These brumbies would go near and far to purchase four-in-hand,
remounts.” on to become the foundation herd for matched pairs, polo brumbies and army
Kym Schlink the Coffin Bay brumby of today. remounts. Their distinct characteristics
In 1841, Edward John Eyre purchased a made them desirable for all kinds of
pregnant Timor brumby mare for about purposes — from work to horse shows
25 pounds. During an expedition, the and more.”
10 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
Coffin Bay brumbies are ideal first
mounts for children, and many are
shown successfully. This shows
that our brumbies are worthy of
preservation on their merits – not
just sentiment. Image: Liz Dessart,
The Dapper Crow Photography.

But toward the end of Mortlock’s as a national park. a compromise, whereby the brumbies
ownership of Coffin Bay Run in the late “This was the end of the pastoral history would be allowed to stay in their home
1920s, breeding operations had become in Coffin Bay. Eight years later, the of over 100 years, but in a controlled and
erratic and the horses had become brumbies of Coffin Bay faced removal managed park setting,” says Kym.
simply unmanageable and wild to a from their long-time home under the “In the early ’90s the first management
large degree. The new, incoming owner Parks and Wildlife pest control program,” agreement was entered between the
found the horses at Coffin Bay Run to says Kym. Coffin Bay Brumby Society and National
be so uncontrollable and overpopulated Parks and Wildlife, which allowed the
that he authorised culling and mass “Brumbies Run features brumbies to stay because of their
destruction to reduce the population to various vantage spots that historical significance to the area.
a more controllable number. provide visitors with sweeping “The agreement allowed for a herd of
“After the culling, numbers were views of Kellidie Bay, as well 20 mares and their offspring and one
significantly reduced but then the war
as the chance to see the wild stallion. Trapping would occur yearly
hit, and once again the brumby was in
brumbies in action without and the excess stock would be removed.
high demand for workers in the area,
disturbing them.” These brumbies would then be handled
as petrol became unaffordable and
Kym Schlink and auctioned, with a predetermined
unobtainable,” explains Kym.
“So once more, the brumbies became price per head being paid to the Parks
invaluable as the unusable machinery But fortunately for the now native and Wildlife Department. This agreement
sat rusting in paddocks.” brumbies, concerned locals banded has been monitored and reassessed each
After the war years, the Coffin Bay together to form the Coffin Bay Brumby year since inception, and updated if the
brumby found favour as a riding Society; a volunteer group dedicated to need arises.”
brumby and even as buck jumpers at helping preserve and retain the brumbies During the ensuing years, the Coffin Bay
the local rodeos until in 1972, when the in the park. brumby has time and again been subject
Coffin Bay Run was ceded to the South “Negotiations began for a management to changing laws seeking to infringe on
Australian Government to be used and control program, which would allow its survival in Coffin Bay. >>>
11 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
>>>
The society continues to work hard to in the breeding program are descendants
Colour ranges can be bay, fundraise, raise awareness and campaign from the original stock that was shipped
brown, black, chestnut, for the right to keep Coffin Bay brumbies to the Eyre Peninsula in 1839 from the
grey, red, blue roan and in their native land and in 2004, achieved Timor Islands.
dun. White markings on the a breakthrough — a successful relocation “Brumbies are known for their endurance
head and legs are acceptable. of the brumbies to Brumbies Run — a and are unmatched survivors, needing a
Broken coloured brumbies
scenic parcel of land that was once part relatively scant amount of food and even
(such as pinto) are not
acceptable. Image: Liz Dessart, of the original Hawson lease, where aborting their foals in their own quest for
The Dapper Crow Photography the Coffin Bay brumbies originated. At survival.
present, the Coffin Bay brumbies stay “Contradictory to their wild makeup,
here and have minimum contact with brumbies have an exceptionally docile
people. However, they may be looked at nature. Our Coffin Bay brumbies are ideal
from a vehicle, which may be arranged first brumbies for children, and many are
by the preservation society.
shown successfully. This shows that our
“Brumbies Run features various vantage
brumbies are worthy of preservation on
spots that provide visitors with sweeping
their merits — not just sentiment.”
“There is variation views of Kellidie Bay, as well as the
Horses should be of a good brumby
in brumbies, in chance to see the wild brumbies in
type, with emphasis on temperament,
that some are action without disturbing them. This new
sound conformation and suitability for
slightly finer than location has allowed the brumbies to run
small children through to adults. They
others, these being as free as possible with as little contact
should have sound legs and hooves, and
of riding type.” with humans as possible to maintain their
good strong hindquarters. They must
wild horse status,” says Kym.
Kym Schlink have a kind and intelligent eye, and their
On Easter Saturday each year, the
annual brumby muster and auction offers height should be under 14.2 hands high.
horse enthusiasts a chance to own their Colour ranges can be bay, brown, black,
very own Coffin Bay brumby. Visitors chestnut, grey, red, blue roan and dun.
come from right across the globe to White markings on the head and legs are
see — and buy — the brumbies, which are acceptable. Broken coloured brumbies
renowned for their abilities in mounted are not acceptable.
games riding, in harness, as children’s “There is variation in brumbies, in that
mounts, trekking horses and endurance some are slightly finer than others, these
mounts. being of riding type,” says Kym. “The
“Their easy-care, willing, trainable and sturdier type of sound, clean legs could
hardy characteristics make them suitable lend themselves to both riding and
for such a wide variety of disciplines,” harness type. Both types of brumby are
says Kym. “All mares that are being used acceptable to the standards of the breed.”

For more information:


Coffin Bay Brumby Association, PO Box 1616, Port Lincoln, SA 5606.
Phone president Kym Schlink on 0428 334 370; secretary/treasurer Phillip
and Melissa McCracken on 0427 700 974 or 0427 764 272.
Email coffinbaybrumby@yahoo.com.au
Registrations: Phone Kaye Puckridge on 0427 977 711

12 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


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To live, to love,
to farm, to grow
by Robyn Sykes

A re you a small farmer with big


ambitions? Like to expand?
can help you devise a strategy.
b.  Increase the area you manage by lease
or share-farm arrangement.
has 6500 ha under crop in a 60 km radius
around the original property.
They started by making more efficient
Before you start, ask yourself: What am
I trying to achieve? Small Farms spoke to two farmers who use of existing resources.
Many small farmers equate expansion kindly agreed to share their experiences. “Buying land wasn’t an option,” Ben says.
with buying more land. But it is the farm “If we’d bought land it would’ve crippled
business that needs to grow, not simply Efficiencies in existing the cash flow; we probably wouldn’t still
the farm area. resources be farming today because we wouldn’t
If your aim is to improve productivity, have enough scale.
increase efficiency and boost profits, you Ben Wundersitz is part of the Anna Binna “So, we looked for the best return on
could: team that owns, leases and share-farms investment for the limited capital we had.”
a. Increase the production from your on the Yorke Peninsula. Fifteen years What they found was cropping
existing area. This is often the cheapest, ago, the fifth-generation farmer cropped machinery that sat idle for long periods.
least risky and most effective way to 500 ha in a small family operation around They put it to work by contracting for
begin to expand. A farm consultant Maitland. Today the Anna Binna business other farmers.

14 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


“We looked at our cash flow and our use sustainable cropping and producing Ben attributes much of Anna Binna’s
of machinery, and decided we needed to food-grade grains. Their push into no-till success to the team he has around
be more efficient. Once we got the cash farming in 2000 allowed them to cover him. When the initial decision was
flow up, we could go into share farming more land with less machinery. made to promote growth and increase
and leasing. “As we leased and share farmed more, profitability, the young farmer brought in
“We ended up working for a lot of we started getting more efficiency out of a fresh team: an independent agronomist,
people who were potentially looking to everything we had. We started running new accountant, professional bookkeeper
exit the industry. We’re in a tightly held the seeder and the spreader 24 hours a and a grain marketing consultant.
district; it was difficult to find land to buy day, so basically, we just did more with Today many of those same people sit
or lease. Contracting got us a foot in the less,” Ben said. on an advisory board with Ben and his
door.” “Once lease prices got to around three wife Belinda.
Many of their contract clients gradually to four per cent of capital value and “They are people who were working for
transitioned to share farming, then to we had the cash flow, then we started the business before, now they working
leasing. buying land, because we had such a in it. We’re using their skills in a different
Anna Binna has a strong focus on reliance on lease country.” way.” >>>

Kathy Mitchell at home on Peppertree.

15 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


“Every weekend we’d dash out here
with Doug’s two girls and do things,
then madly dash back on Sunday
night. I loved coming out here.”
Ben Wundersitz

>>>
The board uses benchmarking to A country boy, Doug had bought
Ben Wundersitz identify strengths and weaknesses in Peppertree, 132 ha of undulating hills, in
and his team have the business. It has a strong focus on 1993.
a strong focus on compliance, grain-marketing strategies, “I’m city-bred but I’ve always loved
producing food and cost control. the land,” says Kathy. “I have a love of
grade grains. country; that love of big, wide, open
“If we can keep our cost of production
down, if we can be efficient with our spaces.
machinery, and we’re good at selling our “We came out here on weekends. Doug
grain, we really only have to add water,” had a few cattle, a few Merino wethers.
I’m sure he made no money, but he
Ben says.
enjoyed it.
Accounting in “Every weekend we’d dash out here
with Doug’s two girls and do things,
lifestyle equation then madly dash back on Sunday night.
I loved coming out here.”
Kathy and Doug Mitchell run a self-
For the first few years, the self-
replacing Merino flock and 60 to
confessed “super-managerial type”
80 head of cattle on Peppertree at continued to work long hours in
Binalong and Rockview at Galong, in Canberra and travel overseas about
south-west NSW. It hasn’t always been once a month. Doug made the farming
that way. decisions. Then Kathy’s management and
The Canberra-based public servants bookkeeping experience kicked in.
met in 2004. Kathy managed Australian “I started to take more interest,” she
war graves around the world; Doug says. “I was heading towards 60 quite
worked in forestry. Both already had quickly, earning fairly good money, but I
two children. had a look and decided it (Peppertree)
16 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
FARM EXPANSION

Anna Binna’s no-till production system has enabled


them to grow lentils in low-rainfall areas previously
considered too dry for the staple food of south-west Asia.

Lentils have become a major driver of profitability


in the Anna Binna business (in rotation with Anna Binna now has the scale to extract
high-protein wheat and malting barley). efficiencies from multiple facets of the business.

was never going to be big enough to of cattle,” says Kathy. heart. But it turned out all right — they
make an income. “It was just by talking to the accountant split the Galong block in two.
“I started to look at what was going and working out how we should be doing One block has the original house, a
on, and the fact that we were married things, rather than just doing things. By shearing shed and 27 ha.
and the tax I was paying on my job … I buying that block I was able to offset “The house is over 100 years old, I
needed to change the way we accounted some of the public service income would guess by its construction,” Kathy
for things and did things, in order to against the farm income.” says. “We put it back into some sort of
maximise our savings.” The Mitchells changed their flock condition. We inherited some money …
structure from wethers to a self-replacing put a house on the other block.”
Merino flock. They began to target Both houses now produce rent. The
“It was just by talking to the slightly broader wool, 18 to 19 micron smaller block with the original house is
accountant and working out rather than 16 to 17 micron. on the market. The funds will boost their
how we should be doing “They produce more fleece, make more superannuation, fund investments and
things, rather than just doing money,” Kathy says. shore up life at Peppertree.
things. By buying that block I In 2012 the pair retired. Kathy had two “We have a lovely lifestyle. We don’t
was able to offset some of the years leave built up, and also picked make a lot of money. We make ends
public service income against up some part-time work at the local meet, cover our costs and any money we
newspaper. make we re-invest. We’ve put in a bore
the farm income.”
“It eased me into having less money than and solar bore pump and gravity-fed
Kathy Mitchell I was used to,” she says. troughs to the lower property; things to
“We do all our own work except save us labour so that as we age we can
They consulted their accountant. shearing. We employ a shearer, I do the stay here. Any luxuries we have, we pay
The result was the purchase of wool classing, Doug does all the other out of our superannuation.
Rockview, 70 ha at Galong, about 20 km bits and pieces. “I love every minute of living here. I get
from their home. Then Kathy had one of those “What up in the morning and I look out the
“It gave us enough to run 60 to 80 head if?” moments that strike fear into Doug’s window and I think ‘Isn’t this beautiful?’ ”
17 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
NEWS

Non-browning apples
save wastage
A special kind of sliced apple has
gone on sale at select United
States supermarkets, and thanks to
declining for decades, while obesity rates
had simultaneously been sharply rising.
"My wife and I felt that we could help
calcium to prevent browning and to
preserve crispness, and this can change
their taste.
CSIRO research these apples won’t boost apple consumption through a Apples and other fruit and vegetables
turn brown when they’re cut, bitten or similar biotech approach with apples, as turn brown after they are cut or
bruised. non-browning apples would be more damaged because of a naturally
appealing and convenient. occurring enzyme (polyphenol oxidase or
Arctic® apples, have been developed by
PPO) that reacts with other components
Canadian biotech company, Okanagan
in the fruit cells when these cells are
Specialty Fruits. "As an apple grower, I was very
‘broken’, producing a brown pigment.
OSF is the first company to licence aware that apple consumption
CSIRO scientists constructed an anti-
CSIRO’s non-browning technology. had been declining for
PPO gene which, when inserted into
Their first product is snack-sized bags decades, while obesity rates
plants, blocks the production of PPO and
of fresh Arctic® Golden apple slices, with had simultaneously been
therefore stops the browning.
more non-browning varieties expected sharply rising.” Spoilage due to browning costs food
in future years, including Granny Smith Neal Carter processing industries worldwide millions
and Fuji. of dollars each year in wastage and
Company founder Neal Carter began "We felt this could also significantly costly chemicals to prevent the reaction.
working on the apples in the mid-1990s. reduce food waste, as nearly half of all This non-browning technology has
"I came across research from CSIRO that apples produced end up wasted, many potential to reduce waste not only in
had managed to ‘turn off ’ browning in due to superficial bruising." apples and potatoes, but also in other
potatoes," Mr Carter said. While there may be other sliced apple important horticultural crops, such as
"As an apple grower, I was very aware products already on the market, these beans, lettuce and grapes where produce
that apple consumption had been are often coated with vitamin C and with only small injuries could still be sold.

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18 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
This is an idyllic farm
image, but it can be a
Influencing the sex
ratio of progeny
drag on productivity if too
many male lambs are born.
Current research aims at
finding ways to influence
the sex ratio by diet. By David Mason-Jones
Image: Courtesy NSW DPI

I t may be worthwhile for livestock


owners to keep an eye on an animal
research program taking place in
milking ewes, or a dairy operator who
runs a self-replacing milking flock. In
either case, it is desirable that a higher
southern NSW. proportion of females be born than
The research is about whether the feed males and, certainly in a self-replacing
regime of ewes before conception can dairy flock, time spent in producing too
influence the ratio of female or male many males is time wasted.
lambs at lambing time. Another example is after a drought
While no direct flock-management where the farmer may have downsized
applications have yet emerged from the flock and needs to quickly rebuild.
the early results, future benefits may be A higher proportion of females means
significant if field tests confirm what has the reproductive potential will be greater.
been found in the controlled pen trials. As a recurrent cycle of drought and
The results of the pen trials are positive, good years is a feature of Australian
indicating a relationship between diet farming, the ability to restock quickly
and sex ratio of progeny. If these results is an important factor in the long-term
can be replicated in practical farming enterprise resilience.
conditions, the tantalising possibility is The trial to which I refer is being
that it may be possible to influence the conducted by the NSW Department of
sex of the lambs simply by controlling Primary Industries at the Wagga Wagga
the diet of the ewe around conception Agricultural Institute and in conjunction
time. with the Graham Centre for Agricultural
So, why should livestock owners be Innovation, an alliance between NSW PDI
interested in influencing the proportion and Charles Sturt University. Specifically,
of female or male lambs? it addresses the question of whether
The simplest benefit might be seen with a diet rich in Omega 3 or a diet rich in
a sheep dairy flock. Such a flock may Omega 6 leads to more male or female
be either a stud supplying high-quality lambs. >>>
19 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
SEX RATIO OF PROGENY

>>>
DPI livestock research officer Ed Clayton, Catherine was interested in nutrition
Further field trials will be who is currently in charge of extending and reproduction. She came across
continue on another six the trials out to real-life paddock evidence that changing the levels of
farms during the next two situations, explains how the trial came Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the
years, and will identify the about. diet of female mice could influence the
variables that happen in
“For a long time farmers were aware that, sex of their progeny.
the practical farm situation.
Image: Courtesy NSW DPI in some years, the proportion of females The question then arose: Was the
in their flocks, versus the proportion of result in mice specific to that species,
males, sometimes varied,” Ed says. or would it apply more generally
“We would get anecdotal reports where across other species? Could the result
the farmer would tell us that there be demonstrated in commercial farm
were more female lambs born during a animals?
drought. Early research, in 2009, focused on how
For a long time, however, most people a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acid — or a
“In 2010, we carried just accepted it was natural variability. diet rich in Omega 6 fatty acid — might
out our first pen “Some people thought there might be affect prostaglandin, a substance that
trials to follow up, a deep evolutionary reason for it and acts like a hormone in a female. Without
Being a pen trial this is known as the ‘Maternal Condition delving too deeply into it, different
meant that we could Hypothesis’. This hypothesis holds that, forms of prostaglandin related to the
control the animals’ when times are tough, it is in the species’ preponderance of Omega 6 or Omega 3
diet virtually 100 interest to produce a higher proportion in the diet, affect the female’s ability to
per cent. of females for future survival,” he says. recognise pregnancy and a hypothesis
Ed Clayton Are the anecdotal reports a result emerged that this could somehow affect
of some deep evolutionary switch the sex of the embryo. A relationship was
being turned on, or is there a different found that indicated an Omega 6-rich
explanation? Could it be that the feed diet could lead to a greater proportion of
available to the females during a drought, female embryos.
or the supplementary feed they were “In 2010, we carried out our first pen
receiving, influences their conception of trials to follow up,” says Ed. “Being a pen
a male or female embryo? trial meant that we could control the
The answers to these questions animals’ diet virtually 100 per cent.
remained conjecture until PhD student “There were two groups with 145 maiden
Catherine Gulliver discovered interesting ewes in each group. The sheep were
research in a different species, and in a Border Leicester/Merino First Cross ewes.
field totally removed from farming. This “To one of the groups we fed a diet rich
was in 2009. in Omega 6 — about 70 per cent oats,
20 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
SEX RATIO OF PROGENY

The early trials to identify if the Omega fatty acids


influenced sex ratio were conducted as pen trials where
the researchers could control 100 per cent of the ewes’
food intake. Image: Courtesy Ed Clayton, NSW DPI

Catherine Gulliver was instrumental in researching how Omega Dr Ed Clayton is now in charge of extending the
3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet of the ewe might influence research out to the practical conditions of the
sex ratio. Image: Courtesy Catherine Gulliver, NSW DPI open paddock on farms. Image: Courtesy NSW DPI

eight per cent cottonseed meal and the cent. If we accept this average, the another six farms during the next two
rest silage — and, to the other, a diet rich figure farmers would be interested in years, and will help identify some of the
in Omega 3 — mainly oaten silage. The is the increased percentage of female variables that happen in the paddock as
ewes were fed these diets for six weeks lambs when compared with the base compared with the controlled pen.
prior to joining and then for three weeks line of the national flock. If this is done, “We have had some positive feedback
after joining,” he says. the improvement is 58 over 45 and can from producers who have either
The results were encouraging and be stated as 20 to 29 per cent when participated in our on-farm studies or
supported the idea that the Omega compared with the overall national flock. have heard of our work through the
6-rich diet — the mainly oats diet — lead Caution: This ‘playing with the statistics’ Holbrook Landcare Network,” says Ed.
to an increase in the birth of female is purely my, the writer’s, conjecture — not “They are excited by the prospect of
lambs. This compared with the group the DPI’s. being able to influence the sex ratio in
that had been fed on an Omega 3-rich Between 2011 and 2013 a series of their flock to benefit their production
diet — the oaten silage diet — having a further pen trials with the same cross system.”
lower proportion of female lambs. of sheep, as well as pure Merino ewes, And just an afterthought about the
was conducted and these appeared to farmers’ anecdotes of more female
confirm the results of the first trial. lambs during a drought: the extra
“They are excited by the females may have had nothing to do
The task is now to take the results found
prospect of being able to with a deep evolutionary signal or the
in the ‘lab’ and repeat the experiment
influence the sex ratio in drought conditions themselves. It just so
in the paddock to see if it still holds
their flock to benefit their happens that it is in a drought that the
up. There may be other factors in the
production system.” flock is likely to get more grain-based
paddock that affect the result.
Ed Clayton supplementary feed and the grain in
“This is the stage where the research is
up to now,” says Ed. “The first on-farm that feed delivers the Omega 6 to the
In the Omega 6 control group, 58 of trials started last year with five farms and, diet. Quite by coincidence, the farmer
every 100 lambs born were female. In on each farm, a flock of 500 ewes split in a drought may have replicated the
the Omega 3 group, only 43 were female. into two groups. On properties where we diet regime of the early pen trials in this
Hence, there was a raw 15 per cent changed the fatty acid profile, we saw a research.
difference between the two groups. difference in the sex ratio of lambs.
If you look at the statistics from a “This provides evidence that if the fatty
different perspective, the difference is acid profile can be changed through diet For more information:
even more encouraging. in the field, we can influence the sex ratio Phone NSW DPI Wagga Wagga
Let’s assume for a moment that across Agricultural Institute livestock
of offspring out in the paddock as well
the board in Australia, regardless of research officer Ed Clayton on
as in the pen. The challenge is how to
(02) 6938 1971 or email edward.
feed regime, the average number of control all the other variables that occur
clayton@dpi.nsw.gov.au
females born per hundred lambs is in an open paddock.”
generally in the range of 45 to 48 per Further on-farm trials will continue on
21 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
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22 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
WHAT’S NEW

App a game changer for


livestock supply chain
A game-changing software
application, which is being offered
free to cattle, sheep and goat producers,
to complete industry and commercial
certifications in one central spot,
including unlimited eNVDs and National
your farm by mapping your paddocks,
assigning animals, monitoring feed and
treatments and integrating RFID wands
is poised to provide a one-stop shop Livestock Identification System for full animal traceability.
for managing livestock accreditations compliance. “This allows for improved stock
and collecting on-farm data, enhancing Capabilities to complete Meat inventory management, ownership audit
management efficiencies and food Standards Australia, European Union and control.
and National Feedlot Accreditation “It provides complete umbrella
traceability.
declarations will also be added to the accreditation, capturing certifications on
The Geelong-based, Australian software software soon. the one platform and sending them on to
company Aglive is offering its Aglive Certifications are then automatically where they need to go.
IntegriPro software system free to all sent on to the next receiver in the food “For example, as soon as you complete
red meat producers for the Mob Basic supply chain, whether that be saleyard, an electronic NVD form using the app,
package, with the option to upgrade for transporter, processor or feedlot, or they the consignee is notified before the truck
more added features for a fee. can be printed if needed. even leaves your property. The data is
It integrates farm accreditation and Aglive managing director Paul Ryan said accessible to participants in the value
management data onto one platform, the technology was designed to support chain who opt-in to the electronic NVD
in the cloud, to provide a completely product integrity and traceability for the system.
portable, digital resource accessible via red meat industry while also simplifying “Importantly, this also has clear potential
smartphone, tablet or desktop. the process. to assist in food provenance and telling
The app is a new and upgraded version “Producers can now manage industry the story of where food comes from to
of the company’s former farmer software declarations, see livestock lifecycle the consumer.”
app, with added features for farm treatments, manage paddock The Aglive IntegriPro App is available to
management and the completion of movements and more — all wrapped up download through the iTunes App Store
electronic National Vendor Declarations in one powerful platform, in the field, and Google Play and users can then sign
and National Cattle and Sheep Health on a mobile device and via the cloud,” up to the program via the website.
Declarations. Mr Ryan said. For more information about the Aglive
Aglive IntegriPro enables producers “The platform allows you to manage IntegriPro App, visit www.aglive.com
23 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
NEWS

World-first trial aims to lower


farming costs
T he Australian Government has
launched a national trial of world-
first satellite positioning technology,
improve positioning accuracy from the
current five to 10m down to less than
10cm.
SBAS (SBAS-2) signal was switched
on. It is the first time anywhere in the
world that SBAS-2 signals have been
which will include examining “As part of the trial, a number of transmitted. Australia is also the first
fenceless farming and lowering other the projects will be looking at how country in the world to trial Precise Point
farming costs. improvements in positioning can be used Positioning corrections integrated into a
to increase production and lower costs SBAS service.”
Minister for Resources and Northern
for farmers. Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry
Australia Matt Canavan last month
“For example, one of the projects will said CQUniversity’s project would receive
said the first contracts with industry
be examining the potential of ‘fenceless up to $180000 in funding from the
had been signed as part of a two- farming’ for strip grazing, while another Australian and New Zealand governments,
year trial examining the economic will be looking at how crop health can be with the project partners contributing an
and social benefits of a Satellite- improved through more precise irrigation, additional $105000.
Based Augmentation System for the fertiliser use and pest control.” “You may start seeing cattle and sheep
Australasian region. Mr Canavan said the new technologies with special collars in Rockhampton and
“In coming months, further contracts augmented and corrected the positioning Longreach,” Ms Landry said.
are expected to be signed covering signals already transmitted to Australia “The CQUniversity-led project is testing
more than 30 industry-based projects by constellations of international the construction of ‘virtual fencing’ for
across 10 sectors examining real-world satellites such as the United States’ strip grazing, and looking at how the
applications of three new satellite Global Positioning System. precise tracking of livestock can be used
positioning technologies,” Mr Canavan “All up, three signals will be uplinked to for early disease detection and more
said. a geostationary communications satellite efficient breeding programs.
“We know that working closely with out of Lockheed Martin’s station at Uralla “It all sounds a bit technical, but what
industries like agriculture is the key to in the New England region of NSW,” we’re really talking about is potentially
understanding what Australia can gain Mr Canavan said. increasing production and lowering costs
from investing in technologies that may “In September, a second generation for farmers.”

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Magazine
The final step in renovation (and one of
the most important) is changing your
management to utilise the extra pasture.

26 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


Pasture
renovation
basics By Liz Rymill

P roductive pastures not only lead


to increased animal performance
and better pasture utilisation, but
Other considerations include getting the
soil fertility and weed control right before
sowing the new pasture.
can also lead to more dollars in Small farms consultant Charlie Roberts
the bank. Pasture renovation is the from central NSW says the benefits that
process of increasing the performance come from newly sown pastures can
of the pastures on your farm; it is only be realised when stocking rates
an expensive process that requires are subsequently increased, and extra
considerable planning and preparation pasture grown is eaten.
to gain the maximum benefit, but with “It’s important to base your decisions
a conservative plan in place, you can about pasture renovating around the
start realising the many benefits of goals of the livestock enterprise and
productive pasture. overall farm. If your aim is to run a few
breeding cows and make some money
Preparation for pasture establishment
on the side, then the drive to improve
needs to begin at least one full year
pastures and increase production will be
before the seed is actually sown.
According to Agriculture Victoria, there less compared to someone who wants to
are three key things to consider before trade cattle and try to maximise income
you decide to renovate the paddock: off their small land area,” he explains.

1. Which part of the property What is good pasture?


will respond best to pasture
improvement? Consideration needs “Good pasture has high Dry Matter
to be given to soil fertility, acidity, (DM) yield when you need it, plus
terrain and pasture composition, good palatability and high-feed value,”
along with paddock size and budget. according to Heritage Seeds’ Lyn Mckay.
Developing a whole farm plan is a “Without good-pasture yield you can’t
good first step to identify sites that feed your livestock well — that much
are most likely to produce the best is obvious. But it’s also increasingly
results for the cost and effort. important to have good yield at the
2. Can pasture be improved without times when it is of most benefit to your
the need for re-sowing? Effective system. With new pasture varieties, you
weed control, fertiliser, rotational can now grow more DM in winter/early
grazing and spelling the paddock spring and summer/autumn — times of
over spring and summer are all the year when pasture is at a premium
methods of decreasing competition, for most farms.”
and increasing the growth and Palatability is the term used to describe
persistence of either introduced or how much livestock like (or don’t like)
native perennial grasses without the eating a particular pasture.
need for re-sowing. “We can’t easily measure this in
3. Is the timing right? Can I afford to objective terms, but we do know certain
have the paddock out of production factors have a strong influence. Over-
for a full year? Careful planning is grown spring pasture is often unpalatable.
required to ensure winter production Perennial rye-grass with an endophyte
of other paddocks is high enough to like AR1 or NEA2 is significantly more
carry the stock through the winter palatable than the same variety with
without the use of the newly-sown standard (also sometimes called high)
paddock. endophyte. >>>

27 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


PASTURE RENOVATION

>>>
Pastures with good clover content are pasture renewal cost, depending on the
“Base your decisions more palatable than those without. Low pasture varieties to be sown. Fertiliser
about pasture soil pH reduces palatability (lime solves makes up the largest expense, with 50
renovating around the this) and high potassium above 3.5 per per cent of the total pasture-renewal
goals of the livestock cent lowers palatability,” she explains. cost.
enterprise and overall “One of the best ways to know if a “Purchasing pasture seed should be
farm,” says Small
pasture is old and run-out is by looking at seen as an investment: always use good-
Farms consultant
Charlie Roberts. your livestock,” adds Charlie. quality seed, ask for certified seed as this
“Your livestock are a true reflection of ensures it has met minimum purity and
the pasture they are eating. Successful germination standards before it can be
livestock production is often described sold,” advises Charlie.
as 50 per cent genetics and 50 per cent During the preparation phase, identify
nutrition. If your pasture lacks adequate the land area and paddocks to renovate,
growth, has low beneficial (clover) plant test soil fertility and choose a renovation
numbers, a high weed population or is method that suits your needs.
generally performing below expectations Re-evaluate your management
“In 2010, we carried it is common for your livestock to show strategies to ensure you will utilise the
out our first pen similar signs of tiredness, hollowness and extra pasture grown from renovation
trials to follow up,” poor production.” and turn it into income, for example, by
says Ed. “Being a implementing a higher stocking rate.
pen trial meant that First steps in “Annual pasture renewal varies widely
we could control the pasture renovation on Australian farms, from five per cent
to 100 per cent of the property’s land
animals’ diet virtually
Renovated pasture can turn poor- area. How much you sow depends on the
100 per cent.
performing pastures into top performers, performance of existing pastures and the
Ed Clayton with differences of up to four to potential gains that can be delivered by
five  tonne of DM per hectare per year new pasture in your system. This decision
being quite achievable, but preparation in turn affects your choice of renovation
is key. technique,” explains Lyn.
“Preparing to plant a new pasture should “The simplest way to identify paddocks
start a minimum of two years before it is for renewal is to compare the DM
to be sown,” says Charlie. production of all paddocks on your
“The preparation phase allows time to farm, using your grazing records. If all
remove weeds (growing and seeds in paddocks are the same size, simply add
the soil), improve soil fertility levels and up the number of grazings/year for each
correct any soil structure and pH issues.” paddock. If paddocks are different sizes,
Sowing a new pasture is costly, with the you need to calculate grazings/ha. Don’t
average pasture renewal costs ranging forget to include hay or silage crops.”
from $200 – $800/ha. Therefore, the Testing soil fertility is an important
preparation period is vital in reducing the part of the pasture-renovation process.
risk of establishment failure and costly Paddocks selected for renovation should
mistakes. The cost of pasture seed is be soil tested before sowing, to ensure
approximately 25 per cent of the total optimum nutrient levels (particularly
28 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
PASTURE RENOVATION

Renovated pasture can turn poor-performing


pastures into top performers, with differences of
up to four to five tonne of DM per hectare per year
being quite achievable, but preparation is key.

phosphate) and pH. Fertiliser suppliers as a spray-drill short rotation rye-grass, contain high levels of weeds are often
can provide good direction on this area. then follow this with a crop, or spray-drill unproductive, weeds compete for space,
permanent pasture.” water and sunlight. A good method to
Which method to use? And a word of warning: insects can increase production is by spraying out
cause rapid seedling loss at pasture weeds using a selective herbicide (one
“The most successful way to establish a
establishment, particularly clover, that only targets the weeds) leaving the
new pasture is by removing the old one,”
especially with spray drilling, because pasture behind.
says Charlie.
surface trash encourages them. Broadcasting of legume seeds.
“Cultivation, slashing, burning or
“Regardless of the establishment Broadcasting legume (sub, white clover)
spraying are all methods that can be
technique used, the best results will seed is a cost-effective way of increasing
employed. New pastures are successfully
come from an even seed bed. Most the quality of the pasture. This activity
established where weeds and other
pasture seeds are small in size and can be coincided with fertiliser spreading
competing plants have been killed, where
are therefore sensitive to sowing to reduce the cost.
moisture has been stored and fertiliser
depth — ideally, seeds should be sown Slashing of dead material. Dead
applied prior to or at planting.
10–20mm under the soil surface with plant material is not easily digested by
“Any number of methods can be used to
seed-to-soil contact enhanced through livestock. Pastures with high levels of
sow a new pasture including oversowing,
the use of a roller, harrow or press wheel,” dead material result in poor livestock
broadcasting, sod-seeding and direct
explains Charlie. production. Slashing is an ideal way of
drilling. Regardless of the sowing
The final step in renovation (and one removing this dead material. This activity
technique used, the most crucial step in
of the most important) is changing your also allows increased levels of sunlight to
the pasture-renewal process is to plan
management to utilise the extra pasture. reach beneficial legume pasture species.
well ahead and ensure that the paddock
If you renovate 10 ha and grow an extra “Renewing a pasture should follow a
has adequate preparation.”
4tDM/ha (at the high end of what is methodical and well-planned process.
According to Lyn, cultivation is the
achievable), your system will produce Those who wake up today and decide
premium method and usually has the
40tDM more feed next year. to sow tomorrow are often bitterly
best results: “It gives excellent weed
disappointed,” says Charlie.
control, overcomes compaction problems
and levels uneven paddocks. But it is Other ways to maximise “Small area farmers can enjoy
production and income benefits similar
slower and costlier,” she says. pasture and pasture
to their larger counterparts from pasture
“Spray-drilling and oversowing costs performance development, but this depends on the
less and has a faster turnaround. If over
ability of the farm owner/manager to
10 per cent of the farm needs renovation, “If the cost and time required to establish
eat extra pasture that is grown. This may
these techniques are most popular. On a new pasture is not what you want, then
involve a number of strategies including
a property with a large area of poor there are a number of other management
agistment, the purchase of extra livestock
pastures, they can bring huge benefits activities that can be undertaken to
or cutting and sale of hay or silage,” adds
quickly. Spray-drilling works well in most improve the pastures that are already
Charlie.
situations and gives good long-term present,” says Charlie. These include:
results. Undersowing suits thin pastures, Fertiliser application. Often poor
where bare ground assists seedling producing pastures are a result of a
For more information:
establishment. For dense pastures we lack of soil nutrients. Undertaking a soil
Phone Charlie Roberts at
recommend spray-drill. test and applying fertiliser is often the
Farmstyle on 0439 082 820, or
“If your pastures have hard-to-kill low- best first step in increasing the pasture
visit www.farmstyle.com.au
fertility grasses like bentgrass, we advise production.
a double renovation for best results, such Spraying of weeds. Pastures that
29 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
Katunga Walnuts’
owners Karlene and
Hobby produces
walnut enterprise
Chris Bethell hold
some of the 1kg bags
of walnuts they sell
through selected stores
around Numurkah. by Rodney Woods

K arlene and Chris Bethell wanted


to bring their children up on the
land as they had been raised, so they
that the wet late spring helped
the quality.”
Despite wet weather increasing the
bought a property at Katunga, northern quality, it can have the opposite effect on
Victoria, that came with 360 English presentation during harvest.
walnut trees. “Dew and rain affects presentation, but
there is no change to the taste.
The couple has lived on the property
That’s why we don’t sell them at a
since March, taking over from previous
premium price,” Mr Bethell said.
owners Geoff and Beth Jackman, and
He said moisture levels had to be down
took on Katunga Walnuts as a hobby.
to eight per cent before the walnuts
“We were looking to get out of the town. could be sold and bagging them in onion
We both grew up on farms and wanted bags helped them stay fresh.
our kids to experience the same,” Chris “The onion bag maintains the low
said. moisture and stops them from going off,”
“The previous owners have been very he said.
helpful in showing us the ropes. They As a hobby, the business is perfect due
have been very valuable.” to the little maintenance required to care
The Bethells have had great success for the walnuts, despite the couple and
with the business since they took their three kids doing plenty of manual
ownership, with favourable weather labour that bigger businesses would
conditions producing a quality crop and usually automate.
high yields. “They are relatively care free other than
“We are expecting one tonne of walnuts April/May (harvest time). We manually
off the trees,” Chris said. dry and sort the walnuts. Bigger
“The Jackmans said it was the best crop operations do this with a fair bit of
they’ve ever seen. They seem to think automation,” Chris said.
30 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
The Bethells let the walnuts fall on the ground before picking them up with
this equipment that looks very much like something used on bingo night.

Not only are the walnuts an income for to their newly-created Facebook page 1 kg bags, but the option for a bulk 5 kg
the Bethells, but they also have great and the support of the community, with bag is available.
health benefits. businesses, such as Numurkah Hot Bread
“They are not certified organic, but there and Cafe 3641 in Strathmerton, using the
is no spray on them,” Chris said. walnuts in their products.
“They are a healthy snack. They are very “The Facebook page helps sell the For more information: visit the
good for your health, especially heart nuts and is a good way to promote the Katunga Walnuts Facebook page
health, and it also assists diabetes.” business and let more people know at or phone 5862 3262.
The Bethells said the interest in the once,” Karlene said.
walnuts “took off pretty quickly” thanks The Bethells sell the walnuts mostly in

Animal Training Systems


Working dog specialists since 1996

Ph: 1800 688 221


PO Box 153 Margate Beach Qld 4019
www.animaltrainingsystems.com.au
Use of electrical device upon an animal is regulated by relevant State legislation

31 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


Pheasants like the Ringneck pheasant are brilliantly
coloured yet easily camouflaged, so they disappear
among grasses and undergrowth. A pair of pheasants
costs upwards of $60 although rarer birds, such as
Siamese Firebacks, can cost up to $800 per pair.

32 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


Game birds bring
challenges and
rewards by Liz Rymill

R earing game birds can be


challenging, but for enthusiasts,
a bouquet of pheasants or a covey
70 per cent you are doing well. The first
week after hatching is the time when
most losses occur, usually through young
of partridge is a rewarding and birds not taking to their feed,” Stuart
sometimes, remunerative, pastime. explains.
Partridge are particularly sensitive to
There are almost as many ways to rear
the cold, but pheasants are somewhat
game birds as there are game-rearers the
more adaptable. When young, however,
world over, and it is nigh on impossible
it is important to keep the temperature
to prescribe exactly what feed to use,
moderated in their boxes, says Stuart.
the size your pens should be or the ‘best’
“They can tolerate heat well, but they
bird type. There are books on the subject,
don’t like the cold when young.”
practical courses and importantly,
Stuart’s pheasants are kept in enclosed
unbeatable experience to be gained from
shedding for the first five to six weeks
working alongside industry experts.
of their lives, before being weaned into
Ondra Pheasants’ Stuart Bowd has
enclosed pens where they are rotationally
been rearing game birds on his farm at
run thereafter.
Strathdownie, Western Districts, Victoria,
“During this phase, it’s important to keep
for 18 years. He started out with 12 hens,
age groups together and not mixing
and now runs 65 to 70 hens and 12 cock
older birds with young stock. Older birds
birds.
will dominate and invariably kill young
Each year from May until around birds, especially when there is little cover
August, shooting parties are invited or materials in which to hide or graze on
to attend a select number of walk-up in their cages. Boredom is a big factor,
shoots on carefully prepared and reared and males particularly will turn on other
pheasants and when available, partridge. birds when bored.”
Stuart says raising game birds is an Feeding the right protein balance is
equally enjoyable and frustrating pastime. important, and will go some way to
“Pheasants are one of the most finicky moderating behaviour of birds, explains
animals to breed. The survival rate from Stuart.
hatching to weaning can be hit hard for “Often, I will put a small square hay bale
little to no reason some years — and even in the pens with weaner birds; this way,
as mature birds, they need to be closely they can work away at the twine and
monitored as they can get bored and gradually unpack the hay. It provides a
attack each other, resulting in injury and pastime for them as well as cover,” he
death,” Stuart said. adds.
Stuart’s 65 to 70 pheasant hens lay Observing game bird behaviour is one
about 45 to 50 eggs a day for seven of the most intriguing and interesting
to eight weeks a year, after a 10-week aspects of rearing, according to breeders.
joining period. “The birds are endlessly fascinating,”
Eggs are collected at least once a says Stuart, “their behaviour can range
day — twice daily when the weather really from highly social and outgoing or
warms up. playful, to alert and protective when
After they are graded for shape and size, they sense danger. I once noticed the
they are put into an incubator, where latter and looked skyward to notice way
they spend 23 days until hatching occurs. off in the distance, a wedge-tailed eagle
“If you can get a survival rate of 60 to soaring above. >>>

33 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


REARING GAME BIRD

>>>
Another time, the birds’ behaviour Quail are often farmed independently
When keeping pheasants, around me changed when I didn’t wear of other game bird species due to their
overcrowding should my usual work hat into the pens — they different management requirements;
be avoided as they can saw me as a stranger.” it is the smallest species of game bird
have a tendency towards One of the most enduring appeals of farmed in Australia, but the largest
cannibalism. An aviary game-bird rearing, says Stuart, is the fact by volume. Geese are predominantly
for a pair of pheasants produced by backyard enthusiasts, who
the birds have never lost their wild and
should be at least 6m x have historically supplied birds to small
3m, so a large backyard natural instincts.
processors, and geese production is not
is necessary. “You can never completely tame
a commercial or structured industry in
pheasants; you may come across the odd
Australia. Generally, pigeon (squab) farms
one that will come back to you and be
are small, family-run enterprises, which
happy enough to stay around the yard,
typically supplement income from other
but for the most part, birds released will
farming enterprises (such as cropping)
be effectively wild after three to four
or other income sources, such as a part-
hours in the open.” time job.
In Australia, the predominant game
birds raised for meat, sport or hobby Optimum climates
include guinea fowl, partridge, pheasants,
squabs, and quail. Except for quail, they Most game birds are produced in
well-ventilated or climate-controlled
are seasonal breeders and none are
sheds with outdoor runs. They do well
indigenous to Australia.
in a range of climates, particularly the
According to the Rural Industries
southern temperate regions and areas
Research and Development Corporation,
of natural advantage, such as Tasmania,
quail is the largest game bird industry in
with limited predators and favourable
Australia with 6.5 million quail harvested
habitats.
in 2011–12, with a value of more than
$35 million. Sourcing stock
Game birds are produced for meat for
human consumption, and in the case of Specialist breeders can supply stock to
quail, for egg production as well. The people wanting to enter the game-bird
industry. Alternatively, potential industry
demand for all game birds produced
entrants can seek to become growers for
for meat, except for quail and squab, is
larger processors and will be provided
seasonally based, with Christmas and
with stock to ‘grow out’ under contract.
Easter being the peak sales period
domestically. Health care
Pheasants, partridges and guinea
fowl are often farmed together, as an Game birds tend to be subject to the
enterprise within a farming business. same external parasites as poultry: lice,
34 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
REARING GAME BIRDS

Pheasants are hardy birds, living from 15 years up to 25 years. They can be
prone to common poultry diseases such as eye infections and worms.

mites and ticks; and internal parasites, and distribution. processes that apply to poultry farming.
like roundworms, are fairly common. The age at which pheasants are State departments of primary industries
Pheasants, partridge, guinea fowl and processed will depend on the weight can assist new entrants understand the
geese are hardy birds and usually are not required by the market. For example, planning, environmental and welfare
affected by severe outbreaks of disease. restaurants require birds with a live standards required to gain approval to
An on-farm hygiene program will help weight of about 1.2 kg, which should be operate.
keep disease outbreaks to a minimum: reached at 16 weeks of age. If not, birds Producers should ensure they
• avoid dampness; may have to be kept one or two weeks understand and implement good
• clean pens frequently; longer, and the costs of production will biosecurity practice on farm.
• apply fresh litter or sand to the floor be greater.
The National Farm Biosecurity
of the sheds; and Partridges are grown for about 14
Manual — Poultry Production provides
• isolate diseased birds from the rest of to 16 weeks and then processed. Like
a solid foundation for best practice on
the flock. pheasants, the weight of the bird dictates
game bird farms.
the time of processing more than bird
Some bird species are restricted
Infrastructure requirements age.
in certain states and territories; so,
Guinea fowl are usually processed at
Infrastructure requirements will vary seek advice from the relevant state
about 20 weeks and are provided frozen
depending on the species of game bird in weight categories that range from department of primary industries to
produced, and the farming system used. 850 g to 1.2 kg. Baby guinea fowl (400 g ensure compliance with applicable laws.
However, infrastructure needs will tend to to 600 g) and various carcass portions Wild populations of some species are a
include a combination of sheds, aviaries are also sold. problem in some parts of Australia and
or netted pens. Quail are farmed for meat and eggs. are subject to control by state rangers.
New entrants tend to convert older- Meat birds are usually harvested between If farming free-range game birds in
style buildings, including garages, old five and six weeks of age, while eggs are particular, ensure they are contained
shearing sheds and ex-laying hen sheds collected on a daily basis. within the farm property, well housed
for housing, however, larger processors Geese can be processed at two stages; and well fed to limit the chances of
have purpose-built, climate-controlled as ‘green geese’ at 10 weeks of age when escape.
sheds with separate areas for egg they will weigh about 4.5 kg, and at six
storage and incubation, brooding, months of age when they will weigh
breeding and growing. Larger breeds about 8 kg live weight. For more information:
of game bird are usually provided with Squabs are usually ready for processing The World Pheasant Association,
outdoor runs. at about 28 days of age. responsible for conservation
interests of pheasants worldwide,
Processing Regulatory considerations is represented in Australia
through the Pheasant and
The processing of game birds involves If planning an intensive operation, or
Waterfowl Society of Australia.
slaughtering, plucking (waxing if planning to raise a large number of
http://www.pwsa.org.au/
necessary to remove fine down), birds on a property, growers will be
evisceration, washing, chilling or freezing subject to the same regulatory approval
35 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
CAYUGA DUCKS

Cayugas dazzle in beetle-green


T he history of the Cayuga is a little
fuzzy, according to bird lover
Lorraine Edgely.
The meat of the Cayuga is of excellent
taste and fine quality, but its black pin
feathers on white skin don’t leave as
Keeping Cayuga ducks
The Cayuga is a stunning duck to keep,
clean a carcass as white-feathered birds. mainly due to the lustrous beetle-green
“The traditional story is that a miller in
Though it’s harder to process than light- sheen, which reflects sunlight at certain
Duchess County, New York, caught a pair
feathered ducks, the meat is high quality angles, making it look almost iridescent.
of wild black ducks on his millpond in
with an intense beefy flavour.
1809,” says Lorraine, Victorian Waterfowl It has dark brown eyes and a black bill
The breast is a bit smaller than many
Association treasurer and membership and feet, and is an attractive duck to
standard meat ducks, but it has a
secretary. have in the garden. The breed is relatively
succulent deep red meat with a
“The birds were captured by the miller’s rare, and keeping a small flock of
wonderful complex flavour.
family to raise and breed; the ducks Cayugas helps to preserve the breed.
promptly settled in to life on the miller’s As with other black ducks, the female
pond.
“At market, the offspring
of this pair was prized for will get some patches of white on her
“The pair raised large broods, providing
excellent meat and breeding feathers in her second and subsequent
the miller’s family with flavourful meat.
“At market, the offspring of this pair was
efficiency. Some of those years. In old drakes, some orange shading

prized for excellent meat and breeding


offspring were brought to the may appear on the shanks. Ducklings

efficiency. Some of those offspring were


Finger Lakes region of New have black plumage.

brought to the Finger Lakes region of


York in 1840.” For exhibition, presence of white colour
New York in 1840. These ducks became Lorraine Edgely in the outer plumage is a disqualification.
very popular in northern New York and The Cayuga is also liked by many as a
its surrounding area.” Lorraine said the modern-day Cayuga did great yard pet because the breed tends
Lorraine said the breed started as a not have the size, or the keel, that early to stay close to home.
commercial roasting bird, but lost favour paintings showed, although its green The standard weight of a drake is 2.7 kg
in the market when the Pekin took over. brilliance had been improved. to 3.6 kg, and the duck 2.25 to 3.2 kg.
36 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
to our conditions LIVESTOCK FEATURE: WILTIPOLL SHEEP
an56-58
andsheepAnnbreeds_Layout
Whittle own 1 15/11/16had difficulty
3:46 PM Page 1 contracting
nd operate the Spring Val- shearers to shear the flock.
y Farm, Wiltipoll Stud, ‘Since switching to the
hich is situated about 20 Wiltipolls we have not had
ilometres from Cowra, in any problems with flystrike,
NSW. SHEEP Their property BREEDS is as theySPECIAL
are a shedding sheep FOCUS - Wiltipolls
bout 1,100 hectares in size. and don’t have wool around

Hardy sheep suited


pproximately 400 hectares
re set aside for conserva-
their breech. We also have
few lice problems which re-
Future’s bright with Wiltipolls
on purposes. Ian teaches
to our conditions
cience and Primary Indus-
ies (Agriculture) at Young
duces the need to use expen-
sive chemicals. In addition,
we don’t have to crutch or

un bothandT
High School.
Ianwill
on
stud
and The
he NSW
Ann
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Whittles
Wiltipoll
its
and commer-
operate
Saturday,
Whittle
annual
the Spring
February
Breeders

3,
own
Breeders
Val-
at the
Group
shear
off-farm
the sheep.
had
Sale
shearers
Gulgong
been busy
difficulty
pastures.
duringto shear
“Nikki
thethe
and
work weeds and sowing “The fact that Wiltipolls don’t need
Ieradicating
As contracting
week,
I
flock.
are retired, and this farm is a
shearing or crutching is a big bonus for
us.
al Wiltipolls
ley Farm, and are mem- Stud,these characteristics,
Wiltipoll switchingwhich
‘Since retirement to the
Showground, sheep pavilion. project,” Geoff said. “Because we only have small numbers of
ers whichofis situated the about 20 reduceWiltipolls
the necessity we have to han-
not had
“The place had never been ploughed and stock to sell, we also thought it would be
NSW-Queensland
The sale provides
kilometres Wiltipoll
from buyers
Cowra,with indle
thethe
anysheep,
problems are with
veryflystrike,
im- Wiltipolls are amuch hardy, self-shedding,
had a serious weed problem, particularly better for us to breed andmeat breed.
sell stud
Group. opportunity
NSW. Their to purchase
property Registered
is
portantClass
as to me
they are aasshedding
it
blackberries.
means sheep
stock.”
A1
Ian says,about
and
‘We 1,100
havehectares
commercial owned in size.
Wiltipolls from
less some
and don’t
work to keep havethe wool around thorised by the relevant
sheep food Our website address is
“We have renovated the house, which Geoff said they recently sold some ewes
he propertyApproximately
of the leading studs
for about 400insix
hectares
the breed. their breech. We also have authorities. We have
healthy. a web- http://svwiltipolls.wixsite.co
are set aside for outconserva- was completely rundown, knocked down and were very happy with the prices they
ears now. People
Wejust starting
started ‘We few
out with Wiltipolls,
don’t liceexperience
problems
oldneed
deadtotrees
which
many re- site and
and sown pastures. We
sell our lamb directly
received. m/spring-valley
tion
or purposes.
wishing Ian
to introduce teaches
new geneticsduces to the use theexpen- to the public. The
ith Merino
Science
their flock,and
ewes
willPrimary
and
be able to Indus-
lambing problems
buy qualitysive chemicals.are very Inwith
pleased with the way the farm
addition, “Nikki and I are very‘We
locations focusedare onmembers
ensuring of th
rossed stock
them
tries from with
(Agriculture) Border
recognised atbreeders.
Young Wiltipolls.
we don’thas They come
have have
toupcrutch a
after all we deliver
orof our hard work.”to at the moment Australian
our stock have adequate nutrition. WeWiltipoll Associa
eicesterHighrams. Our
At lastSchool. pastures
year’s saleThe Whittles
Geoff slightly smaller,
and Nikki shear theGeoff fast
sheep. growing
andAs Nikki are at Penrith,
had previously run
I work North Rocks tion and
have done some training and formulatedthe Qld–NSW
re comprised
run both
Lomman offrom
a lot
stud the ofPine
and na-
commer- lamb
Hill Stud, and give
at off-farm birth
during
Dorpers onthe quite
the week, and
property, butWollongong.
switched a feeding program,Wiltipoll
Customers which we think Subcommittee
has
ve grasses such
cial Wiltipolls
Bowral as
purchased wallaby
and theare easily.
mem- ramthese
top-priced Last year we
of characteristics, had about
to Wiltipolls because can place
whichthey believed they their assisted our ewes during lambing. of the Sub
order via our Membership
rass, red bers
the grass
sale forand ofmicro- the
$1475. a 178reduce
percent thelambing
wouldnecessity
be easierrate.
to tohan- website
control and we deliver
and manage; “We alsotopurchased
a Committee
a lick feederhas
to enabled us to
ena butNSW-Queensland
unfortunately,
Geoff we
is a retired agricultural ‘Wedle
Wiltipollscientist usually
the and sellthey
sheep, ourare lambs
very been
haven’t central
im- disappointed. location
Wiltipolls are a in those
supplement
hardy, network
their diet,
self-shedding,whichwith
has other
worked
meat Wiltipol
breed.
Group.
so had(vegetable
a fair amount
agronomist) ofand Nikkiat thea portant
Cowra“Itosaleyards,
me the
think as Wilitpolls
it but
meansareareas where
a magnifi centpeople verycan col-
well. breeders and keep abreast o
Ian
andsays,
iregrassretired spear‘We
geologist. havein
grass
The owned
couple aboutless
purchased18 awork
months to keep
breed,” ago
Geoffwe sheep lectthorised
thesaid.
de- their by the relevant
orders. food
Wearehave
“We very happyOur
trends website address is:
and development
we purchased
the
small property
ome of our paddocks when
rundown for
propertyabout on six
the healthy.
cided to diversify and start a
outskirts “They are easy to work authorities.
many repeat customers,
with and are very We have a web-
Wiltipolls, and we http://svwiltipolls.wixsite.co
within the breed.aThe mem
think the breed has
years
of Bowralnow.about
e first came here. We also We sixstarted
years out
ago and ‘We
have don’t experience
friendly.
lamb meat business. We pur- many site and sell our lamb
bright
which is confirmation of the directly
future.” m/spring-valley
bers of the group are happ
xperiencedwith some Merino problems ewes and chased lambing
a mobile problems
fridge with
unit to the public.
the excellent The locations
reputation of to‘We
share areinformation
members ofand theex
crossed them with Border Wiltipolls. They have a we deliver to at the moment Australian Wiltipoll Associa-
ith flystrike and at Our
times whichslightly
is registered andgrowing
au- Wiltipoll meat. North Rocks perience.and nthe Qld–NSW

9th NSW Wiltipoll Breeders Sale


Leicester rams. pastures smaller, fast are at Penrith, tion
are comprised of a lot of na- lamb and give birth quite and Wollongong. Customers Wiltipoll Subcommittee.

8th NSW/QLD Wiltipoll Breeders Sale


tive grasses such as wallaby easily. Last year we had about can place their order via our Membership of the Sub-
grass, red grass and micro- a 178 percent lambing rate. website and we deliver to a Committee has enabled us to
laena but unfortunately, we ‘We usually sell our lambs central location in those network with other Wiltipoll

Gulgong
GulgongShowground
Showground Sheep Pavilion
also had a fair amount of at the Cowra saleyards, but areas where people can col- breeders and keep abreast of
wiregrass and spear grass in
some of our paddocks when
we firstSaturday
came here. We3rdalso
Sheep Pavilion
about 18 months ago we de-
cided to diversify and start a
February, 2018.WeViewing
lamb meat business. pur-
lect their orders. We have
many repeat customers,
at is9am
which and Sale
confirmation of the
trends and developments
within the breed. The mem-
at bers
11.30am
of the group are happy
Saturday 4th February, 2017. Viewing at 9am and Sale at 11.30am
Registered Class A1 Wiltipoll Rams and Ewes
experienced some problems chased a mobile fridge unit excellent reputation of to share information and ex-
with flystrike and at times which is registered and au- Wiltipoll meat. perience. n

Registered Class A1 WiltipollEwes


and Commercial Rams and Ewes
8th NSW/QLD Wiltipoll Breeders Sale
Selling Agent: McDonald Lawson, Mudgee. Contact: Bill Lawson: McDonald Lawson
Gulgong Showground Sheep Pavilion
Ph: (02) 63721442/ 0427723369 email: mcdlaws@bigpond.net.au

Saturday 4th February, 2017. Viewing at 9am


Ian Hopwood: and Sale
Chairperson at(02)
- Ph: 11.30am
63846428
Karl Ritar: Secretary/Treasurer
Registered Class A1 Wiltipoll Rams and Ewes email: karl@wiltisheep.com.au

6 Small FARMS Selling Agent: McDonald Lawson, Mudgee. Contact: Bill Lawson: McDonald Lawson December 2016
Ph: (02) 63721442/ 0427723369 email: mcdlaws@bigpond.net.au
Ian
IanHopwood: (02) 6384
Hopwood: Chairperson 6428
- Ph: (02) 63846428
Karl Ritar,
Karl Secretary: (02) 6374 2846
Ritar: Secretary/Treasurer
Email: karl@wiltisheep.com.au
email: karl@wiltisheep.com.au

56 Small FARMS 37 December


SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017 2016
cattle with each species se- medium size, active, alert,
lecting their own particular hardy, able to look after it-
LIVESTOCK FEATURE: WILTIPOLL SHEEP grass type, thus assisting pas- self and capable of produc-
ture management.’ ing a good percentage of

Quality stock ready for sale


The Houlihans are cur- strong lambs. So it is impor-
rently running over 1,500 tant to choose a true to type
Wiltipoll sheep. Gloria says, Perendale ram.
‘We specialise in the produc- The Perendale shows its un-
G loria and Des Houlihan’s
Peppercorn Ridge
Wiltipoll Sheep Stud is
“Our maiden ewes have
achieved very good lambing
rates of about 120 per cent,
back a bit and let the lease
tion of quality Wiltipolls and
go,” Gloria said.
the continual development
“We have built the flock up a
and ewes in lamb for sale.
mistakable Cheviot ancestry
“This is a terrific opportunity
in its open white face; free of
for people wanting to get into
of our flock and the wool below the dark, bold,
near Manildra, NSW, where and the lambs are doing fair bit over the years and will Wiltipolls to purchase top-
Wiltipoll breed as a whole. intelligent eyes, and with a
the weather has been well despite the challenging now have to reduce numbers. quality stock, which we have
All rams used are from spe- black open nose and
particularly dry for the past conditions.” As a consequence, we have taken great care to develop
cially selected bloodlines that medium length, somewhat
few months. “Due to the Gloria and Des run about some top-quality dry ewes over a number of years.”
enhance our gene pool and erect ears. The strong neck
dry weather we have been 1500 Wiltipolls and have further progress our stud. and carriage of the head (no
running the sheep on an specialised in producing
oat crop, which we would quality easy-care sheep.
normally have stripped for Their rams have been Full shedding
grain after an earlier grazing specially selected to produce
period,” Gloria said. “We
have also been feeding
prime lambs for the trade.
In 2015 they won the Over
top quality
out hay and pellets after
taking the sheep off the oat
the Hooks section of the
Prime Lamb Competition at
breeding ewes
paddock. the Dubbo Show.
Registered Wiltipol Flock: 231
“The sheep have been living Only registered stud rams
Commercial Flock: 231u
up to the Wiltipolls reputation are used with stud and
commercial flocks.
for being good doing animals. Gloria & Des Houlihan, Manildra, NSW., 2865
“We have been very pleased “We have been leasing some
with the way they have country that we have been Ph: (02) 6364 5696
maintained their condition running our sheep on and Email: gloria.houlihan@bigpond.com
and lambed in a tough season. have now decided to scale
December 2016

Versatile and low-maintenance


breed Alawah White Dorpers
J acky and David Schmetzer
own and operate the
Alawah White Dorper
White Dorpers are renowned
for their good muscling and
fast growth, making them
Stud, about 20 km north of perfect for prime lamb
Narrandera, NSW, where production.
they have farmed the 840 ha They are a low-maintenance
property for about 23 years. breed with purebred animals
requiring no shearing or
“The White Dorpers have
mulesing.
been great for us,” Jacky said.
White Dorpers do not suffer
“They have assisted us to
from flystrike, which also
get through some hard times reduces labour and chemical
during droughts, and we get costs and frees up time for
good money for them.” other farm chores.
The couple has grown its For small farm holdings, the
flock to 1000, after starting in fact White Dorpers do not
the breed 15 years ago. require shearing avoids the

STUD AND
“They have a very hardy problem of trying to get a
constitution and can cope shearer to shear a small flock.

COMMERCIAL STOCK
well with challenging “The ease of handling the
conditions,” Jacky said. White Dorpers is one of
“They are a very fertile breed the factors we believe will
and the ewes make excellent
mothers.
enable us to remain farming
profitably and happily, for
David & Jacky Schmetzer
“Their very high twinning rate, years to come,” Jacky said. “Alawah”
and the fact they are non- Jacky and David have Narrandera NSW 2700
seasonal breeders, meaning some high-quality stud and
the ewes can get pregnant at commercial rams for sale at 02 6955 6250 | 0427 287 158
any time of the year, further the moment and welcome alawah@activ8.net.au
increases their productivity.” phone inquiries.
38 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
LIVESTOCK FEATURE: RYELAND SHEEP

Why Ryelands?
T he Ryeland is one of the oldest
breeds of sheep, dating back more
than 700 years to when the monks of
popularity among those with small
holdings.
Here is why the Ryeland is ideally suited
seems to be remarkably resistant to
footrot.
• Great tasting meat that tastes like
Leominster in Herefordshire bred and to those who want a small flock: lamb used to.
raised sheep on rye pastures. Hence, • Very docile in nature and extremely • A very high-quality fleece that is now
easy to handle. They don’t have horns.
the name of the Ryeland breed. popular with home spinners and
No sheepdog necessary, just a bucket
In Australia the Ryeland is an weavers.
of feed!
endangered breed with less than 500 • Ryelands are much hardier than most
• Relatively undemanding in feed and
registered females. This was also the of the “improved” sheep breeds.
are happy with a diet of just good
case in England until not so long ago. grass, without the need for expensive • A great breed if you are interested
In the past couple of decades, the additional feed. This means they are in showing sheep. Most shows have
Ryeland has had resurgence in England particularly suitable for organic lamb dedicated Ryeland classes and more
and they are no longer an endangered production. experienced breeders are pleased to
breed — thanks largely to its growing • The Ryeland, with its dark hooves, help.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF RYELANDS


“When you look into the eyes of a
Ryeland - you fall in love”
• The flavour of Ryeland meat is legendary.
• Ryeland lambs are filling niche
markets—supplying quality restaurants
and foodies seeking superior flavour.
• Ryeland’s have the finest wool of all of
the British breeds of sheep.
• Spinners and weavers love the wool.
• Ryelands are easy care sheep that are
not overly large.
• With a lovely temperament they are ideal
for small holdings.

For further information visit our website


www.ryelandsheep.org
Or email the Chairman of the Ryeland Sheep Breeders Association of Australia at: steven@stevenfrench.net

39 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


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re*Conditions
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LIVESTOCK FEATURE: SPECKLE PARK CATTLE

Genetic technology builds


stud’s success
D enis and Theresa
Roberts started their
Speckle Park Cattle Stud
leading genetics, which is now
paying dividends.
At the recent Royal
thrilled with the performance
of our young females this
year,” Denis said.
class; and first in the Sire
or Dams Progeny Class.
Very impressive results, full
about five years ago with Melbourne Show where “Many of our young cattle
details can be found on the
the aim of becoming one of “Speckles” were the feature at this show are IVF calves.
Melbourne Show website.
the best studs in the breed. breed, against very strong Fancy Pants is an IVF calf,
Denis and Theresa have
competition, AAA Fancy which proves the value of the
If results during the past great confidence in the future
Pants M17, won Junior programs we have undertaken
few years are any indication, Champion Heifer and went over the last few years. of the Speckle Park breed,
they are well on the way to on to take the award for We have used some of the and will continue to build
achieving their goal. Grand Champion Female. An best genetics available in the their herd during the next few
The Roberts own and outstanding result for a young world today in our breeding years.
operate the AAA Speckle Park female, against senior cows, in programs.”
They have embryos, semen
stud, just outside of Oberon, such a prestigious show. Other AAA results in
and cattle for sale from their
NSW. “Our success this year follows Melbourne included: three
The couple has made award-winning herd, and are
on from our great results last firsts in class, in bull and
extensive use of AI, IVF and year in Melbourne, we have heifer classes; Best Two happy to talk to people about
ET technologies to develop only been in the breed for five Females; second in the Best the future of the breed and
the stud’s herd using world- years and we are particularly, Two Bulls under 20 months the stock they have for sale.

Home of Proven Genetics


Dominate Melbourne Royal Show
Thank you to the purchasers and underbidders of AAA genetics
VR4241121

at Specktacular sale
AAA Fancy Pants M17 Available Now:
Junior and Grand Champion Female Bulls | Females | F1's | Semen | Embryos

42 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


LIVESTOCK FEATURE: SPECKLE PARK CATTLE

Boutique stud fits the bill


E leanor and Shane
Lennard’s, Kurudui
Speckle Park Stud, is a
the excellent meat quality
of Speckle Park cattle. They
have also found the cows to
and easy to work.”
Eleanor said the stud’s cattle
were well handled, drenched
Health Declaration form.
For more information, visit
Facebook @ Kurudui Speckle
boutique operation based be very fertile, easy-calving and vaccinated. Park Cattle and Instagram @
at Mt View, near Cessnock, cattle. All cattle are sold with a Kurudui Speckles or phone
in the picturesque, NSW “As a child I was raised NVD and National Cattle 0401 009 827.
Hunter Valley. with cattle on my parent’s
“We bought our first
registered Speckles just over
dairy and beef cattle farms,”
Eleanor said.
KURUDUI
four years ago. We now have “My husband Shane has a full- Speckle Park Cattle
nine registered animals and time off-farm job and I run a
small business. We are pretty
several crossbreeds,” Eleanor
said. busy most of the time. From F1 to Pure
“At this stage we offer small “Due to our busy lifestyle the Sometimes
lots of quality crossbred cattle need to be easy care;
heifers and steers for sale. In and because I handle them by Available
the future we hope to have myself a lot of the time when
purebred animals for sale.” Shane is at work, they need to E & S Lennard
Like many Speckle Park be easy to handle. Mount View NSW
breeders, Eleanor and “The Speckles fit the bill Ph: 0401 009 827
Shane are impressed with perfectly. They are very quiet

Cattle and wine a family affair


H anging Rock Speckle
Park Cattle Stud is a
family affair.
cattle stud and beef business,”
John said.
“We are very committed to
John said his family had
found Speckle Park cattle to
be “very good doing cattle”
“It is still early days, but it
has gotten to the stage where
saleyard and feedlot buyers
the show system and as well which “carry meat in all of the are now looking for some
The stud, which is run in
as taking our own cattle to right places”. Speckle Park influence in the
conjunction with the family’s
shows we also prepare and “They have high fecundity mix; a great position for the
winery and vineyard, is
take other people’s cattle to and we are very happy that breed, and very encouraging
owned and operated by the
shows.” we have taken on the breed,” for seedstock producers like
Ellis family in the beautiful
At the recent Melbourne he said. us.”
Macedon Ranges region of
show and sale, Hanging Rock
Victoria.
Speckle Park Stud placed first
Although a relative new stud,
in one of the bull classes and
Hanging Rock is making its
sold two bulls in the sale.
presence felt among strong The stud has sold six bulls in
competition in the Speckle the past 12 months, with the
Park world. best price $20 500 recorded
John and Ann Ellis at the Scone Multi Vendor
established the vineyard in Breed sale.
1982 and have been joined in “The prices reflect the strong
the business by their daughter interest in the breed,” John
Meat and yearling Bulls
Ruth and son Rob. said. for sale this spring
Ruth and John launched the “Most of the bulls have gone
Speckle Park Beef and cattle to stud breeders and a couple The Hanging Rock Winery
stud in 2014. have been sold to commercial www.hangingrock.com.au
Ph (03)54 270 542
“Although we are a small stud breeders for cross breeding
88 Jim Rd Newham Vic 3442
we are very serious about our with Angus and other cows.”
43 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
LIVESTOCK FEATURE: SPECKLE PARK CATTLE

Speckleline cattle an
economical size
T he Clan Stud was
established in 1997,
breeding and successfully
“This philosophy was
rewarded as a finalist
showing Lowline cattle. in 2013 ABC Rural
Stud principal Ian Milne said
Australian Farmer of
at the 2010 Calgary Stampede
the Year award.”
Carcase Competition, Speckle Ian Milne
Park cattle finished 1st, 2nd
3rd 4th 7th and 10th.
“This prompted us to
“Our Speckleline 500 kg
investigate the possibility of
cows, are joined to Speckle
combining Speckle Park cattle
Park bulls with the financial
with Lowline cattle to breed
advantage of feeding a
a 500 kg cow, which many
500 kg cow to produce a
cattle breeders consider the
large fast-growing yearling
most economical size cow,”
calf, the size of its mother,”
Ian said. Ian said.
“Lowline cows have a pelvic “This philosophy was
area similar in size to their rewarded as a finalist in 2013
larger sister Angus cows. ABC Rural Australian Farmer
They can be joined to a breed of the Year award.”
such as Speckle Park when Ian said Jonai Farms, an on-
selecting only proven easy- farm butchery near Daylesford
calving bulls.” in Victoria, purchased
The Clan Stud has a breeding Speckleline yearling steers
herd of 60 Speckleline cows and finished them to at least
(50 per cent Speckle Park and 24 months when mature, but
50 per cent Lowline). not huge in size.
In 2011 the stud started an “Haldor, our stud bull, at
AI program using eight of 10 months old, was judged
the top Speckle Park bulls Junior Champion and Grand
bred in Canada. The business Champion Speckle Park bull
also purchased the embryo and Supreme Exhibit at the black cows. semen traws over the last 18
brother to the heifer that won 2015 Royal Melbourne Show,” Haldor’s semen is used months.”
Interbreed Champion Heifer Ian said. extensively throughout The Clan Stud’s Speckleline
at the 2011 Royal Melbourne “Haldor is white in colour Australia in commercial AI bulls are used over
Show as a back-up bull in its and produces magnificent programs. Agri-Gene has sold mainstream heifers and
breeding program. speckled calves over more than 3000 of his Lowline and Dexter cows.

SPECKLELINE CATTLE ®
FOCUSED ON WHAT MAKES DOLLARS AND SENSE
EFFICIENCY, FERTILITY, FUNCTIONALITY, SOUNDNESS

THE CLAN STUD | P (03)54248181 | M 0408056868


ian.g.milne@bigpond.com | P.O. Box 529 Woodend VIC 3442

44 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Speckle Park cattle winning


on many fronts
F or Gary and Colleen
Linford of Glengarry
Speckle Park Stud, 2017 has
“They are also very fertile,
well structured cattle that
can do well on a variety of Glengarry OBERON, NSW
been a very good year.
The couple won Grand
different pasture in different
environments. SPECKLE PARK STUD
Champion Female, against Gary said the breed was
very tough competition, with also very highly regarded for
their cow, Lacerto Luo in producing high-quality, tasty
February, at the Speckle Park and tender meat.
Feature show at the Royal “I always remember when my
Canberra Show. wife and I were researching
In September, Luo’s Secret, the breed prior to buying our
who was Lacerta Luo’s calf first Speckle Parks.
at foot at the Canberra Show, “My wife, who is not a great
won her class at the Royal lover of beef, tried some
Melbourne Show and was Speckle Park steak and
26 month old bull by A&W 15R
later, sold at the show sale for exclaimed, ‘This is the tastiest,
$13 000. most tender beef I have ever
Gary said the Speckle tasted.’ GREAT SPECKLE PARK STARTER'S
Park breed was going from “I thought if the meat can PACKAGE FOR SALE
strength to strength. impress her that much it
“The breed is continuing to must be very, very good. We YEARLING HEIFERS
get very good results in Hoof purchased our first Speckle
and Hook competitions, and Parks soon after.” AND BULLS AVAILABLE
prices for the cattle are very Gary and Colleen’s stud is COLOURS: Speckles, White & Black
strong as demonstrated at the near Oberon, NSW. ALSO INCLUDES: Choice of 4 suitable semen straws.
Melbourne Show sale,” Gary They have some quality
PACKAGE PRICE IS BY NEGOTIATION
said. heifers for sale as well as a
“Speckle Parks have young bull and are always
developed a reputation for
being very good doing cattle
happy to talk to people about
the advantages of owning
ENQUIRIES: GARY 0425 221 875
with a quiet disposition. Speckle Park cattle.
45 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
Our grandson
Marley has his
Bonding the
Dusty way
turn at feeding
Dusty on day 11.
He reckoned Dusty
was really strong.
By Stephen Kennedy

D usty is the name of our newborn


Lowline Angus. Our son-in-law
named the bull calf, when we found
would calve first. At least that’s what our
records indicated.
Arriving in time to shield the calf from
it being harassed and attacked by his further aggression from the sire, we
sire, just after it was born on October 7. separated the calf, and then the dam
from our small herd. This was done on
We were alerted to his birth about
the assumption that she would continue
8 pm by our neighbour who was outside
her mothering role. This turned out to
checking his sheep at the time. The bare
be a false assumption. She too, was
ground the calf was lying on gave rise to
aggressive towards her calf. She was
his name Dusty. The dam had completed
pushing him away, at times kicking out at
what nature dictated, as she had cleaned
him, with enough force to push him over
Dusty and eaten the afterbirth.
and away from her.
From the outset it is clear that we are
Any attempt from us to address the
novices. We made several mistakes that
aggression was fruitless. We carried him,
night and prior to it. Our first and biggest
all of 18.9 kg, to a safe place (the cattle
mistake, prior to the birth, was that we
trailer with straw) for the night. It was
did not separate the pregnant heifer
now 11 pm. We then hit the internet, and
(dam) from the sire. We had no idea
other resources, with haste.
how aggressive the bull would be and,
how timid the heifer would be. In the Initial concerns
two previous experiences with calving
the same sire had not been aggressive Firstly, we knew that the calf needed
towards the newborns. colostrum on the first day and we
Our second mistake was that we did not weren’t at all sure how that could happen
realise that this heifer would deliver at at 11 pm. Between the four of us — son-in-
the time she did. We had been watching law, daughter, wife and self — there had
another pregnant cow that appeared to to be a way ahead.
be further advanced in her pregnancy, Secondly, we had to give it a safe place
in the same paddock, on a regular basis for the nights ahead. The dam would not
throughout the day, thinking that she protect it.
46 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
READER STORY

Learning the
lowdown on
Lowline cattle
Stephen Kennedy and his wife Anne-Marie
live on a small property in the hinterland of
Dusty waiting to be fed at three-days old. Taree on the mid-north coast of NSW.
Over the years, their block has been used by
neighbouring cattle, and three years ago the
couple decided to run some cattle themselves,
with Lowline being their cattle of choice.
Their animals are registered with the
Australian Lowline Cattle Association.
Dusty and half-sister Millie Rose — born
a fortnight after Dusty (with no mother-
calf bonding issues like his sister) — will be
advertised for sale.
“Yes, Dusty will have to go to a new home,
we’ll just have to make sure it’s a good one,”
We think this happened more by good luck
Stephen said.
than good management. But, here is Dusty on
day 11 having his first drink from his mother.

Thirdly, should we give it some IT apps to Google some ‘wisdom’. for the day’s trading! The folk there were
nourishment it the meantime? Our internet reading suggested ‘force very helpful.
We had no experience to inform us in feeding’. We have a quality cattle yard. We purchased a feeding bottle and
respect to what we were supposed to do. Early the next morning, with all four powdered milk enhancer.
It all occurred on the weekend, Saturday of us on deck, the dam’s head was Back home, using the instructions on
night. Novices yes, but unmotivated no. locked in the cattle yard with her legs the 20 kg bag of powdered milk we
We are, after all, custodians of these little tethered. The calf fed from the mother. decided to feed him 50 gm in 750 ml of
guys. We repeated this procedure throughout warmed water four times daily.
Okay, we are all fairly smart people, the day trusting that he was feeding on Tuesday saw a continuation of this
let’s brainstorm some solutions. There is sufficient colostrum. How were we to feeding regime. Concerned about his
nothing worse than a single novice taking know? physical exercise, we put him on a lead
control; this had to be a combined effort. After each feeding, we carried him to and encouraged him to do what calves
Let’s call it collective wisdom. the trailer and let mum loose in the cattle are supposed to do (that was fun). We let
yard. In between feeding time we built the lead go and let him do his thing: he
The weekend a temporary pen, ensuring that he had jumped, ran, turned and twisted his way
overhead cover, water and straw bedding. around the yard.
On the birth night, the consensus We also attempted to reintroduce him
That was Sunday. Our daughter and
was that the little guy needed some to his mother. She fussed, but would not
son-in-law returned to their home during
nourishment. My wife washed out the let him drink. We continued this process
Sunday.
empty wine bottle from dinner, warmed over the next few days and, although the
Semi convinced that we had given
up some milk and, with a pierced finger mother fussed and bellowed she would
the little guy his fill of the magical stuff,
from a rubber glove taped around the not allow him to feed.
called colostrum, we let the mother go
top, gave him a feed. He drank that down In a further attempt to initiate dam
and carried Dusty back to the trailer for
no trouble. Living away from town, long and calf bonding, we tried locking them
Sunday night.
life milk (semi skim) was our only choice in the cattle yard, but she continued to
of milk. The next 10 days refuse him. By now Dusty seemed more
He was then put to his straw bed in the imprinted upon us rather than his mother.
cattle trailer. We put an old dog collar on On Monday my wife and I fed him some We considered abandoning the notion
him to make him easier to manage. Not more milk, from the makeshift feeding that they would bond.
sure that we had made the right move, apparatus, and raced off into our local However, we knew that socialisation to
we went to bed, as mentioned, with our rural store arriving as the doors opened his kind was paramount. >>>
47 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
READER STORY

>>>

In an attempt to address this, we let him surrounded by the rest of our females.
loose in the paddock with his mother and We have read that after 12 days the
Our little herd, minus
the other females. dam’s milk will lose its quality and
the bull (Dusty is far
right). The cow next He simply raced around trying to begin to dry up. Dusty still seems to be
to Marley had her calf find a way out. We were coming to the managing but, just on the off chance, we
Millie Rose a fortnight realisation we had a poddy calf on our continued to give him a small top-up
later without any issues. hands. It would be up to us now to care every morning. However, on Saturday,
for him until weaning. We had read this October 21, he did not want to drink from
would take three months. us. Apparently, he is well fed. Observing
him in the paddock he is full of energy
Day 11 and keeping Mum busy.
Dusty was born on the night of October
7, and up to October 17 we had been Mystery with a happy
feeding and exercising him. Initially, we ending
hoped his mother would fully accept him
by allowing him to drink. However, she We reckon that our Dusty will be a great
had refused suckling him although still show fellow. He is more than happy to
fussing over him. come when called, and doesn’t mind the
We could not understand this behaviour. halter at all. We might just keep him.
When she was with him she would We have written this piece to help
make her mothering murmur ‘..mmm’. others who may be faced with this same
When Dusty was taken away she would situation as ourselves.
lower her head and bellow for extended We have since heard it is not unusual
periods. for a sire to act aggressively towards the
On October 18, the 11th day, we took birth of a calf. Similarly, once the sire has
Dusty to his mother before his morning aggressed so shall the dam.
bottle feed. There was this residing hope We probably need to consider as
within us, that she would accept him. well, that the dam was a heifer and, not
For some reason unknown to us she sure what to do even without the sire’s
accepted him! At first, she hesitated for interference. In addition to this, the calf
about 10 minutes. Then he attached and being a male may have sparked the ire of
she allowed him to suckle. the sire.
He is now with his mother full-time. He It’s mostly a mystery to us but, if all
races around the paddock at full pelt mysteries are like this one, keep them
and sleeps as one would expect, safely coming.
48 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
Biochar:
tonic for soils
by Robyn Sykes

Energy Farmers Australia S oils are like children, you want


them strong and active. When they
are weak and listless, you want to help
the talk turns to climate change.
Globally, there is a growing appreciation
of biochar’s potential benefits to soils.
has been a supporter of
biochar trials at Warren them recover. Biochar acts as a tonic Many peer-reviewed articles have been
Catchments Council, for soils. It boosts microbe numbers, published in well-respected journals. It is
bringing its Mark I mobile not a panacea, but for specific problems
soil fertility and water retention,
pyrolysis unit from
moderates pH and reduces leaching of in certain soils it can work wonders.
Geraldton to Manjimup
for a demonstration event. nitrogen. There are many examples around the
world of biochar enriched soils. For
Essentially, biochar is charcoal
example, terra preta earths around the
sustainably produced for use in
Amazon; salt-laden soils in Akita, Japan,
agriculture. By itself, the extraordinarily
porous material is not active in the soil. that still grow rice. In China, biochar
Rather it provides a home for bacteria, is reducing the cadmium levels in rice
fungi and other micro-organisms; grain grown in contaminated soils near
something like a waterfront mansion for industrial areas.
the microbe world. Let’s focus on soils on small farms in
Because moving into such a mansion Australia.
takes time, biochar is often primed Doug Pow runs beef cattle on 53 ha at
with nutrients before use. For example, Middlesex, near Manjimup. The Western
by mixing with compost or soaking in Australian farmer adds biochar in an
seaweed tea. innovative way: he feeds his cows a mix
“Biochar is fundamentally inert,” says of charcoal and molasses.
Gerry Gillespie, founding member of the “A third of a kilo of charcoal per cow per
International Biochar Initiative1 (IBI) set day,” he says on his youtube clip, www.
up in Terrigal in 2007. youtube.com/watch?v=_JPoItRWYSQ
“When you put it directly in the ground As the charcoal passes through the
it doesn’t do much until it becomes a cows, it adsorbs and absorbs nutrients
home for microbes to live in … people are from the gut, then passes out of the cow
getting much a better reaction after a as a manure-biochar mix. Introduced
12-month period,” the organics consultant dung beetles collect and bury their
says. treasure up to 60 cm deep in the soil.
When organic matter is broken When researchers from University of
down through the usual process of Wollongong, University of NSW, the NSW
decomposition, the carbon released finds DPI and the Warren Catchments Council
its way back into the atmosphere in a (WCC) heard about Doug’s results,
relatively short period of time. they were intrigued. And, so began a
Biochar can trap that carbon in the soil collaboration that measured, tested
for hundreds, even thousands of years. and probed the system for three years
Hence the focus on the material when (2012–2015). >>>
49 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
>>>
“We’re finding out that far more is the wrong place.”
Doug Pow mixes a happening than we ever thought was Doug and the researchers set up
biochar/molasses possible to happen,” says Doug. “It another trial: this time with avocadoes.
mix at a National seems to be making available locked up The idea was to use biochar to replicate
Science Week event. materials, primarily phosphorus, but it is the andisol soil of its native habitat
increasing the potassium as well, which and reduce the risk of infection from
is strange because that’s soluble. It’s Phytophthora cinnamon in water-logged,
increasing the pH, it’s increasing the heavy soil.
sulphur, it’s increasing the calcium, it’s “The results have been dramatic,” says
increasing everything that seems to WCC sustainable agriculture officer
matter. Kathy Dawson.
“I haven’t spent any money on fertiliser “The obvious accelerated rate of
“I haven’t spent any since 2009.” growth of biomass and tree vigour has
money on fertiliser Other benefits include increased encouraged many producers to adopt
since 2009.” proportion of legumes in pastures and a the technique in mass plantings in the
Doug Pow higher stocking rate for the cattle. region — of avocado, citrus, apple and
The findings were published in the stone fruit,” she says.
journal Pedosphere2 in 2015. http:// The Manjimup farmers have a big
ro.uow.edu.au/aiimpapers/1580/ advantage: a reliable source of biochar.
“Very few people are feeding it to cows,” “Simcoa Pty Ltd has a large silicon
says Professor Stephen Joseph, lead smelting operation at Kemerton, near
author of the paper. “More are using it Bunbury,” Kathy explains. “The biochar
when establishing orchards.” ‘fines’ they produce … are essentially by-
When asked about potential downsides products of their high-quality charcoal
of using biochar, Prof Joseph replies: “If production made from Eucalyptus
it’s made properly there’s usually no marginata (jarrah).”
problem. If you apply too much of it, that In Australia, the commercial biochar
can be deleterious, or if you apply it in industry is in its infancy. Small farmers
50 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
You can find multiple dung beetle tunnels under cow pats, packed
What happens when you dig under a cow pat? Here you can see with manure. As the sub-soil is brought to surface, nutrients are
dung beetles, working away, more than a shovel head underground. recycled. And this was before biochar was added to diet!

Dr Paul Taylor’s Kon-tiki kiln demonstrated at the Australia and


New Zealand Biochar Conference, Murwillumbah, August 2017.

without access to commercially farmers can make their own biochar,” a minimum of 250 kg raw biochar from
produced biochar can make their own. Gerry Gillespie says. He uses a ‘rocket’ timber and other organic material on
The basic process is to heat carbon- design. farm suitable for livestock consumption.
rich material — especially agricultural or “It looks like an old plough disc I will also be able to create more
forestry waste (for example, “thinned’ barbecue. I have a piece of circular steel valuable ‘enhanced biochar’, creating
trees, rice husks, nutshells) — in a about 10 inches (25 cm) in circumference plant available mineral complexes to use
low-oxygen environment. For the made of 3/8ths inch (about 1 cm) cast in horticulture and pasture situations,
technical minds, a number of these iron. I put it on three nails then pack it by the customised addition of minerals
pyrolysis techniques exist, depending really, really, tightly with wood; then light during the pyrolysis process,” she
on temperature, speed of heating, and a tiny fire on top with a few bits of wood; explains.
oxygen delivery. then put a chimney on it. There’s plenty more to the biochar story,
What’s the difference between a “The heat of the fire and the heat of the and scientists are finding out more each
biochar kiln and a normal fireplace? chimney (once it heats up) pulls air up year.
As a normal fire burns, the oxygen it through the bottom,” says Gerry. “Air If we look after our soils, they will
consumes is continually replaced. The comes through so quickly you just burn look after us.
fuel (wood) passes through a charcoal off the wood gas rather than burning the
Further reading
stage, but continues to burn. Eventually wood.”
most of the wood turns to ash. You can view a ‘rocket’ design at http://www.biochar-international.org/
Question: How do we stop it all burning, vimeo.com/38501679 Stephen D. Joseph et al, University
without leaving uncharred wood (still There’s also a version called a Kon-Tiki of Wollongong (2015) Feeding biochar
containing volatile gasses) on the inside? Kiln, which looks a bit like a giant bucket. to cows: an innovative solution for
Answer: Once the charring starts, limit See it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=- improving soil fertility and farm
the entry of oxygen to a single point. AebWIpGu4I productivity. Pedosphere, 25 (5),
In addition, provide a chimney for the Kathy has just taken delivery of a new 666–679
unwanted gases to escape. The wood kiln, built along Kon-Tiki lines. The locally http://www.warrencc.org.au/Projects/
then burns in a low-oxygen environment. built furnace set her back about $3000. dung-beetles-address-soil-fertility-
“There are some simple ways small “In a half day I will be able to produce environmental-health-issues/
51 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
During an average
year, about 19 million
Market options for
sheep and cattle
sheep and six million
cattle are sold
through the national
saleyard network.
By Liz Rymill

O ptimising returns when livestock


are sold is key to profitability,
regardless of how many stock are
market specifications.
“Furthermore, consider developing
long-term relationships with regular
sold, and depends on three things: customers, this way, you can receive
the producer’s ability to meet market feedback on stock sold, take on board
specifications, selling method selected suggested improvements, and gain a
and an efficient and timely sale greater understanding of the needs of
the customer,” says Josh.
process.
Australia’s livestock selling systems
“Producers should regularly evaluate
are diverse, but during the past three
market opportunities depending on
decades, there have been two enduring
feed supply, financial circumstances and and popular options: the spirited, face-
changes in market price,” says Meat and to-face, saleyard markets and the online,
Livestock Australia’s Josh McIntosh. “sale by description” auctions.
“It’s important to be open to — and Other sales methods include:
aware of — alternative market options: Paddock sales — Livestock are inspected
there may be a better price to be on the vendor’s property by a buyer or
achieved through a different option, or, agent and sold from the paddock;
a better match for the range of product Over the hooks (OTH) — Livestock are
specifications a producer can supply. delivered directly to the abattoir with
“Too often, farmers can be reluctant to change of ownership taking place at
do something other than what ‘they’ve the abattoir scales. Terms of sale vary
always done’ but in the modern era of between abattoirs. Livestock must be
livestock marketing, profit can be heavily accurately assessed for sale to avoid
impacted — for better or worse — with this price penalties;
mentality.” Stockyard sales — Livestock are
One way for producers to keep weighed, graded and priced for sale;
well informed on market trends and Meat Standards Australia (MSA) eligible
movements is to follow The National sales — Cattle can only be sold through
Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS), MSA licensed saleyards or livestock
which provides information designed exchanges. Producers and agents must
to keep producers informed of market be registered;
movements and up to date on the Forward contracts — A contractual
correlation between prices and agreement between a seller (for example,
52 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
“There is no doubt that both selling options have cemented their place
in Australia’s modern livestock industry,” says Dale, who alongside
wife Harriet, has been at the helm of Keatley Livestock (now Ray White
Keatley) for the past 18 years, and an agent for the past three decades.

producer) and buyer (for example, cent based in Queensland and Victoria. supply and demand basis, which has
processor) to supply a given product at During an average year, about 19 million the ability to make the saleyard system
a future point in time for a given price. In sheep and six million cattle are sold a very competitive market. There
some cases, the price is fixed, thereby through the national saleyard network, are specific drivers for vendors and
reducing the producer’s exposure to a with the majority of sheep (73 per cent) buyers, however, the two major drivers
fall in market price; and cattle (62 per cent) sold through are seasonal relativities and cycles of
Producer alliances — A group of NSW and Victorian saleyards. drought and good seasons.
producers working together to service There are a range of influences Regions with good seasonal conditions
market place requirements; impacting the movement of livestock will draw stock from other regions that
Value-based marketing — Based on throughout Australia, real and perceived, are experiencing poor conditions and
the principle of being paid for the which send signals to vendors and the greater the discrepancy, the more
inherent value (quality and quantity) buyers in making their decision to attend powerful the driver to move stock in
of the product to the buyer and the a specific saleyard sale. a particular direction. At the end of
end user, such as systems that provide For example, some vendors will travel a drought, numbers fall significantly
clear feedback from the consumer to vast distances with their livestock as producers re-stock. Numbers
the producer and has a pricing system to attend a saleyard with a strong progressively increase as the drought
supporting these signals and, for lambs; reputation for specialising in a specific continues and producers de-stock, as has
Forward price contracts — Producers class of livestock (such as Millicent, South been experienced across many sales in
can manage contracts to sell lambs Australia’s bean stubble-reared vealers; Queensland and northern NSW in recent
at optimum times in terms of market Naracoorte South Australia’s annual first years.
readiness and pasture-use efficiency. cross ewe sale or the largest same-day While government and industry-led
The arrival of social media and local prime and store cattle sale in the country regulations, such as Operational Health &
online selling portals like Gumtree are at Dalby, Queensland, or one with a Safety (OH&S), Environmental Protection
also responsible for the trade of livestock, history of carving out record prices for Authority (EPA), Meat Standards
however, industry experts warn that any given category. Sometimes, family Australia (MSA), National Livestock
sellers and buyers should avoid such tradition dictates sale and purchasing Identification System (NLIS) and animal
transactions where possible to limit risk decisions at saleyards. welfare requirements, will continue to
to property, animal health, scams or Large regional centres like Roma, Dalby, force rationalisation upon the saleyards
unscrupulous dealings and the upkeep Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Ballarat and of Australia, there remains little doubt
of strong biosecurity in Australia’s sheep Bendigo in the Eastern states tend to of their continued strong presence in
and cattle industry. draw more buyers because the larger livestock selling well into the future.
Today, there are about 122 saleyards yardings usually make it easier to fill their Online auctions have also witnessed a
across Australia, with half of the selling orders. surge in recent years and give choice to
centres located in NSW and about 40 per Saleyards across Australia work on a vendor, buyer and agent alike. >>>
53 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
LIVESTOCK MARKETS

>>>

Three decades after computerised in the east and in the mixed wheat/sheep
livestock selling became a national reality districts in the west. Separate sales are
Ray White Keatley’s Dale
in the form of Computer Aided Livestock held for sheep listed in the eastern and
Keatley notes the role
saleyards play in setting Marketing (CALM), AuctionsPlus — as western states.
national data on livestock it has been known since 2000 — trades Among the big attractions of
pricing — particularly the about $460 million annually worth of computerised sales for vendors, has
Eastern Young Cattle Indicator livestock, or about 394 000 head of been livestock not needing to leave the
(EYCI) — underpins their cattle and 2.2 m sheep. It has plans to paddock unless they sell, and freight
intrinsic value to the industry.
trade 20 per cent of Australia’s store and costs being covered by the buyer. Other
prime sheep and cattle within three years. persuasive factors supporting electronic
The business is jointly owned by selling selling include the price difference in
agency groups Landmark, Elders and offering cattle via AuctionsPlus at $6.50
Ruralco, and also runs regular machinery a head compared with an average $15
clearance auctions, wool sales, water in saleyards, or 70 cents/head for sheep
rights sales and it even auctions beehive against about $1 in most yards.
sites on NSW public lands. Both selling systems have a strong
AuctionsPlus allows commodity history and a solid, growth-orientated
transaction, reserve price setting and future plan — as well as a host of benefits
legal change of ownership without the to vendor and buyer, according to
seller, buyer or product having to come experienced livestock agent Dale Keatley,
together physically at the time of the of Ray White Keatley, Mount Gambier,
sale. south eastern South Australia.
Simultaneous and interface auctions are “There is no doubt that both selling
conducted on the system. Simultaneous options have cemented their place in
electronic auctions are unique to Australia’s modern livestock industry,”
AuctionsPlus and see all listed lots sold says Dale, who alongside wife Harriet,
simultaneously in real-time, online. The has been at the helm of Keatley Livestock
sale is controlled by the computer. (now Ray White Keatley) for the past 17
Interface electronic auctions are also years, and a stock and station agent for
live online in real-time but are interfaced the past three decades.
with a physical auction that is being “AuctionsPlus has really taken off in the
controlled by an auctioneer. A hand-held last few years particularly, and we see
wireless connected computer is used to agents coming on board this system now
bring the on-site prices to the internet that haven’t previously been converts.
screen for the remotely connected I’ve got a lot of clients requesting the
bidders to observe. These bidders can option now and the results are very, very
place a bid on their computer and the good. At the same time; the saleyard
result is immediately transferred to selling centres are seeing — and setting
the person on site with the wireless records for — some of the best prices in
device who will raise that bid with the many years, particularly in the cattle job.
auctioneer. This type of sale sells one When they’re on fire like they are now,
lot at a time and is controlled by the they’re very, very hard to beat and can
auctioneer who will decide the start price outperform over-the-hooks (OTH) prices
and the bid increments. and online auctions,” he explains.
AuctionsPlus cattle sales are held Dale notes the role saleyards play
weekly with the majority of the cattle in setting national data on livestock
(70 per cent) coming out of NSW or pricing — particularly the Eastern Young
Queensland. Two sheep sales are held Cattle Indicator (EYCI) — underpins their
each week attracting listings from across intrinsic value to the industry.
the country from Hughenden to Hobart “Saleyards govern the EYCI and in turn,
54 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
Market specifications
Meat and Livestock Australia’s three key steps to help producers meet market specifications are:

1. Managing the nutrition, health and weeks before sale, and during opportunities as feed supply,
welfare of sale animals to meet mustering and transport to achieve financial situation or market prices
target market specifications on time. optimal carcase dressing percentage change and selecting markets that
Focus on the relationship between and avoid downgraded product. maximise enterprise profit. Revisit
livestock nutrient requirements, Minimise the amount of potentially decisions about preferred markets
pasture availability and quality, discounted or unsaleable meat on a regular basis and the associated
and manage how these interact to caused by dark cutting (low blood methods and timing of sales, to
influence growth rate, composition glycogen and low pH) and bruising capitalise on changes in market
and product quality. through careful handling. specifications, market prices and
Managing livestock two to three 2. Regularly evaluating market selling options.

that relevant data guides AuctionsPlus AuctionsPlus since the beginning,” he


prices.” says, “the pioneers of the system had a
For fat cattle, the saleyards have been vision, and they’ve been proven correct.
a particularly strong selling system “The convenience for buyers, sellers For more information:
benefiting a range of operators, explains and importantly, the logistics side; the Visit Meat and Livestock
Dale. Likewise, the momentum generated Australia at www.mla.com.au
truckies, is very evident. Producers
through the face-to-face saleyard AuctionsPlus at
are able to retain full control of their
markets also draws record prices for www.auctionsplus.com.au
livestock and are assured of market value
many other livestock classes, including or phone Dale Keatley at Ray
or better when protected by the reserve
lambs. White Keatley on (08) 8724 8966
On the online front; simplicity, price set. Furthermore, there is a seven-
or visit
convenience and choice are clear day window for collection of stock, so www.raywhitekeatley.com.au
highlights of the AuctionsPlus online truckies are able to negotiate a suitable
auction system, explains Dale. time for pick-up and delivery suitable for
“I’ve witnessed the development of both parties.”

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55 Alarm FARMS DECEMBER 2017
BIOSECURITY

Cattle Health
Declarations: what
you need to know
T he Cattle Health Declaration is
currently gaining significant
When should I send a Cattle
Health Declaration with
to buyers who require them to move the
cattle after sale, you could be limiting
your markets.
exposure as a tool for producers to
my cattle?
address biosecurity concerns. It is
a document that allows producers When selling cattle, it is recommended
When do I not need a Cattle
to make an assessment of cattle you send a Cattle Health Declaration Health Declaration?
they might be purchasing and the along with your sale cattle in most
If your cattle are going straight to the
biosecurity risk those cattle may pose. instances.
abattoir or to a feedlot, you will probably
If a person requests a Cattle Health
The Cattle Health Declaration is starting find they will not request a Cattle Health
Declaration then you should provide one.
to be requested by producers buying Declaration.
Buyers actively managing animal health,
cattle from studs and saleyards. The declaration is for herd health
participating in Johne’s Beef Assurance
For many producers, biosecurity is a management. Feedlots and abattoirs are
Score (J-BAS) or trading in Johne’s
more concerned with food safety issues,
new concept, so it’s understandable disease sensitive markets are likely going
so will be wanting to receive the NVD.
many producers have questions about to want this document.
the cattle health declaration. If you are sending cattle to a saleyard, Where can I get a Cattle
you should send a Cattle Health
What is a Cattle Health Declaration with your cattle.
Health Declaration?
Declaration and why Cattle Health Declarations are available
How does the Cattle
should I ask for one online at the Farm Biosecurity website
Health Declaration fit www.farmbiosecurity.com.au
when buying cattle?
in with J-BAS?
The Cattle Health Declaration is a tool
How do I fill out a Cattle
If you are participating in J-BAS, you Health Declaration?
that can assist producers in assessing
should send and request this document
the biosecurity risks of new stock
as part of your risk assessment. Producers should answer the questions
being introduced to your property. It Requesting this document when you buy honestly.
is designed to be used when animals cattle can provide additional information, You do not need to test for any of the
are being bought and sold. It allows such as J-BAS level, or if there is an diseases on the cattle health declaration,
sellers to provide buyers with additional increased risk of infection in the animals but if you have done so in the past, you
information relating to the health of you are looking to buy. Having this should describe your results on the form.
the animals they are bringing onto their information gives you the opportunity Producers are making a declaration
property. to manage the risk of Johne’s disease in when filling out a Cattle Health
The Cattle Health Declaration is incoming animals. Declaration. When the form asks for
separate to the National Vendor specific vaccinations or treatments it is
Declaration waybill because the Are Cattle Health asking if you have applied anything to
questions on the NVD relate primarily to Declarations mandatory? the animals travelling to sale in the past
six months.
food safety, whereas the Cattle Health
The Cattle Health Declaration is not If you are participating in J-BAS you
Declaration is animal health related.
mandatory unless your cattle are should describe your J-BAS status in
Producers should request a Cattle
Northern Territory bound. This is an entry Question 6. While the form says optional,
Health Declaration to gather more requirement of the Northern Territory it refers to the scheme of J-BAS being
information relevant to the health of their Government. If you do not send this optional. If you have a J-BAS score, you
new purchases or incoming agistment document with your cattle they will should record your score.
stock. This helps producers manage the not be able to move into the Northern — Rachael O’Brien, manager
health of incoming animals as well as Territory until one is completed. If you biosecurity and extension, Livestock
their existing herd. don’t provide a Cattle Health Declaration Security Network, Queensland

56 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


BIOSECURITY

J-BAS Market Access Quick Guide


Should I fill in
Do I need a J-BAS to
a cattle health J-BAS status required
trade in this market?
declaration?
Sending cattle to a
Northern Territory
Yes - Mandatory Yes J-BAS 6 (to enter NT)
property or for live
export
Sending cattle
to slaughter to a
Yes - Mandatory No Not required
Northern Territory
abbattoir
Sending cattle to a From QLD/NT: J-BAS 7
Recommended - LB1
Western Australian Yes From NSW/SA/VIC/TAS: J-BAS 8
Form Mandatory
property Dairy animals: J-BAS 8
Sending cattle to
Western Australian Recommended - LB1
Yes All states: J-BAS 6
direct for export or Form Mandatory
slaughter
Sending cattle to a
Western Australian From QLD/NT: J-BAS 7
Recommended - LB1
property travelling Yes From NSW/SA/VIC/TAS: J-BAS 8
Form Mandatory
via the Northern Dairy Animals: J-BAS 8
Territory
Sending cattle to
West Australian
direct for export or Recommended - LB1
Yes All states: J-BAS 6
slaughter travelling Form Mandatory
via the Northern
Territory
Not required.
Note: if you bring JD infected
Sending cattle into No (unless your buyer animals or animals you believe
Recommended
NSW/QLD requests J-BAS) to be infected into the state you
must report this to Biosecurity
Queensland

Sending cattle into No (unless your buyer


Recommended Market driven
VIC/TAS or SA requests J-BAS)

Cattle to Saleyards Recommended Contact Agent Contact agent

Live export via QLD/


Recommended No Not Required
NSW

Cattle direct to
abattoir in QLD, NSW, No No Not required
VIC, SA, TAS

Contact Agent/
Catle to feedlots Recommended Not required
feedlot

57 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


As part of your LPA
biosecurity plan, you
Absolutely no RAM
for the pet lamb
must ensure your stock
do not have access to
feed containing restricted
animal feed (RAM).

E arlier this year, I recently had the


following text message exchange,
beginning with an inquiry about a pet
as ‘mad cow disease’.
BSE came to the forefront in the
mid-1980s when it was first diagnosed
sheep and her burning desire to dine in United Kingdom. Cows exhibited
with the dog: symptoms such as gait abnormalities,
“Lamb and dry dog food. Thoughts? behavioural changes (including
Rosemary* (not her real name) keeps aggression, nervousness, and frenzy),
trying to take the dog’s dinner!” and hyper responsiveness to stimuli. The
“Oh my goodness, no!” disease is progressive, and fatal.
As the message had come through on BSE is caused by prions, notoriously
my laptop, the poor person was then tough, infectious proteins. They are
inundated with information from me resistant to most disinfectants, heat,
about Australia’s Ruminant Feed Ban, ultraviolet radiation and many other
until the final message read: forms of disinfection.
“OK, I get it! Will make sure she doesn’t From a food safety perspective, there
go near the dog’s food. Also, being a pet, are rare instances where people can
I don’t plan to eat her!” develop variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob
So, what’s the reasoning behind the disease (vCJD), a human form of a TSE.
Ruminant Feed Ban, and what does it These cases have been linked to exposure
mean for you? It relates to transmissible to BSE-affected beef. The condition is
spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). fatal. It is important to note that vCJD
This includes bovine spongiform is different from sporadic CJD. Sporadic
encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known CJD is just that, sporadic, and its cause is
58 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
BIOSECURITY

Livestock Biosecurity Network, NSW biosecurity


and extension manager Rachel Gordon.

unknown. Most cases of sporadic CJD are disease entering Australia. been diagnosed over time in imported
diagnosed in patients with an average RAM is defined as any material taken zoo animals (a cheetah, in 1992, and an
age of 65. from a vertebrate animal, other than Asiatic golden cat, in 2002).
The total number of human cases of tallow, gelatin, milk products, or oils. It It is important to note that BSE has
vCJD diagnosed worldwide is less than does include rendered products such as:
never been recorded in Australia. By
230. The peak of the number of cases • blood meal;
adhering to the ruminant feed ban, we
diagnosed was in 2000, when 28 cases • meat meal;
can ensure it stays that way.
were diagnosed in the United Kingdom. • meat and bone meal;
In 1996, a voluntary ban on feeding • fish meal; Four top tips for animal feed (as part
ruminant material to ruminants was • poultry meal and feather meal; and of your LPA biosecurity plan):
adopted in Australia. This was designed • compounded feeds made from these • Read the label — ensure the feed does
to minimise the risk of a BSE agent being products. not contain RAM.
recycled as ruminant feed, should it be The need for completely avoiding any • Thoroughly clean your machinery
introduced into Australia. of these products is necessary due to of all RAM to prevent cross
Over time, laws have progressed to prions’ ability to survive the cooking and contamination of ruminant feeds.
a uniform legislation in all states and rendering process. • Ensure your stock do not have access
territories that prohibit the feeding of Other TSEs of interest to Australia’s
to feed containing RAM.
restricted animal material (RAM) to livestock industries are scrapie (affecting
• Keep records of your purchases and
ruminants. Prior to 1996, a separate ban sheep and goats), chronic wasting
Commodity Vendor Declarations for
on the importation of meat and bone disease (CWD, which affects deer), and
meal (MBM) from all countries other feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE). each purchase.
than New Zealand has been in force Scrapie was diagnosed in imported — Rachel Gordon, biosecurity and
since 1966. This was initially instigated sheep on a single property in 1952 and extension manager, Livestock Security
to reduce the risk of foot and mouth eradicated. Two cases of FSE have Network, NSW
59 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
VET TALK

Pig protocol: what you


need to know
H ave you ever thought of keeping a
couple of backyard pigs?
where pigs are kept need to have a
Property Identification Code (PIC). This
can be obtained through your state
Keep your pigs healthy — There are five
things you should do to keep your pigs
healthy:
It would seem that there’s not much to
it. department. 1. Have and adhere to a herd health
But it’s worth knowing that regardless Identify your pigs — You need to identify program.
of the size of your enterprise, pig owners individual pigs if you sell them or have
2. Do not feed restricted feedstuffs
play a vital role in maintaining the health them processed at an abattoir. Pigs more
(swill).
and welfare of Australia’s livestock and than 25 kg must be tattooed and pigs
3. Report unusual/notifiable diseases.
providing quality pork products to below this weight must be ear tagged.
Register on the PigPass database — You 4. Only use restricted (Schedule 4)
consumers.
will need a National Vendor Declaration veterinary medicines that have been
Furthermore, there are a number of
(NVD) when you sell your pigs or have prescribed by a veterinarian for your
requirements for pig owners that are
them processed at an abattoir. This pigs.
monitored by state government and
industry authorities. assists with tracking the movements of 5. Adhere to all label instructions on
So why all the fuss? livestock in the event of an exotic disease non-veterinary chemicals including
Pigs are recognised as ‘high outbreak or a food safety scare. The first dose rate, and withhold and export
risk’ animals for bringing in exotic step in obtaining an NVD is to register slaughter intervals.
diseases — through the feeding of with the PigPass database. To register, — Dr Jeff Cave, district veterinary officer
prohibited substances (swill) that contain visit www.pigpass.com.au or phone the Agriculture Victoria, Wodonga
exotic viruses. PigPass help desk on 1800 001 458.
The exotic diseases most likely to be Be welfare compliant — If you own or
introduced into Australia through illegal have animals on your land, you have For more information:
a duty of care to look after them. The Contact your local veterinarian or
swill feeding are Foot and Mouth Disease
Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Agriculture Victoria veterinary or
(FMD) and Classical Swine Fever (CSF).
animal health officer, or in NSW
So, what do you need to do when Animals (Pigs) outlines welfare standards
your Local Land Services.
keeping pigs? and “best practice” guidelines for pig
Register your property — All properties owners.
60 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Professor Sergey Shabala


Quinoa may
hold answers for
breeding salt-
tolerant crops
A new study into the breeding of
salt-tolerant crops has made an
important finding, which could prove
due to its natural resistance to abiotic
stresses, such as salinity, drought and low
temperatures.
instrumental in long-term efforts to “The remarkable salt-tolerance quality
address global food security. of quinoa can be attributed to epidermal
bladder cells, which have a volume
The research, published in the journal
around 1000 times greater of that of
Cell Research, found quinoa, which is
normal epidermal cells.
naturally salt-tolerant, could serve as
“As part of this study, we generated
a model for developing salt-tolerant
a high-quality genome draft using an
varieties of related crops including
inbred line of a quinoa cultivar. This
spinach and sugar beets.
provided important insights and enabled
Co-author Sergey Shabala, from the identification of genes involved in
the University of Tasmania’s School salinity tolerance, which provide the basis
of Land and Food, said intensification for molecular breeding in quinoa.”
of agricultural production and heavy Prof Shabala said the Food and
irrigation posed a significant challenge Agricultural Organisation of the
for global food security. United Nations had listed quinoa as an
“Unsustainable agriculture practices important future crop to ensure global
can cause soil erosion and soil salinity, food security.
which stunts the growth of crops and The research is a collaboration between
over a long period of time can lead to the University of Tasmania, Shanghai
infertile soils,” Professor Shabala said. Centre for Plant Stress Biology and the
“This latest research is helping to University of Wurzburg.
address this challenge by taking a The paper is available online
new approach to the breeding of salt- www.nature.com/cr/journal/vaop/
tolerant crops. We focused on quinoa ncurrent/full/cr2017124a.html
61 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
HOME BUTCHERY

Poultry: Stir-fry strips


by Steve and Lynn Bain

W e recently covered the


breast and thigh butchery
Turkey breast stir-fry strips
1. Last month we concluded with a turkey
sliced. Here it has been divided into the
three pieces similar to the turkey breast.
6. Start trimming the sinew away from
of various poultry species. This
breast that had been portioned into the chicken breast pieces.
issue we trim the meat into
three pieces. One large piece for the 7. The sinew trimmed away from the
strips for a stir fry. parmigiana (see last month’s recipe); and chicken breast.
Almost any meat muscle can be thinly two smaller ‘tenders’ that we prefer to
sliced into cuts suitable for quick frying. thinly slice into thin strips for stir fry. Duck breast stir-fry strips
2. Turkey breast tenders are very large
Most often we choose to trim the larger
(large compared to the tenders from 8. These muscles from the top of the
poultry cuts, such as breast fillets, firstly duck breast are very small and are easily
duck breasts). The four tenders in this
into portion-controlled pieces of 125 g image are from the two breasts from a separated from the rest of the breast.
to 150 g person, then we thinly slice the turkey. Note the white sinews in each This ‘tender strip’ is easily removed by
remainder into stir fry meat. piece. Later in this article we will see how hand (fingers) and a knife is not required.
We suggest the meat strips for stir fry to deal with the sinew(s). 9. The tenders removed from the two
need not be too uniform; a variety of 3. The thin strips are sliced from just duck breasts.
one of the ‘turkey tenders’ from a turkey 10. Identify the sinew; it is the solid white
lengths and widths adds to visual appeal
breast. Next, thinly slice the remaining membrane in this case, in the middle of
of the finished product.
tenders into stir-fry strips. the tender strips.
We’ve included the simple thin slicing
11. Having located the sinew, cut it out
steps for breast meat from turkey, Chicken breast stir-fry strips
from the meat, thus leaving two stir fry
duck and chicken in order to show the strips.
4. A chicken breast being filleted from
variances that the home butcher has to the bird’s frame. 12. The thinly sliced duck stir fry strips
contend with. It isn’t rocket science, but 5. In this instance the chicken breast (and the balled up to-be-discarded
the options are at times quite different. has been marinated prior to being thinly sinew).

1 2 3 4

5 6 7 8

9 10 11 12
62 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
Ingredients
Turkey stir fry
When making a stir fry, we like to vary the shape, size and texture of the ingredients in
the stir fry: cubes, strips, slices and shreds of a wide variety of vegetables.
• 1 sachet ready-to-cook You can also use whatever noodles you have on hand in this stir fry. The meat strips
noodles need not be overly regimented either; a variety of lengths and width adds a rustic
• 2 tbsp canola oil texture to the finished product.
• 500 g turkey strips As with many stir fries, the list of ingredients is often longer than the technique/
• 3 green shallots, finely method.
sliced
• 1 red capsicum, deseeded Marinade
and cut into small cubes
• 1/2 small cabbage (red, 1. In a sealable container, mix the 3. Place the container in the fridge and
green or a combination), marinade ingredients together marinade either overnight, or at least
finely shredded thoroughly and then add the turkey for three or four hours. Gently shake
• 1 small carrot, peeled and strips to the container. the container occasionally during the
grated marinading process.
2. Seal the container and shake gently
• Any other quickly cooked
to coat the turkey strips in the
ingredient of your
marinade.
preference

Marinade Stir Fry

• 2 cloves garlic, finely 1. Prepare the noodles according to 4. Add green shallots, capsicum,
grated packet instructions. cabbage and carrot to the wok and
• 1 cm piece fresh ginger, 2. While the noodles are cooking, heat stir fry for three to four minutes
peeled and finely grated the canola oil over a high to very before returning the turkey strips to
• 1 small red chilli, finely high heat in a wok. the wok. Then continue to stir fry the
chopped combination for one to two minutes.
3. When the oil is hot, add the
• 1/2 cup Chinese cooking 5. Drain the noodles thoroughly and
marinaded turkey strips as well
wine add them to the wok with the
as the marinade. Stir fry for a few
• 1/4 cup black vinegar turkey/vegetable mixture. Stir fry to
minutes until the turkey strips are
• 1/2 cup soy sauce combine, and then serve.
cooked through. Using a slotted
• 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
spoon, remove the turkey strips from
the wok and place them to one side
on a plate.

Handy hints:
You can substitute either duck, chicken or another poultry meat for the turkey.
Other vegetable ingredients may include, but are not limited to, small florets
of broccoli, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby corn and/or bok choy.

63 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


Carob pods are
turned into kibbles
Carob catching
the wave of health
prior to milling.

awareness
By Angela Zujic

C arob has an ancient history, going


as far back as Biblical times.
stores around Australia. The market for
carob in Australia is small, with the lion’s
share being taken by imported product.
The powder made from the dark brown
pods, grown on the large and long-living, In 2011, Australia imported 90 tonnes of
evergreen trees, is slowly coming into carob.
popularity thanks to a wave of increased Sophie Richards, the daughter of South
health awareness. Australian carob growers Carol and David
Botanically known as Ceratonia siliqua, Solomon, is optimistic the domestic
the carob tree is also known as St John’s product’s share of Australia’s demand
Bread. It is traditionally believed the will grow.
locusts that the Bible names as John the “Imported carob is for some reason,
Baptist’s food is a misnomer referring to bitter. Maybe they roast it for too long.
carob rather than the flying insect. I don’t really know why,” Sophie said.
Boasting an impressive nutritional “Once we can get our locally grown
profile, carob is valuable for its high- carob into the mouths of Australians, and
quality protein, its insoluble fibre, they see how much sweeter our carob is,
essential vitamins and minerals and they will want it.”
phytonutrients. The Solomons’ carob orchard at
Unlike its rival cocoa, carob is free Fleurieu, Port Elliot in South Australia,
from caffeine and theobromine, and was first planted 20 years ago. Sophie
is naturally sweet. Consequently, credits her uncle Andrew Gebhardt as
carob is most commonly seen in the the influence behind the 1998 planting.
confectionary section of health food “In the 1970s, the South Australian
64 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
David and Carol Solomon with
daughter Sophie Richards.

Government was recommending olives


and carob to farmers as potential crops
for the state. There were a lot of olives
put in around the state as a result.

“In countries like Spain there


are old, wild trees that are
hundreds of years old, and
these trees have been
harvested for generations.
There could be orchards
there now, but when my
uncle planted his trees, it was
the first planting of its kind.” The Solomons had to build a bigger shed to
Sophie Richards accommodate the carob harvest.

“My parents were not farmers. My father Sophie said. “It takes a long time to reap
“My uncle wished to diversify what he was a busy GP and it was my mother that any benefits from carob trees. We didn’t
was doing, so he looked at the potential propagated the seed and then planted do a lot in the orchard, apart from run
of carob. He became the first person to the young trees,” Sophie said. sheep between the trees.”
grow carob trees in forestry style. “A second planting was planned Sophie said when the family first
“In countries like Spain there are old, and grafted seedlings were ordered planted their carob trees, they knew little
wild trees that are hundreds of years old, and purchased from Colin Claire, a
about the best varieties: there are some
and these trees have been harvested for nurseryman in Broken Hill. These were
things they would do differently if they
generations. There could be orchards planted five years after the original trees
could do it again.
there now, but when my uncle planted were put in. In total we have 3500 trees.”
his trees, it was the first planting of its “There are variations in carob varieties
Perfectly suited for South Australia’s
kind.” conditions, the trees can do well with just as there are in apple varieties. A lot
Gebhardt’s vision for a carob industry little care. In the Barossa Valley they were of the varieties ripen at different times.
was focused on the pod seeds, which grown for shade. We didn’t know that at the time. If we
fetched a high price on the world market “Carob is drought and disease resistant. had known that, we would have picked
and were used to make a vegetable Late frost can be an issue, but as we are three or four varieties instead of the eight
thickening agent. coastal we don’t get much frost,” that we have.” >>>
65 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
ORGANIC CAROB

>>>
According to Sophie, three of the better the Middle East, and it isn’t a big seller in
Rows are spaced far varieties are Sfax, Clifford and Santa Fe. Australia.”
enough apart to allow Another important consideration Sophie said the next product produced
easy vehicle access to trees. for successful carob production is the for sale was kibbles.
necessity to grow male and female, or “We have a kibbling machine that de-
hermaphrodite, trees. The Clifford variety seeds the pods and chops them up.
and the Sante Fe are hermaphrodites. “The chopped up pods are carefully
Grafted varieties are more likely to roasted. These are the kibbles which are
produce consistent yields of pods. a great treat to munch on.
“It takes 10 years for any decent crops. “We sell kibbles and we also send
Crops get bigger every year with every
kibbles to Victoria to get milled into
second year bearing heavier. This year
powder. Some of that powder gets
the trees were fertilised with seaweed
turned into Banjo bars.”
and gypsum. We don’t fertilise every
The Banjo bars were the brainchild
year,” Sophie said.
of Sophie’s, and the tasty treat has
Until the trees were 13 years old, the
proven to be a success since first being
Solomons harvested by hand. The crop
marketed in in 2013.
size has grown to the point where hand
The Carob Kitchen, the business
harvesting is no longer viable.
“We harvest in March and April. To do under which the Solomons market their
this we have acquired an old almond carob, was recently granted organic
shaker. It works well, unless the grease certification.
in it gets low. If that happens, the trees
get ringbarked when they are shaken,”
Sophie said.
A larger harvest also necessitated a
larger shed. The original intention had
been to sell carob harvests to Carol’s
brother Andrew Gebhardt. David and
Carol realised they needed to find
another avenue to turn their harvest into
income when Gebhardt sold his property
to graziers who abandoned the carob
orchard.
Sophie turned her attention to the Turning raw product into
family’s dilemma. something recognisable has
“In the Middle East carob molasses is increased profitability for carob
big. It’s thick and very popular. So that is growers, David and Carol Solomon.
the first product we made with our carob
pods,” she said.
“We outsourced its manufacture to a
commercial kitchen. We had a lot of
For more information:
chefs trialling it.
http://thecarobkitchen.com.au
“It can be used sweet or savoury. Our
carob syrup isn’t as thick as the one in
66 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
NEWS

Sonny
wins dog
idol
T he search is over for Australia’s
working dog idol after hundreds
of hounds were entered in a model
search.
Sonny from Tintinara, South Australia,
and 15 other canines from across the
country have been named the top dogs
in the hotly contested campaign.
The 10-month old Blue Heeler is the
new face of Australian pipe fittings
manufacturer Philmac, which set out on
a nationwide talent search to find the
country’s most impressive working dogs
and its new brand ambassador Bluey.
Despite his age, Sonny is already
learning to muster cattle and is currently
being mentored in the ways of a true
Australian working dog by an older Blue
Heeler on the property in the Murray
Mallee region. Sonny the Blue Heeler, of Tintinara, South Australia
Sonny will have a professional photo is Philmac’s new brand ambassador Bluey.
shoot ahead of his image being
promoted throughout Australia and
overseas on screens, in magazines and
• July — Silver the Kelpie from Mintaro, every corner of Australia and the social
on billboards, while another 15 working
South Australia media engagement was off the charts.
dogs will appear in the 2018 Philmac
• August — Kelpies Dan, Brick, Ace Australians really love their working dogs
Australian Working Dog Calendar. They
and Bella from Carnavon, Western and the quality of entries was incredible.
include:
Australia “Choosing the winning entries for the
• January — Honey the Kelpie from
calendar was incredibly hard, but we feel
Clermont, Queensland • September — Bud the retired working
we’ve found some remarkable dogs who
• February — Gen the Sheltie-cross- dog from Ardrossan, South Australia
reflect life in rural and regional Australia.
Kelpie from Kingston, south-east • October — Rex the Red Heeler from “In Sonny we feel we’ve found an
South Australia Kerang, Victoria exceptional Bluey, a dog that truly
• March — Rosie the Border Collie from • November — Pippa the Kelpie from represents our brand values of trust,
Coromandel Valley, South Australia Bridgewater on Loddon, Victoria reliability and hard work.”
• April — Dusty the Kelpie from • December — Greta the Kelpie from All the successful dogs can be viewed
Invergowrie, NSW Mundubbera, Queensland at www.facebook.com/philmacaustralia
• May — Maz the Kelpie from Cummins, “The response to this campaign has The 2018 Philmac Australian Working
South Australia been extraordinary,” Philmac managing Dog Calendar will be available across
director Mark Nykiel said. Australia via Philmac’s 3000 regional
• June — Pine Grove Bonnie the Kelpie
“We received hundreds of entries from distributors.
from Bulart, Victoria

Honey the Kelpie from Pine Grove Bonnie the Sonny the Blue Heeler,
Clermont, Queensland Kelpie from Bulart, Victoria Tintinara, South Australia

67 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


COMING EVENTS

Small Farms in spotlight


at Moss Vale
F rom a working Kelpie show to
a mobile air rifle, there will be a
plenty to see and do at the two-day
chance to learn about sustainability and
environmental practices, and discover
products and information to use on their
The Sporting Shooters Association of
Australia will be on hand with its Mobile
Air Rifle Range, giving visitors the chance
Moss Vale Small Field Day in February. properties and small farms. to learn how to use a rifle, and safe
The Reptile Awareness Displays of practices and procedures. Children from
The event will be held at the Moss Vale
Australia will inform and entertain, 12 to 18 years old can participate with
showground in the Southern Highlands,
covering topics such as behaviours and adult supervision.
NSW from February 3 to 4.
characteristics of snakes. Entry to the Small Farm Field Day is $5
Along with children’s entertainment,
The reptile display’s business owner adults, and children free.
visitors will be treated to a showcase
Allan Burnett has 20-years’ experience
of livestock and animals, farm products
as an intensive care paramedic, and will
and equipment, and an informative and For more information:
teach techniques and tips to avoid snake
entertaining array of displays. smallfarmfieldday.com.au
bites. He will also present the latest in
An expected 5000 people will have the
first-aid treatment.

Earthmoving industry on show


T he three-day 2018 National Diesel
Dirt and Turf Expo in Penrith, NSW
will continue the tradition set in
grounds will run from Friday, April 13,
to Sunday, April 15, has become a focal
point for the industry.
Expo-goers can enjoy special
deals offered by businesses and the
opportunity to win high-value door
2016 by the Australian earthmoving Users of all types of equipment for the prizes.
industry to stage its own event. earthmoving and associated industries With most of the 2017 exhibitors
can see the latest technology at a already re-booking sites, expo organisers
The expo is a free entry, entertaining
leisurely pace, while their families enjoy said there were some limited sites still
and family-friendly event designed
entertainment and hospitality. available for other businesses.
for anyone with an interest in the
earthmoving and related industries, and The expo attracts people in the market
who wants to check out the latest in for major equipment upgrades or fleet
For more information:
earthmoving machinery, trucks, tools, additions, latest advances in ground tools,
www.dieseldirtandturf.com.au
systems and processes. trucks, specialised vehicles, materials,
The event at the Penrith Panthers finance, digital systems and more.

What’s coming up in your state?

November March

3: Canning Show, WA 6–8 : Wimmera Machinery Field Days,


Longerenong, VIC
10–12: Ballarat Show, VIC
9–10 : Wagin Woolorama, Wagin, WA
11–12: Mullumbimby Agricultural Show,
NSW 16–17 : South East Field Days, Lucindale, National Diesel Dirt and
SA Turf Expo in Penrith, NSW
17: Huon Show, TAS
23 (until April 3): Sydney Royal Easter
24–26: Bendigo Leisurefest, VIC Show, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW

February April Special notice:


Please confirm with associations
6–7: Karoonda Farm Fair, Karoonda, SA before attending any of these
3–4: Small Farm Field Day, Moss Vale,
events as dates may be adjusted.
NSW 12–15: Farm World, Lardner, VIC
To list your event: phone
7–9: Sungold Field Days, Warrnambool, 13–15: National Diesel, Dirt and Turf Expo, (02) 4861 7778 or you can email
VIC Penrith, NSW us at info@smallfarms.net
16–18: Seymour Alternative Farming Expo, 27–28: East Gippsland Field Days,
Seymour, VIC Bairnsdale, VIC
68 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
Alternative farming
expo a seasoned
attraction
M ore than 20 000 visitors are
expected to converge on Seymour,
Victoria, in February for the nationally-
Victorian Whipcracking and Australian
Bullock Whip Championships.
Visitors will be able to hear the crack
renowned Seymour Alternative and see competitors hit targets with
Whipcraker Nathan Griggs.
Farming Expo. precision as they whip their way through
The three-day event, one of the most routines. With $3000 in prizes at
successful alternative farming expos in stake, AWPA Victorian Whipcracking
the Southern Hemisphere, features more Championships and Australian Bullock
than 500 exhibitor sites across 6 ha at Whip Championship attracts competitors
Kings Recreation Park, Seymour. from far and wide. It’s a full day of action
The expo has been a huge drawcard for where you’ll see the youngest in the Pee
the regional town for more than 25 years, Wee division through to the men and
and organisers are promising another women in their respective divisions.
huge showcase of farming alternatives Expo visitors can all learn more about
and family entertainment from February insect production for animal feed and
16 to 18. human feed in Australia at the Grubs Up
Expo-goers will see the latest in Australia exhibition.
farm machinery, emerging trends in Meanwhile, in the Learning Hub,
agriculture and the many delights of a GOTAFE will explore numerous topics,
rural lifestyle. including managing deer, climate change,
Among the attractions for people of biosecurity on farms, raising chooks and
all ages will be unique farm animals and backyard beekeeping.
breeds, including alpacas, goats, cows, The Yamaha Supertank will feature live
camels and sheep. fishing demonstrations and there will be
The ever-popular Country Kitchen plenty of children’s activities, including Amanda Lolicato, from Barham
and Butcher Shop will again offer free workshops by Bunnings, camel rides, with Willba, 4 months old.
cooking classes and demonstrations in close encounters with reptiles and the
handling meat cuts. Animal Farmyard.
Working dog demonstrations at the With a farmers’ market, featuring
For more information:
Australian Working Dogs Rescue display homemade fresh food and products, and
Tickets and more at
are sure to impress landowners and city- so much more on offer — the Seymour
www.seymourexpo.com.au
dwellers. Alternative Farming Expo again promises
The expo also hosts the 2018 AWPA something for everyone.
69 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
small
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Measuring productivity by kgs per hectare, alpaca How to do a water infiltration test, Diseases
farming, Lincoln, Hampshire Down & Cheviot sheep. of cattle, Prevent problems with your septic
Angora goats, Salers cattle, Safe pesticide storage, tank, Irrigating a hillside without losing runoff,
Supplementary feeding for performance, Growing
Steps to boost your farm’s water storage, Lavender. and marketing persimmons, Pumpkin seed farming,
Olives, Steel fencing has benefits, Snails as a Goat meat, Clydesdale horses, Aussie farmed
MAR 2014 business, Better meat chickens & more. . DEC 2014 venison, pigs & more.

Keeping your fences stock proof, Making a business A crisis in the supply of phosphorous, Building a
out of worms, Controlled traffic farming, Produce chain of small ponds, Farming in alkaline soils, A
more lambs with better feed, Suri alpacas. Alpaca natural way to supress pests, Boosting lamb survival
special focus. Buying your first horse for the farm, with a simple barrier, Mobile shearing on a small
British cattle, Finding an opportunity in silkworms, scale, Farming wasabi, Seeing value in raspberries,
APR 2014 Protect poultry against predator attack & more. JAN/FEB 2015 Elliottdale sheep, Alpaca fleece & more.

An income opportunity in carbon credits, Using drone technology on the farm, Landscape
Establishing a camel farm, Australian White sheep. repair using non native trees, Growing grapes in
British Alpine goats, Limousin cattle and Murray a cool climate, Establishing a date plantation, A
Grey cattle, Testing structure & reliability of mud renewed interest in local garlic, Farming asian
bricks, Protecting livestock from stray dog attacks, vegetables, Getting into meat goats, Abattoir
Demand for jujubes, Growing heirloom vegetables access for the alpaca industry, Biodynamic lamb &
MAY 2014 & more. MARCH 2015 more.

An accreditation system for beef producers, Reduce the need for heavy culling, Winter chainsaw
Preparing for the winter ahead, Boosting maintenance, Experience farming in the city, How
productivity without chemicals, Organic vs much is bare ground costing you?, Livestock selling
biodynamic farming, Establishing your own
seed bank, the causes and remedies of erosion, options, Establishing a new pasture, Growing
Dragonfruit, Success growing seedless mangoes, chestnuts, Christmas tree production, Positive
JUN 2014 Waler horses, Boer goats & more. APR 2015 outlook for cashmere goats, Mini sheep & more.

Do you have a farm business plan?, Measuring eye Financing a farm business, Plants poisonous to
muscle area in cattle & sheep. Awassi sheep, Bees, horses, Police target rural crime, Producing biochar,
Managing water on a small farm, Pig health and Developing new livestock breeds, feeding livestock
management, A cereal crop for small area farmers, organically, Farming cocoa in the far north, Growing
Farming turf, The taste of success with hazelnuts, 120 varieties of apple, Macadamias, Suri alpacas,
JUL 2014 Poultry Passion, Fencing for beginners & more. MAY 2015 Saltbush lamb is popular, Dairy goats, pigs & more.

Take a close look at your farm insurance, Texel How free trade will aid small farmers, The difference
sheep, Alpaca Youth Paraders program, Square between perennial & annual grass, Remote
Meaters cattle, Buying your first small farm, monitoring for the farm, Preventing water loss
Growing the Australian native finger limes, Setting to feral animals, A petite variety of cauliflower,
up a vineyard, Farm kitchen garden provides a lush Growing strawberries, Mushroom farming, Organic
crop, Producing your own hay, Home Butchery & feijoas, Growing capers, Protecting crops, Alpacas
AUG 2014 more. JUN 2015 & more.

Planned grazing on a stud farm, Using cattle Using biochar for stock water filtration,
& sheep to manage weeds, Selecting trees for Understanding horse behaviour, building with mud,
shelterbelts, Persistence pays with organic herbs, Employing people on your farm, Measuring feed
conversion efficiency, Buying stockfeed online,
Hoof care for sheep, cattle & alpacas, Free range Farming vanilla, Generations growing potatoes,
pigs provide pleasure & pork, Miniature donkeys. Organic rice reaps rewards, growing ginseng,
SEPT 2014 Galloway cattle, Afrino sheep & more. JUL 2015 Llamas & more.

Spreading the word about permaculture, It is Government grants for small farmers, Silverleaf
important to control fireweed, A business farming nightshade treat, improving water quality in a pond
salmon and trout, Cropping Making a business from or dam, Regenerating a run-down farm, Using solar
SOLD OUT
bush foods, A change of plan for lavender growers, power on the farm, Truffle farming over in the west,
Dual-purpose sheep breeds for meat & wool. Growing quality ginger, Farming walnuts, Bison are
OCT 2014 Chianina cattle, Kalahari Red goats & more. AUG 2015 now back, Kojak sheep, Meat goats & more.

Whole of paddock rehabilitation, Is there a need Equitable sharing of creek water, Transporting
for snake ID, There are many types of ticks, How animals safely, choosing the right tractor,
healthy is your farm dam?, Things to consider Introducing new livestock to your farm, Australian
as a weekend farmer, Farming Spirulina, Globe grown pepper, Producing great olive oil, Getting
artichokes, Suffolk sheep, Developing alpaca into chilli farming, Coffee growing, Biodynamic
knowledge, Wagyu cattle, Producing waterfowl & lentils, Tukidale sheep, Galloway & Square Meaters
NOV 2014 more. SEP 2015 cattle & more

70 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


The end of the green revolution, Recycling nutrients Our farmers are innovators, Deep ripping, planning
using water troughs, Crossing a fence without a a fire bunker, setting up for sheep, Farming sea
gate, Hardy feedstock for ethanol industry, Lifting vegetables, Garlic farming, ginger in a small space,
soil and pasture health, Recognising land types Tennessee walking horses, Finding info on pigs,
on your property, Farming lychees, the Australian Romney sheep, Australin developed cattle breeds,
OCT 2015 miniature pig, Alpaca meat, Dairy sheep & more. APR 2016 alpaca, Poultry in the farm mix & more.

Storing moisture & nutrients deeper down, First Must have farm apps, minimising vermin impact,
aid for horses, Testing for faults in an electric Grow more pasture using a slasher, Winter
fence, Attending a sheep sale, new lease of life health check for livestock, Organic pest control,
for asparagus, Adding pecans to the farm mix, Lavender, Tomatillos, South African meat merinos,
Aussie pomegranates, Snail industry grows, Texas curly horses, Alpaca, starting up a pastured pig
longhorns make their mark, Keeping chickens enterprise, Goats, Geese, Exporting frozen octopus
NOV 2015 healthy & more MAY 2016 and more.

Understanding the effects of El Nino, Reducing Property environmental planning, using ferrets
summer heat stress in livestock, Keeping stockfeed to control rabbits, cattle yards for small farmers,
dry and pest free, Selling your meat at the front Muster stock on horseback, Sharing your farm
door, Camel dairy farming, Producing game birds, accommodation, Hydroponics, Viticulture, berry
Working dogs, Growing organic seedlings, Cherries farming, Farming kiwi fruit the organic way, Sheep
DEC 2015 and more. JUN 2016 breeds special feature, Guinea fowl and more.

Pregnancy & calving care for cattle, Living off the Benchmarking farm performance, Clipping alpaca
electricity grid, Taking care of springs and water toenails, hot composting boosts microbes, Gear you
need when fencing, Growing stockfeed, Coriander
holes, How to organise your own on-farm field day,
biodynamically, Wattle seed, rare pigs, Caspian
Setting up an egg farm, Growing rhubarb, Industrial horses, Goats for meat and fibre, Raising squab
JAN/FEB 2016 hemp, Making cheeses from goats milk and more. JUL 2016 pigeon, Farming an Aussie iconic fish and more.

How to build a better creek crossing, Guardian Farmers mentoring farmers, Using stockfeed
animals for the farm, Grow more grass using supplements, Pasture planning and grazing
computers, New dung beetle species released, management, Preparing for extreme weather,
Leasing land tips, Blueberries, Loquats, Akhal-Teke
Beekeepers now tap into manuka honey, Farming horses, Angus cattle, Merino sheep, Homegrown
deer for velvet, Potential for teff grain, Value in pork, An interest in naked Neck chickens and loads
MAR 2016 growing pulses, Coloured sheep, Poultry and more. AUG 2016 more.

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71 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


Livestock for sale Advertising available in this section from $54.00

Cattle
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For information contact Billyzon Stud Quality Registered stock available
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the Secretary, Denise Semen available from many show
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Sheep Alpacas

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Alpaca accessories and gifts
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For more information Farm and home items
and sales, contact: Farm and home items
Birthing & Cria care
Birthing & Cria care
Howard or Rosemary on
(02) 6928 4252 Husbandry products
Husbandry products per issue
mymmsfarm@gmail.com Vaccinators, Needles & Syringes
Vaccinators, Needles & Syringes
or visit Vaccines & Drenches
www.mymmsfarmwiltshires.com Vaccines & Drenches
Vitamins, Minerals,
Vitamins, Minerals, Pets and Packages available
Supplements
Supplements Pauline & Colin Glasser small
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New products added often
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info@1300alpaca.com
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72 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


FDNSW JUNE 2017 40PGE:Layout 1 10/5/17 1:04 PM Page 12

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12 FARMER Direct 73 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
June 2017
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75 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017


Protected Cropping
Australia deputy
Glasshouse to help
secure food future
chair Mark Massey.

T o develop the next crop of


horticulture growers and meet
rising food demand, Australia’s first
is only expected to widen. Current
and future Western Sydney University
students will have the opportunity to be
state-of-the-art vegetable glasshouse- at the forefront of this exciting time in
production research centre has been Australian food production history.”
launched by Hort Innovation and Protected Cropping Australia deputy
Western Sydney University. chair Mark Massey said it was fantastic
to see the ambitious project come to
The $7 million glasshouse will house
fruition.
various industry-driven research and
“Protected cropping is a fast-growing
“The expected findings development projects and university
industry because it offers the potential
that will come out of course material.
The research glasshouse features eight to grow more produce in an environment
this centre are exciting. where pests and external weather
temperature-controlled chambers and
Researchers will work influences can largely be controlled,” he
transitional glass that adjusts in colour
to manipulate inputs said.
with exterior light levels.
to create the optimum “Setting up a glasshouse, however, is
Researchers aim to produce the highest
environment to drive an investment, so knowing what the
possible commercial-yields with minimal
maximum harvest energy, labour, nutrients and water ideal temperature, water, nutrient and
windows and overall outputs. light levels are for different types of
yield for a variety of Hort Innovation chief executive John vegetables will certainly provide a great
vegetables, then share Lloyd said the combination of an ageing benefit to the industry.”
this information with horticultural industry with a fast-moving Western Sydney University vice-
Australia’s growers.” technological landscape and a rising chancellor Barney Glover said the
John Lloyd global demand for food means the university was excited about the facility,
Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre which complements its long history in
has never been more critical. agriculture and horticulture research and
“The expected findings that will education at the Hawkesbury campus,
come out of this centre are exciting. dating back to 1891.
Researchers will work to manipulate “The Hawkesbury campus is
inputs to create the optimum located on the peri-urban fringe
environment to drive maximum harvest of Sydney — perfectly placed for
windows and overall yield for a variety of conducting research and education to
vegetables, then share this information help drive Australia’s future horticulture
with Australia’s growers,” he said. productivity,” Professor Glover said.
“This facility also aims to attract new “Until now, nothing like this has been
entrants to the horticulture industry by developed locally to specifically suit
showcasing some of the most advanced Australia’s harsh climate. This essential
technology currently available. The piece of scientific infrastructure for
current demand for skilled glasshouse Australia is only possible through our
labour exceeds supply and this gap partnership with Hort Innovation.”
76 SMALL FARMS DECEMBER 2017
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Crossword Book Reviews
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