Graziers from across the Mackay and Isaac regions, and industry and research representatives were on hand at Koumala for the grazing field day run by Reef Catchments.
Attendees were very appreciative of the fact that the practical applications discussed at the meeting would greatly help them with their own operations, said Mandy Jeppesen, Reef Catchments project officer, grazing systems.
“The general discussion allowed them to share their own experiences in weed control, and to provide interactive feedback with other landholders.
“The topics covered by the presenters generated some keen interest and discussion amongst participants. Landholders particularly appreciated the ability to apply many of the concepts discussed to their own grazing operations.”
Participants were eager to hear the results from trials investigating the effect of the Yeoman plough in pasture revitalisation, and management techniques for control of Giant Rat’s Tail grass as presented by Michael Boland, Reef Catchments.
Of particular interest to the attendees was the spray calibration practical demonstration presented by Jim Fletcher, DAF.
This was followed by a trade display and discussion by Darryl Whittington from FarmHQ in Sarina regarding nozzle selection, spray water quality, and wetting agents which generated some very constructive discussion on chemical application in grazing.
The event, held at Windsor and Marlene Gordon’s property ‘Lazy Acres’ at Koumala, was hosted by Reef Catchments with funding from the Queensland Regional NRM Investment Program.
Windsor and Marlene are currently trialling the use of a Yeoman ripper for pasture renovation. Previous owners of the neighbouring property have used a Yeoman plough over many years Windsor had noticed the improvement in pasture growth, water infiltration and soil structure in the areas that had been ploughed, without disturbance to the soil surface that could result in erosion and a reduction in water quality due to runoff.
The purchase of the Yeoman plough was assisted via co-funding through the Australian Government’s Reef Programme.
Reef Catchments, through funds from the Queensland Government (QNRM Investment Program) have further engaged local agronomists, Farmacist, to conduct trials to assess the benefits of using the Yeoman ripper on the Gordons’ pastures.
The trial will continue to asses the benefits of using a Yeoman ripper for pasture growth, soil compaction and soil microbiology to improve groundcover and water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon.
“The biggest benefit, if we get back to a normal wet season, is the aeration and better pasture growth, especially where you have a good area of pangola,” said Windsor.
“The root system gets really thick and tends to stop water going into the soil. The plough can break it up and it really takes off after it’s been done.”
With thanks to the Gordon’s for providing the venue and wonderful hospitality. With thanks also to Michael Boland (Reef Catchments), Jim Fletcher (DAF), and Darryl Whittington (Farm HQ) Sarina for their involvement in the day.