HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : September 2010
16 September 2010 BEYOND THE BALE WOOL PRODUCTION Wool is a natural for our environment No matter where you stand on the climate debate, one truth remains: the best farmers are those in touch with their environment and willing to make the most of the opportunities as they arise. It is this philosophy and outlook that gives superfine woolgrower John Ive of 'Talaheni' near Yass, in Victoria, optimism for the future of wool growing in Australia. He was recently named as one of 30 Climate Champions across Australian agriculture by the Managing Climate Variability Program which is funded by a collective of Research and Development Corporations, in particular GRDC and MLA. John's selection is in recognition of his work in trying to make sense of the climate debate in Australia and willingness to work with a number of farming groups across south-eastern Australia. He is the only specialist wool grower selected amongst the Climate Champions. Over the next three years John will be working to provide a bridge between farmers, researchers and government agencies, helping to keep information and debate about the subject relevant and useful for those on the ground -- in paddocks, yards and woolsheds across Australia. He will provide a link so that farmers' concerns are brought to the attention of researchers and funding bodies. "So far the climate debate has been very complicated with a lot of misinformation and emotion leading to undue confusion and divisiveness," John says. "Australian woolgrowers have demonstrated they can produce the world's best natural fibre across nearly every possible landscape and lately through the driest 20 years on record. Many growers are very close to their environment and this stands us in good stead to face the uncertainty of the increased climate variation ahead." With rainfall expected to become more variable, John has planned to maximise soil moisture storage by maintaining year-round ground cover, maximising water infiltration, rotationally grazing and exploring new pasture species to better utilise soil moisture when it is available across the landscape. "I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary but I am always on the lookout for ideas and opportunities to make better use of the rain," he says. "We have to make better use of water when it is available. Trialling sub-tropical perennial grass species such as Premier Digit and Katambora Rhodes to make the most of summer storms by producing as much pasture as possible is an example of this." According to John, one of the hidden issues in a more variable climate will be FAST FACTS l Farmers from across Australia have joined forces in a new initiative to communicate and collect possible adaptation options to cope with climate variation. l The initiative gives farmers an opportunity to help improve communication between scientists and farmers. l Australian woolgrowers have demonstrated they can produce the world's best natural fibre across nearly every possible landscape. managing staple strength. "Producing a sound fibre has always been important, particularly for the 13 to 14 micron wool we produce from our predominantly native pastures. Ensuring consistent feed for a consistent fibre under a more variable climate is going to be a challenge but something I am already exploring. We need practical solutions to these sorts of issues using the best information we have." It is issues such as this which the Climate Champions program will be seeking to progress. While no one knows what the future holds, John wants to support anyone willing to look at new ideas and stay informed about how to make the best of the opportunities that present themselves in coming years. "Change is mandatory, progress is optional. Hang onto the past and you will lose the future," he says. More information: More details about the Climate Champions' program are available at www.climatekelpie.com.au; John Ive can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org "Change is mandatory, progress is optional. Hang onto the past and you will lose the future." -- JOHN IVE