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Beyond the Bale : March 2011
1818 selling more wool September 2010 Beyond the Bale March 2011 Beyond the Bale 18 on-farm Woolgrowers in the Australian pastoral region are looking outside the box for ways to manage climate variation. Irrespective of whether producers consider that the recent drought and floods were caused by “climate change” or simply extremes in climate variability, the result of these events has had a significant impact on the grazing land, producers’ businesses and producers themselves. Bestprac recently released a report outlining a number of strategies that are being implemented by producers to adapt to climate issues in the pastoral zone. The report also contains supporting case studies that provide real examples of how pastoral businesses have changed in response to drought and climate issues. Pastoral producers have always been innovative, and their innovative approaches have broadened during the challenging conditions experienced through climate variability. According to the report, producers have had to address a range of issues: environmental, economic, social, technological and political. The report states the strategies implemented by producers are not hard to implement; what they require is good planning. Often it is a combination of one or more strategies to establish the ‘best-fit’ response for each individual business. The report is based on outputs from Bestprac’s “Implementing new practices to manage climate change variability in the Australian pastoral zone” project, during which a survey was undertaken with producers and an issues paper was developed. Four State Forums were also held to discuss climate change strategies. This project was supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under the FarmReady initiative, part of Australia’s Farming Future. More information: The report “Best Practice Case Studies and Climate Change Management Strategies, and Future Climate Change Training Needs for the Australian Pastoral Zone” is available on the Bestprac website www.bestprac.info fast facts l Bestprac has released a report outlining strategies producers can implement to adapt to a variable climate in the pastoral zone. l The changing climate has caused producers to address a range of issues: environmental, economic, social, technological and political. l John Parnell from South Australia is using Old Man Saltbush as a way of maintaining stocking rates during low rainfall periods. Managing climate variation in the pastoral zone about bestprac GROweR neTwORk GROuP COORDInATOR PhOne eMAIl Bestprac (Pastoral) Carlyn Sherriff (08) 8842 1103 firstname.lastname@example.org Sheep Connect NSW Michelle Anderson (02) 6391 3954 email@example.com BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB (Vic) Lyndon Kubiel (03) 5761 1649 firstname.lastname@example.org The Sheep’s Back (WA) Bob Hall (08) 9736 1055 email@example.com Sheep Connect SA Ian McFarland (08) 8226 0428 firstname.lastname@example.org. au Leading Sheep (Qld) Tony Hamilton (07) 4688 1270 email@example.com ov.au Sheep Connect TAS Andrew Bailey (03) 6336 5385 firstname.lastname@example.org awi state networks AwI state networks provide opportunities for woolgrowers and producers to make changes to their production and management practices. To learn more about how you can get involved, call the coordinator in your state/region. To find out about the recent activities of the AwI state networks, read the latest edition of The network’s news newsletter at www.wool.com/networks Bestprac is a program that provides support and coaches pastoral wool, sheep meat and cattle producers to improve their business and production performance. The Bestprac network is supported by AwI. Typically Bestprac groups participate in a combination of workshops, field days, research trials or study tours. But Bestprac is “ more than just group meetings”; it is about networking, social support and motivation in an often harsh and isolating environment. The specific Bestprac approach has empowered groups and individuals to innovate, remain in the industry and contribute to their communities. Bestprac groups operate in western Australia, South Australia, new South wales and Queensland. The Bestprac website has a website at www.bestprac.info. It provides project overviews, group profiles, latest news and best management practice tools. Visit the website to register as a user and receive a free monthly e-newsletter.