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Beyond the Bale : Jun 07 - Jul 07 Supplement
RIVERS & WATER QUALITY 12 BEYOND THE BALE LAND,WATER & WOOL SUPPLEMENT More than 75 per cent of all woolgrowing properties have frontage to a waterway, be it a river, a stream or intermittent creek. Sheep need access to high-quality water to thrive, and the pastures alongside waterways (riparian lands) are often highly productive with good-quality feed. They can also present special management challenges -- for example, in optimising grazing management if the stream or creek is unfenced, in parasite control on wetter areas, in preventing disease transmission if animals cross the stream onto neighbouring properties and in preventing loss of infrastructure and stock during floods. The woolgrowers involved in the Rivers and Water uality sub-program have been able to meet these challenges by planning the use and management of riparian areas and waterways as part of their whole-farm plan. They have shown that: ú carefully planned seasonal grazing of riparian Riparian repair pays dividends Practical guidelines have been developed to help woolgrowers manage specific waterway issues on their proper ties "It is important to recognise that the battle for water quality is generally won or lost in the small creeks, gullies and streams within a catchment.These waterways make up three-quarters of the stream network length and are generally located on farms, so developing guidelines for woolgrowers to better manage them within the context of a commercial operation is vital to maintain water quality for downstream users." -- DR PHIL PRICE, Land, Water & Wool researcher The Weatherley family, of 'Connewarran',Victoria: "River and waterway management should be a part of the whole farm ecosystem and not a separate issue." pastures can improve species composition and feed utilisation, while also providing a filter to remove soil and nutrients from upslope before they reach the stream; ú retaining or planting native riparian vegetation can provide a valuable windbreak at lambing or for sheep off-shears, while also shading the stream and reducing water temperature and nuisance aquatic plants; ú determining the timing and intensity of grazing to best match the feed available from other parts of the farm and to meet animal demand (for example, to lift lamb weight or finish stock for sale) can increase profits; ú subdividing riparian areas to enable rotational grazing and resting of pastures maintains productive species and increases feed production; and ú controlling stock access to riparian areas maintains ground cover, reduces erosion, improves water quality and promotes natural regeneration of native plants. By integrating riparian management into the overall farming system, woolgrowers in Tasmania have increased pasture and wool production, while also promoting natural regeneration. In NSW the focus has been on preventing the formation of gullies, or on their stabilisation and rehabilitation. In South Australia the emphasis has been on optimising the use of riparian pastures and control of invasive, unpalatable weeds. These three regional projects have developed PHOTO: CURRIE COMMUNICATIONS
Aug 07 - Sep 07
Jun 07 - Jul 07