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 : Dec - Jan 08
Ahandy new reference book that passes on the experiences of farming families and businesses across Australia has been published. Insights into mixed farming in Australia outlines a wide range of approaches that farmers have attempted in order to improve profitability in livestock and cropping. While also addressing sustainability issues, the booklet offers insights and ideas to other producers. As part of the Grain & Graze program, 40 mixed farms from nine regions across Australia have been analysed, and 26 stories about the way different people have approached various challenges were selected for the book. Contributing farmers have provided useful insights that will encourage others to consider mixed-farming systems in new, more efficient ways. The case studies reveal how farmers consider different information to make appropriate decisions, taking into account financial, social and environmental circumstances. With many areas enduring years of drought, a number of drought-management strategies are shared. Project leader Nigel McGuckian, principal of RM Consulting Group in Bendigo, Victoria, says the Grain & Graze program ultimately aims to improve people's lifestyle by helping them make decisions more confidently. "Many decisions are complex and, as social research h h wn, storytelling is ant for complex n-making -- these udies were an rtunity for stories told and shared," McGuckian says. ople have shared their ries -- 'warts and all' of how they manage e ups and downs of unning mixed farms." The stories illustrate how farmers can make decisions using management tools for improved p y marter farm management, improved practical skills and better natural resource management including water, soil and biodiversity. Areas covered in the stories include soils and water use, risk management, feedbase management, animal nutrition, grazing cereals, climate risk management and natural resource management attitudes and practices. Collectively, the knowledge and expertise provided in the booklet offer management practices for a whole-farm approach. The Grain & Graze program is a collaborative partnership between AWI, Meat and Livestock Australia, the Grains Research and Development Corporation and Land and Water Australia. ú More information: Insights into mixed farming in Australia can be ordered or downloaded from the Land and Water Australia website (http://products.lwa.gov.au/products.asp); or contact CanPrint, 1800 776 616, product code PK07133 Mixed-farming lessons shared Twenty-six farm case studies form the core of a new reference book on the challenges and decisions of mixed farming 12 GRAIN & GRAZE BEYOND THE BALE Grazing know-how hits the road To share stories about the benefits of grazing winter crops the 'Free Food For Thought -- Grazing Winter Crops Roadshow' will be held across seven regions of Australia's farming zones. The roadshow, taking off in February 2008 and comprising more than 18 events, will give farmers who are gathering information or have started to graze winter crops an opportunity to ask questions and gain additional information. Events will be held in the Avon and the Northern Agricultural regions of Western Australia, Eyre Peninsula and Mallee regions of South Australia, Corangamite/Glenelg- Hopkins region in south-west Victoria and the central west/Lachlan and Murrumbidgee regions of NSW. Specialist speakers, including farmers and consultants who have experience in grazing winter crops, will share their expertise. Now in its fourth year, the five-year Grain & Graze research program works with local farmer organisations, catchment management authorities, state agricultural agencies, CSIRO and universities in focus regions.With substantial work generated on grazing winter crops, the roadshow will present the data and results gathered. The roadshow will feature the grazing winter crop work researchers and farmers have collated, provide the information needed to help producers embark on a 2008 winter crop for grazing and help farmers make decisions to improve the financial and environmental performance of their enterprises. Ultimately, the aim of the roadshow is to motivate farmers to graze winter crops as part of their farming system. More information: visit www.grainandgraze.com.au early in 2008 for locations and dates of the 'Free Food For Thought -- Grazing Winter Crops Roadshow' events What South Australian mixed farmer Andrew Bates likes most about sheep is their ability to make money in dry years when cropping is a dubious proposition. Andrew grows wheat, barley and peas, and runs a 700-head flock of home-bred and bought-in Merino ewes that are put to Suffolk rams for prime lamb production, and a 100-strong stud of pure Suffolks. He and his wife Judy own 400 hectares at Butler Tanks on the east coast of Eyre Peninsula, share-farm or lease another 2000ha and do some contract cropping as well. Mr Bates says he likes to crop about two-thirds of available arable country, and this year he is farming a total of 1600ha. "We are full into no-till and stubble retention, although we do graze stubbles lightly in the summer," he says. "Everything is a compromise and sheep will pick up the waste grain and control summer weeds, particularly ryegrass, which becomes a problem if we get summer rain. "We are careful not to overgraze, particularly on the light soils.There needs to be a balance between things, because we also try to retain stubble on the heavy ground to conserve moisture, which tends to run out at the end of the season. Mr Bates attributes his flexible approach to mixed farming to his two years of study at Roseworthy College, where he took a Diploma in Agricultural Production. "Sheep give you a steady, reliable income over most of the year.You don't have to spray every paddock every year and they provide non-chemical weed control where ryegrass resistance is a problem, setting you up for two years of cropping where you can use low-cost and low-risk chemicals. "Some people leave a paddock out of cropping for the sheep, but basically there's nothing in there for them to eat." In Mr Bates's system he has the option of taking sheep numbers up by sowing a paddock of oats and vetch and has doubled his stocking rate, at times, by putting effort into pastures. "It does involve a bit more work, but it's possible to time the operations for sheep to fit in with the cropping work; and, with the lambs and wool, they provide a reliable income later in the year when most croppers are at peak debt." Grain & Graze has contracted two consultants on Eyre Peninsula to examine the effects of changing the percentage of farm cropped.The aim of the work is to increase farmers' ability to find the best enterprise mix for their properties. Each farm in the study showed a different response to crop intensity, but all had a decreasing profit at 85 per cent crop intensity.The study found that: úgross margins in well-run stock enterprises compete well with those from break crops in all rainfall zones in the Eyre Peninsula region; úas cropping intensity rises, the percentage of break crops increases; úplant investment increases with higher cropping intensities, with a resulting increase in machinery depreciation; and úhigher crop intensities increase chemical and fertiliser costs. More information: www.grainandgraze.com.au. Crop intensity helps find best enterprise mix To learn more about local Grain & Graze activities, contact a regional coordinator REGION REGIONAL COORDINATOR CONTACT NUMBER Avon (WA) Linda Leonard 08 9690 2191 Border Rivers (NSW, Qld) Kathr yn Taylor 07 4671 7960 Central West/Lachlan (NSW) Jodie Dean 02 6895 1015 Corangamite/ Glenelg-Hopkins (Vic) Cam Nicholson 03 5258 3860 Eyre Peninsula (SA) Naomi Scholz 08 8680 6233 Mallee (NSW, SA,Vic) Zubair Shahzad 03 5021 9103 Maranoa/Balonne (Qld) Nick Christodoulou (interim) 07 4688 1450 Murrumbidgee (NSW) Katrina Sait 02 6924 4633 Northern Agricultural (WA) Philip Barrett- Lennard 08 9475 0753
Oct 07 - Nov 07
Feb - Mar 08 Supplement