Experts respond to pasture SOS from under-siege Burdekin graziers
News release | 27 November, 2012
HELP is on its way for Burdekin district graziers battling against an Indian couch invasion.
In a district first, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is bringing pasture management experts to town to hold two workshops in early December.
The free "Improve Pasture Management and Give Couch the Boot" workshops will be held on December 4 at Alpha Golf Club, Alpha and on December 5 at Lancewood Station, Nebo-Mt Coolon Road. Both workshops will run from 8am to lunchtime.
"We are holding the workshops because graziers are telling us of their battles to stem the spread of Indian couch," DAFF FutureBeef extension officer Lauren Williams said.
"Indian couch is outcompeting improved pasture species in some areas, predominantly Buffel grass, and has the ability to adversely affect productivity.
"Indian couch invasion is a symptom of pasture rundown so these workshops will detail the causes and symptoms of rundown and management practices to bring back desirable species and improve pastures."
DAFF senior agronomists Stuart Buck and Brian Johnson will run the workshops, which will give graziers an in-paddock view of degraded pasture, and then some practical solutions.
Healthy pastures form the basis of success for all beef producing businesses. The economic cost of pasture rundown is estimated to have a farm-gate cost of $17 billion for Queensland graziers over the next 30 years.
"These are big costs for any business to confront and carry. Rehabilitating pastures is an activity that is insurance against rising costs - and prevents beef businesses carrying the burden of reduced stocking rates and providing feed supplements," Ms Williams said.
The workshop is presented as part of a joint five year project between DAFF and Meat and Livestock Australia, aimed at enabling graziers to increase productivity of ageing sown pastures.
To register for the workshops, or for more information, contact Lauren Williams on 49 67 07 32 or email Lauren.Williams@daff.qld.gov.au
Media contact: Andrea Corby, 47 601 548