OVERVIEW

OVERVIEW
Landcare Farming can improve profitability,
maintain the productive capacity of a farm’s
natural resource base, and improve a farm’s
capacity to cope with adversity.

Australia’s natural resources are declining faster than we are able to protect and repair them. Issues such as salinity, soil acidity, pollution of waterways by nutrients, and loss of native vegetation are costing agricultural industries and the community billions of dollars.

There is an urgent need for a national effort to further develop sustainable landcare farming systems if we are to see major landscape improvements over the next 50 years.

Farmers, land managers and agricultural industries are increasingly realising that environmentally sound production offers benefits in terms of business liability and profit, while having benefits for the environment.

For more information about the affect of sustainable management on land values, visit the Conservation Broker website. This site fosters brokerage of conservation land and provides additional information for both real estate agents and landholders. Also of interest is A Good Environment Sells – A manual to assist Real Estate Agents identify and market environmental values of properties.

The Landcare Farming resources section provides information and links to further resources for landholders wishing to explore more sustainable landuse practices.

Topics include:

Property Management Planning
Environmental Best Practices
Minimum Tillage
Weed Control
Pasture and Vegetation
Erosion Control
Salinity
To find out more, take a look at the PDF files of successful case studies below:

Pasture cropping brings up profit by 25 per cent
Colin Seis – Gulgong – NSW

Colin Seis has increased profitability by an incredible 25% on his mixed farm in the NSW central tablelands. He stopped fertilising, allowed native pasture to regenerate, introduced pulse grazing to rest pastures, and sowed winter crops directly into summer-growing pastures. The water table has dropped, biodiversity has skyrocketed and profitability has increased because of reduced inputs. The Department of Agriculture uses his farm as a model of sustainable and profitable low-input farming.

Collecting a year’s irrigation water in one rainfall event
Ron & Sue Watkins – Frankland – Western Australia

Considered by some to be too small to survive, Ron Watkins’ farm in the WA woolbelt is a thriving certified organic enterprise. Ron took careful stock of his geography and rainfall. He calculated the amount of water he could sustainably harvest, and built a massive dam. Neighbours laughed – until a single rainfall event filled it with enough water to irrigate crops for a year. He produces a diverse range of outputs, including vegetables and aquaculture, and sells to niche organic markets.

EMS helps increase crop yields
Sharni & Shane Radford – Moriaty – Tasmania

Shane and Sharni Radford, who are in Tasmania’s top ten onion growers, adopted an environmental management and auditing system to allow them to sell onions for export to the UK. Using a whole farm plan they adopted sustainable farming practices that improved health, safety, environment and productivity. Onion yields have increased from 69 to 91 tonnes per hectare and this year they enjoyed a bumper season for their other crops in spite of drought, the result of years of good farming practices.

Carrying capacity quadrupled due to inputs
Peter Vanrenen – Logan, Victoria

Peter Vanrenen and his family have increased their stock carrying capacity at least fourfold on their mixed farm in central Victoria. Since the 1950s they have tackled erosion, cultivated improved pastures including deep-rooted perennials, built soil health with fertiliser and trace elements and carried out major earthworks including contour cultivation and constructing dams to use all available rainfall. The carrying capacity has quadrupled, wool is of better quality and topsoil has increased.

Bare polished ground transformed
Dick, Ann & Steven Cadzow – Alice Springs – Northern Territory

The Cadzow family have transformed parts of their grazing property near Alice Springs from bare, polished ground to a diverse ecosystem that can support stock. Ripping rabbit warrens, removing feral animals, building ponding banks and pitting large bare areas have all helped native grasses to flourish. They have increased carrying capacity from almost nil to four cows per square kilometre. The increased production is well on the way to paying for the cost of rehabilitation.