Reefwise Grazing of Burdekin Rangelands
The Reefwise grazing of Burdekin Rangelands project is delivered to graziers within the high sediment yielding sub-catchments of the Upper and Lower Burdekin rangelands. It is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Building on the momentum achieved through the Reef Trust 1 Saving Our Soils (Promotion of A-Class grazing) project, Reefwise Grazing of Burdekin Rangelands will support 12 graziers to adopt whole of property management strategies that support improved water quality. The participating families include those continuing their journey from the original project, and a new cohort of graziers on the cusp of making significant business changes.
Through targeted training, capacity building and incentives, this project will assist graziers to improve the condition of key landscape, business, production and people assets of their business.
It will assist graziers to:
- adopt techniques that increase end of dry season ground cover (even during drought years), providing tools to match stocking rate to carrying capacity and manage stock numbers by identifying high performing animals (and culling freeloaders);
- undertake and document pasture and soil monitoring to proactively manage stock grazing pressure and minimise potential for declining land condition;
- incorporate climate variability into planning to ensure seasonal stocking rates match the expected pasture growth and forage quality;
- restructure road, fence and fire breaks to reduce the potential for infrastructure corridor erosion to occur; and
- implement proactive erosion management strategies to reduce the potential for gullies to actively erode further into the landscape.
The continuing landholders will become mentors for the new cohort of landholders, increasing peer-to-peer learning and providing trusted environments for practice change conversations to occur.
Graziers will participate in benchmarking activities to understand the current state of the land they manage and the trending functionality of their landscapes. A property management plan (with water quality focus) will be assembled, summarising historical and current business practices, and highlighting proposed changes to grazing management systems that support sound environmental and business management.
A training needs analysis will be conducted to determine the highest priority education and skill development courses to give landholders confidence to implement practice change. Priorities identified in the whole of property water quality plans, will be delivered with the support of incentive funds, to enable graziers to undertake grazing management practice change with improved water quality discharged to local catchments and the Great Barrier Reef.
Overall, Reefwise Grazing of Burdekin Rangelands will continue to provide extension support that enhances the capacity of landholders to implement improved connectivity between landscapes, grazing and business principles, and make sound decisions to advance their long-term capacity for building resilient and profitable businesses that deliver sustained water quality outcomes.