Graziers learn from each other to improve water management

“Drought was a great educator, it taught us that we had to change if we were to survive”, said Baralaba producer Ross McLean at a recent NQ Dry Tropics Healthy Landscapes Field Day held at Mt Coolon.

Thirty industry representatives, and graziers representing 14 enterprises, attended the event to hear about different ways to improve water management, increase production, and reduce sediment losses to the Great Barrier Reef.

Ross  spoke about his family’s grazing journey, and explained that he decided to change his management practices after witnessing his neighbour’s positive results.

“By implementing a cell grazing regime, we have been able to double production, and increase groundcover and grass species grown. This means our family is better placed to deal with succession planning,” he said.

David Rankine, from Bunoro Station at Torrens Creek, shared his experiences with strategic management strategies to improve land condition and productivity, even in the hardest of environments.

Resource Consulting Services (RCS) General Manager David McLean discussed plant growth, rest periods and the need to not just measure your resources, but actively use the information gathered.

“By turning data into meaningful information, we can make informed and accurate decisions,” he said.

The day wrapped up with Ken Yeomans presenting on Keyline farm planning, a management tool that uses natural landscape contours, coupled with selected farming techniques, to slow, sink, spread and store rainwater, as well as build soil fertility.

“Keyline is an ordered set of principles, techniques and systems. When fully utilised, Keyline Designs produces strategies and tactics to develop the natural or existing landscape through regeneration and enhancement,” said Ken.

All attendees indicated that the topics discussed were relevant to their businesses and that they would use what they had learnt to improve their land management.