Regenerative Grazing Tools for Burdekin Soils and Pastures 2019- 2023

Funding: Australian Government’s National Landcare Program Round 2

Funding Program Outcome: By 2023 there is an increase in the capacity of agriculture systems to adapt to significant changes in climate.  

Partner: Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative (CHRRUP)

The four-year Regenerative Grazing Tools for Burdekin Soils and Pastures project is increasing the capacity of graziers to adapt their agricultural systems to significant changes in climate. The project is supporting three cluster groups of five grazing enterprises (fifteen enterprises in total) in the Belyando, Suttor and Cape Campaspe sub basins of the Burdekin River catchment. It promotes grazing management practices as a key tool to improving business resilience through improved soil health and pasture condition. The project is delivered by NQ Dry Tropics through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. It is a continuation of the Building Dynamic Burdekin Grazing Businesses project, also funded through the National Landcare Program.

  • An initial cluster group was formed in the Kilcumin area in 2018-19,  supported by project partner CHRRUP. This group undertook soil tests and a three-part soil health program with agroecologist David Hardwick of Soil Land Food. 
  • Two additional cluster groups were formed in 2019.
  • The project is helping to build resilience in the participating grazing businesses and support on-ground actions through skill development, planning and practice change activities
  • While the project supports targeted groups, field days held in the district are helping to build awareness, knowledge, skills and confidence in the broader grazing community.
  • The project acknowledges the integrated nature of grazing businesses and is supporting project participants through: Grazing BMP industry benchmarking (where appropriate), a grazing business action planning process, and implementation of identified actions through an incentive grant payment.
  • Project participants have also been given the opportunity to guide the content and delivery of capacity building events and activities
  • The project is also developing a Common Grass and Tree Identification Guide for Burdekin Graziers as well as short skill building films for graziers.

Graziers who participate in this project are:

  • learning ways to build resilience into their business through grazing management practices;
  • working in groups to learn from each others’ experiences as well as learn from a range of experts;
  • building skills and confidence in fodder budgeting to better match stocking rate to carrying capacity;
  • building skills and confidence in understanding soils, reading soil tests and identifying soil health constraints;
  • understanding how to manage grazing for soil and plant health to maximise nutrient and water availability for optimal pasture growth;
  • developing grazing business action plans that help decision making and guide on-ground actions;
  • implementing priority actions using a small incentive grant; and 
  • helping to guide the content of field days and workshops over the course of the project in line with the project objectives. 

What participants are receiving from the project:

  • Up to 20 soil tests over the life of the project.
  • At least three forage budgets from an expert.
  • Expert one-to-one, peer, and group learning opportunities.
  • Single day and multiple-day knowledge and skill building events.
  • Access to a small incentive grant.
  • A Grazing Business Action plan.
  • Support for the development and implementation of practical land condition assessment monitoring to assist with ongoing evaluation of management practices. 

What the project asks of participants:

  • Commitment to participate fully in the four-year project by signing an MOU. 
  • Host group or community events where appropriate. 
  • Two decision-makers from each enterprise are actively involved and attend events.
  • Sign up to a Landholder Management Agreement for a minimum period of three years to maintain any on-ground works funded by the project.
  • Participate in project review surveys.