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TAS Country : August 12th 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010 Tasmanian Country 7 News Wallaby control put back on the menu BLAIR RICHARDS NO matter how many they shoot or how many fences they put up, farmers are struggling to keep wal- labies under control. Last week the true ex- tent of the wallaby plague was thrust into the public eye when the Mercury re- vealed that a million wal- labies and pademelons had been shot in Tasmania during 2008/09. The total population of the animals was estimated to top 10 million. Last year's wet winter has led to further pressure on the land, as wallaby numbers exploded due to an abundance of feed. Chris Gunn, of Tea Tree, said there was no doubt there were more wallabies about. ''You've only got to see how many are getting run over on the Richmond Rd,'' he said. Mr Gunn said farming close to residential areas presented extra game man- agement challenges. However, he has not yet been forced to resort to employing professional shooters, as there have been enough recreational shooters keen to use his land. He said he had never been a big 1080 user, as it was difficult to get a per- mit. Mr Gunn said he had heard reports of more deer being sighted in the hills around Richmond, indicat- ing yet another grass-eater was growing in numbers. He said re-introducing wallaby and rabbit as a staple of the Australian diet might encourage more shooting and help keep numbers in check. ''50 years ago rabbit and wallaby was just some- thing you ate. Nowadays if you served it up to some- one under 20 they'd turn their nose up at it,'' Mr Gunn said, ''Wallabies are a beauti- ful animal but like human beings, in big populations they cause environmental problems.'' Forth farmer Mike Badcock said wallabies were a real problem in his area. A lack of grazing stock in the northwest cropping region left long grass around creeks and dams that tempted the wallabies. ''We've gone from hav- ing stock integrated with our crop, to most farms having intensive cropping. In one 300 metre long corridor on my farm, there was a group that shot 42 wallaby recently,'' he said. Mr Badcock said he feared what would happen when the native animals got a real taste for crops. ''They are getting into my cabbages and cauli- flowers. It takes them a while to get a taste for it. Once they get used to eating them I don't know what I'm going to do.'' Mr Badcock said control was difficult without 1080, which he had used in the past and found very effec- tive. ''It's hard unless you've got people who have got a lot of dogs and can shoot them out,'' he said. TESTING TIMES: David Kenyon with a cauliflower variety he has been trialling. Picture: KAROLIN MacGREGOR Local knowledge sows the future KAROLIN MacGREGOR Continued Page 8 YEARS of work trialling vegetable varieties suitable for Tasmanian con- ditions is taking the guesswork out of buying seed for home gardeners in the state's North. David Kenyon, from the Inspi- rations Garden Centre at Exeter, first began trialling vegetable seed varieties about four years ago. Mr Kenyon said with home garden- ing becoming increasingly popular, he saw a need to find out which vegetable varieties would grow successfully un- der Tasmanian conditions so he could give correct advice to his customers. ''A lot of people are actually new to gardening, so that knowledge about which varieties to use and when to plant them is just not around any more,'' he said. ''When someone is starting out in gardening, you want them to have success because if they don't they probably won't try it again.'' Mr Kenyon said there were very few growing trials conducted to test the suitability of vegetables for Tas- manian soils and climatic conditions. In an effort to find out which varieties were the best, he established some small growing plots on his property near Relbia. Mr Kenyon then set about growing a range of vegetables, from brussels sprouts and cabbages right through to broccoli, cauliflowers, celery, onions, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, sweet corn and Asian greens. ''It's only a small area, but I can have over 100 varieties growing here at certain times of the year,'' he said. Mr Kenyon said the plot was situated on a patch of fairly poor soil, which was a real test for the varieties. ''Basically I'm looking at every- thing, from how well they actually grow right through to planting time, and taste and flavour, and also things like how tall they grow and if they're susceptible to pests,'' he said. ''By trialling the varieties here, when people in the shop ask me which ones are the best I can recommend the right variety with a lot more confi- dence.'' Mr Kenyon said he initially started looking at the difference between varieties in an effort to source veg- etables that were more water-efficient and coped better with dry periods. From there the trails have ex- panded and he recently established another trial area on his property, which he will start to use this spring. Direct Importing agents and Manufactures PH Rob Ikin 0408 131 692 • USA manufactured premium pivots & linears • Irtec Quality hardhose irrigators • Electric and Diesel Pump Sets • Pipes and fittings SAVE $$$ Buying direct from us without compromising on Quality & Service 122 Boomers Road Launceston, 7250 2041641-100716 Thank you 'Sheep for a Seat' Eric Hutchinson, Federal Liberal Candidate for Lyons 2010 Authorised by Jonathan Hawkes, Level 2, 24 Murray Street, Hobart ADVERTISEMENT REAL ACTION TO GET THINGS DONE 17362Jav " I am overwhelmed by the strong support the agricultural community has provided me throughout my federal election campaign.The 'Sheep for a Seat' initiative exceeded my expectations. During this time of trying conditions for farmers, they have pulled together to donate sheep, two steers, two tonnes of oats and other contributions towards my campaign. I am very humbled and grateful for these donations. I am equally grateful for the hard work that is required in coordinating this initiative on my behalf. To all those who participated (too many to list here), please accept this notice as a grateful 'thank you' with much sincerity." Phone: 0447 777 251 e: email@example.com www.erichutchinson.com.au
August 5th 2010
August 19th 2010