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TAS Country : October 21st 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010 Tasmanian Country 7 News Legume plot to enrich soils BENEFITS: Leon Quilliam hopes the Daisy Banks trials provide information about which legumes most effectively produce nitrogen. KAROLIN MacGREGOR LEGUMES and their ability to produce nitrogen in pastures is the focus of some new trails in the state's North-East. The trials are being run on Peter Berwick's Ringarooma property Daisy Banks and are being funded by Meat and Live- stock Australia. The idea for the trial followed a Winnaleah and Ringarooma Beef and Cropping Discussion Group meeting. Trial organiser Leon Quil- liam said nitrogen fertilisers were expensive so the group wanted to find out the role legumes could play in helping to reduce that cost. ''What we're trying to find out isifitcanbedoneandifit's actually cost-effective,'' Mr Quil- liam said. ''If we can use the legumes to produce nitrogen naturally and increase our soil carbon at the same time, there will be some big benefits.'' The trial site is now estab- lished on Daisy Banks and a field day will be held on Novem- ber 8. The 8ha site will be grazed as part of Daisy Banks' normal grazing rotation. It will be divided into eight plots and will be sown with ryegrass and a variety of leg- umes, including lucerne, red clover and white clover. There will also be control plots with ryegrass only. Those plots will not be treat- ed, while other plots with rye- grass will have nitrogen ferti- liser applied at strategic times. The plots will be regularly tested to track changing levels of nitrogen and soil carbon. Mr Quilliam said he hoped the trials provided valuable in- formation about which legumes most effectively produced nitro- gen. ''Even if we find that they produce 75 per cent of the required nitrogen, that could be a significant saving across a whole farm,'' he said. ''Fertiliser prices are going to keep increasing, so farmers are interested in finding alterna- tives if they're cost-effective.'' Mr Quilliam said the trial, which is being co-ordinated by the Tasmanian Institute of Agri- cultural Research, had only been running for about two weeks. He said results would be available at next month's field day. ''It's a busy time of the year but we thought we'd hold a field day,'' Mr Quilliam said. ''It will enable people to come along and have a look at the site and see how it's set up and what we're doing.'' The field day starts at the Ringarooma Football Club rooms at 11.30am. Academic slams water authorities JENNIFER CRAWLEY NORTH-EAST farmer and university lec- turer Michael Powell has lashed out at bureaucrats in charge of water. Dr Powell said he had had ''terrible conflicts'' with water authorities over water allocations. ''When we've tried to have discussions, they just refuse,'' Dr Powell said. He said farmers in the Brid River and Forester River catchment areas first went through a process to sort out allocations 25 years ago. However, Dr Powell said the usage had always been greater than the licences that were issued. And he said the original allocations were issued on an ad hoc basis. ''I was sitting in a paddock with a water officer who said I would be given an allocation that would run about eight sprinklers,'' Dr Powell said. ''I said 'mate, there's 40 out there'. ''I said I wanted an allocation that reflected what I was doing.'' He said the water officer assured him that the allocation would never be check- ed. ''But of course it was,'' Dr Powell said. The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment conducted a water use sustainability project for the Bridport area in 2006. Dr Powell said the project revealed the actual usage was no more than a quarter of the historical usage. He was given surety six instead of surety five water at the conclusion of the WUS project. ''It's valueless,'' Dr Powell said. ''If it's raining I can take surety six water, but I don't need to when it's raining. ''They have destroyed my livelihood.'' He said an economic impact study was not done and the science was ''sadly lacking'' in the project. ''They just will not listen to you,'' Dr Powell said. ''They get angry when you start asking questions.'' Dr Powell has left the dairying industry because of the lack of water and now runs cattle and grows potatoes. He said the continual restrictions at key points of the year in January and Febru- ary made dairying more and more diffi- cult. Dr Powell teaches Australian history at the University of Tasmania's Launceston campus. He said the restriction of water from the Murray River was the story of Australian Federation. ''The biggest argument back then was what we were going to do about the Murray,'' Dr Powell said. ''Even then they wanted national control of it. ''This issue has been around for 110 years or more. We love the rivers and we don't want to see them die. ''If there's got to be a change give us time to adjust and tell us how to do it.'' DPIPWE manager of Water Manage- ment, Water and Marine Resources Div- ision Ludovic Schmidt said the depart- ment was not prepared to comment on the matter.Murray Basin fury: Page 32 AGED CA E G C A Continuing professional e elop ent s olars ips in lu ing ut not limited to Conferen es ort ourses or s ops ational nurse re entry Postgra uate s olars ips in lu ing ut not limited to asters progra s ra uate iplo as ra uate erti ates onours progra s olars ips are a aila le for nurses is ing to un erta e nurse pra titioner stu ies. R t li e k fe i l i i ti i d t t e t e t li e me t t e f d dmi i t t f t i m. freecall: 1800 116 696 c lar rc a r a rc a r a C r re f r at el l ty r t a ly f r a c lar : D C E AGED CA E tral a er e t f e c lar are a a la le f r r e are tral a c t e r er a e t re e t t erta e f rt er e cat al rt t e
October 14th 2010
October 28th 2010