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TAS Country : April 21st 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011 Tasmanian Country 13 Agrifood Skills Australia Leadership and Corporate Governance Training The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is now seeking expression of interest in a FREE da r ra eadership program to e he d at the Bridport Resort and Convention Centre 8.30 am Saturday 21st May -- Sunday 22nd May 2pm This program is designed to pro ide participants the opport nit to workshop and network with experienced professiona s to f rther de e op their comm nication and eadership ski s. The skills focus will primarily include: • ecti e comm nication ski s • Time management and organisationa ski s • ecti e and e cient managing and working with others • eeting proced res and protoco • mpowering indi id a s and gro ps • Understanding corporate go ernance and directors ro es • edia re ations • Understanding nancia aspects of an organisation The co rse is f f nded Agrifood ki s A stra ia (inc ding accommodation and mea s) as s ch p aces are imited to participants Registration is required by Friday 29th April For more information or to egister p ease contact David Taylor TFGA Project Coordinatior P: 6332 1800 E: David.Taylor@tfga.com.au 2055153-110422 greener pastures SURE THING: Richard Gardner, of Tunbridge, wants 1000ML. Picture: ROSS MARSDEN The current water supply only provides enough water in three years out of five to utilise these assets fully. The farm could sustainably support at least three more pivots.' years. ''In the years we need the water most it is at its most scarce,'' he said. ''The last two years have shown the potential of the area, but the problem has always been lack of a reliable water supply. ''The reliability of the Midlands scheme will shore up a base production figure for our farm. ''I would like to purchase as much Midlands Water Scheme water as possible, 300-500ML, to secure our investment in new irrigation infrastructure. ''The current water supply only provides enough water in three years out of five to utilise these assets fully. The farm could sustainably support at least three more pivots. The intention is to grow the number of pivots in line with available water supplies and land limi- tations. ''If I bought this water and never had to use it I would still be happy. Just like insurance, if you don't need to use it then you're probably going all right, aren't you?'' Mr Burbury added that it might encourage processors, such as poppy companies, to be more supportive of the farmers potentially involved in the scheme (and their bankers) by taking up longer-term contracts. Richard Headlam and his brother Chris farm Lowes Park (2080ha) at Woodbury and have just bought Ratharney (1193ha), also at Wood- bury. Lowes Park is a poppy, barley and sheep operation with established irrigation fed by two dams and a share in the Blackman Dam. The reliability of these is seven years out of 10. Ratharney is more suited to sheep with some cropping. It has good irrigation storage ca- pacity. Richard Headlam said they would seek 600ML in the Midlands scheme, split 50/50 between the two properties. ''It will mean a potential increase in pro- duction on the farm and create further opportunities, most importantly ensuring re- liability of supply,'' he said. Richard Gardner, who chairs the local irrigation group, farms the 2600ha Annandale property at Tunbridge. He grows poppies, barley and lucerne and stocks 5000 Merino ewes for wool and meat. He has central-pivot irrigation, using on-farm water storage, and plans to apply for at least 1000ML of new water. ''It will allow us to expand our irrigated cropping area and provide much-needed surety to our existing water supply,'' he said. Bill and Richard Webster farm Warringa at Woodbury, a 1200ha property that has been in the family since 1946. It produces wool, prime lamb, poppies and a small amount of grain. The farm also uses water from the Blackman Dam. They will be considering 200ML from the Midlands scheme. ''It will mean we can invest in another centre-pivot irrigator,'' Richard said. ''At the moment we grow poppies with our irrigation infrastructure in the spring, and pastures and fodder for our livestock in the autumn. In future, we think we can concen- trate more on irrigating our pastures and fodder, further increasing our stocking rate and creating our own seasons. Our analysis suggests that the real value though is that it gives us more flexibility in what we do. ''If we were to build our own dams, we would not be able to build them any cheaper per megalitre by the time the surety levels are taken into account. ''I would encourage other farmers within reach of the scheme to do the sums. There's no point in just talking about it. ''Also, keep in mind that if one enterprise market is down, another is likely to be up.'' Robert, Bridget, Sophie and Jock Campbell are mixed farmers at Cheam, Tunbridge. The 1600ha farm runs about 4000 sheep and 3000 lambs. Six centre-pivot irrigators use water from the on-farm dam to irrigate 700ha of poppies, cereals and prime lamb feed. ''Although we have our own storage, we are excited by the opportunity to secure some water from the Midlands Water Scheme,'' Robert Campbell said. ''This year we have plenty of, if not too much, water, but the memories of the disastrous 2006-09 drought still haunt us. The impact it had on our business emphasised the importance of surety of supply of irrigation water. ''We believe that with the Midlands water, during droughts instead of dust storms we will get above-average crop yields. You seem to grow your best crops under pivots in dry years. ''We believe that in the long term surety of water would encourage more permanent agri- culture and horticulture in the area, particu- larly dairy or viticulture. That would have a positive impact on employment and the local communities.'' He said he had yet to finalise the size of the allocation he would be seeking. ''I realise the capital cost of this new water appears to be high at the moment, but I think over time, with the creation of a stronger, more sustainable and resilient future for agriculture in the Midlands, the cost of the water will be forgotten and all the attention will be on the benefits,'' Robert said. The Midland Highway the landscape will change in the years ahead. It won't be a complete transformation from the present hue, but you will see new, brighter, fertile, productive sections in the sheep-run and forest patchwork, areas where the Midlands Water Scheme is being put to work. *Bruce Montgomery is a consultant to the TFGA News Renew Biological Fertilizer www.renewland.com.au Renew is a biological fertilizer that supplies nutrients and delivers significant additional long term benefits, including: Soil structure improvement Achieves and maintains sustainability Water retention capacity Sequests carbon If you re looking for a soil management alternative that will give you a sustainable competitive advantage call Hilton Henning on 1300 833 893 or 0417 301 135.
April 14th 2011
April 28th 2011