Ag Resources

#AgriUpdatesNorthWest

Our Ag Extension team are bringing you weekly updates on all things ag, released each Wednesday. Here you will find a collection of video resources containing the latest advice, seasonal updates and news designed specifically for producers across the North West.

All topics featured in the weekly video updates have a strong focus on production, and topics are relatable to practical application on-farm.

To keep up to date with the latest from the North West Ag Advisory team, follow the North West Local Land Services Facebook page or the hashtag #AgriUpdatesNorthWest on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about any of the resources in this series, please contact North West Local Land Services Livestock officer, Sally Balmain on Sally.balmain@lls.nsw.gov.au or 0428 280 809.


Tropical Pasture Technical Update

North West Local Land Services and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) held a tropical pasture technical update in Tamworth in June 2021, presenting the latest research in pasture systems and grazing management.

The key topic of discussion was how had the tropical grasses recovered after the drought and how to manage the incorporation of legumes into these pasture systems. Recent good seasons have seen an increase in the area sown to tropical pastures with landholders challenged with understanding the nutrient requirements of these pastures and how to maintain a healthy and productive pasture.

Attendees were predominately agronomists, consultants, and seed representatives from throughout the New England and Northwest Region.

The topics for discussion were selected after Local Land Services, Mixed Farming Systems Extension Officer, George Truman, consulted with agronomists in the region about what they wanted more information on.

“It is important that agronomists and advisers are kept up to date with new information and findings coming out of local research and on-farm demonstrations,” Mr Truman said.

“The feedback was that landholders are increasingly interested in tropical pastures, especially with the past summer providing exceptional growing conditions for those grasses with the increased rainfall.

Senior Research Officer for NSW DPI, Sean Murphy, and Senior Research Scientist for NSW DPI Suz Boschma were the key speakers, addressing topics such as establishment and management of pastures including legumes, stock performances on different pastures and the nutritional requirements of tropical pastures.

There were also in-depth discussions on cutting tropical pastures for hay and silage and the current on-farm trials using automated weighing systems for livestock, using opti-weigh and walk-over-weigh systems to monitor weight gain of livestock on these pastures. Livestock Officer for Local Land Services, Naomi Hobson, has been overseeing the trials and is excited by the new technologies and productivity of tropical grasses correlating to weight gain of stock.


Pasture Update 2021 for Producers

Producers from across the North West and New England attended the Annual Pasture Update at Tamworth in November 2021. The event was hosted by North West Local Land Services, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Grassland Society of NSW in November 2021.

Guest speakers included Dr Suz Boschma from DPI who talked about the latest research in grazing Desmanthus, a tropical grass which is increasingly popular with producers.

Attendees also heard from Dr Sean Murphy, who provided an update on digit grass and lucerne mixtures research, Andrew Chick from Optiweigh who presented the new in-paddock weighing system and Sally Balmain from Local Land Services who discussed the application of automated livestock weighing systems.

Other presenters included Dr Jonathan McLachlan from the University of New England who talked about the requirements of tropical legumes, CSIRO’s Jody McNally who spoke about the benefits of dual-purpose crops for lamb production and Bill Davidson who provided the latest research into Chilean Needle which gave producers first-hand information on how to deal with the problem. Videos of all presentations are shown below.


Upper Horton Soil Field Day 2021

Soil is the most important asset you have on your farm. Knowing what soil you have, its characteristics and its limitations, is important to how you manage your pastures and crops.

The Upper Horton soil field day looked at two soil pits under a tropical pasture and under cropping. The below video captures  Soil Scientist Rob Banks as he describes the characteristics of two soil pits and how to improve the management of your soil.


DigiFarm Webinar Series

In February 2022, the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute in conjunction with North West Local Land Services produced a series of webinars on agtech from the cloud to the paddock.

DigiFarm Webinar Session 1: Welcome to DigiFarm

In this first session you'll hear from Professor Alex McBratney from the University of Sydney as well as Kate Pearce and George Truman from North West Local Land Services about DigiFarm satellite sites, through a showcase of 10 farmers in North West NSW. You'll also hear from Dave Brodrick from Oz Forecast speaking about farm connectivity and Fiona Wyngaarden from Outlook Ag speaking about what the best growers are doing in AgTech.

This webinar was run by the Sydney University Plant Breeding Institute in conjunction with North West Local Land Services as part of the National Landcare Project.

DigiFarm Webinar Session 2: Cropping - the good and the bad

In this session you'll hear from Mitch Cuell from Outlook Ag speaking on AgTech in practice as well as Jim Arnott, a Farm Manager on the Liverpool Plains speaking about farm data consolidation. William Salter from The University of Sydney also speaks about weed control technology and Kate Pearce from North West Local Land Services about the Mulgate Creek Digital Pig Collaring Project. Finally, you'll hear from Darren Marshall, General Manager Southern Queensland Landscapes.

These webinars were run by the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute in conjunction with North West Local Land Services as part of the National Landcare Project.

DigiFarm Webinar Session 3: Livestock

In this session you'll hear from Naomi Hobson from North West Local Land Services and Ron Ison with a DigiFarm project update. You'll also hear about integrating sheep EID technology into a modern livestock business with Rozzie O'Reilly from Lambpro as well as a presentation on grazing management and exclusion fencing with Graeme Mulligan from eShepard. Finally, Edwina Warby from Black Box Co speaks about the future of data and how it can be used on farm.

These webinars were run by the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute in conjunction with North West Local Land Services as part of the National Landcare Project.

DigiFarm Webinar Session 4: Farm to International Fashion Market

Sundown Pastoral Company is a privately family owned Australian agricultural and pastoral enterprise, owned by David and Danielle Statham. They are world renowned for their innovative farming techniques, sustainable production methods and environmental stewardship.

In this webinar, David Statham outlines how digital agriculture has made it possible for them to produce the world's first traceable carbon positive cotton from their farms to the international fashion marketplace.

These webinars were run by the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute in conjunction with North West Local Land Services as part of the National Landcare Project.


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