WE ARE THE PASTURE IMPROVEMENT SPECIALISTS

Ross Watson Agriculture provides pasture improvement and management advice throughout eastern Australia. Key areas of influence are the Hunter Region of NSW, Northern, Central and Southern Slopes, Tablelands and the coastal areas of NSW.

Agronomy Consulting

We will assist you to develop, plan and implement a comprehensive pasture development and management program for your farm .

Our point of difference is that we combine over 30 years of leading pasture agronomy knowledge with

30 years of practical, hands-on pasture establishment and management experience.

Improve Farm Productivity

Ross Watson is well recognised and respected within the agronomy service industry,  for his broad knowledge and practical experience in all areas of pasture establishment and management.

He will work with you on a “one-on-one” basis to develop a sustainable pasture improvement and management program , which contributes to improved farm profitability.

Farm Contracting

We are the leading Farm Contracting Service in the Upper Hunter region of NSW. We operate a modern, well maintained fleet of tractors and farm machinery to complete all operations required in pasture management and pasture establishment. Our professional and experienced Farm Services Division are regularly engaged to develop and implement all stages of property development and pasture improvement.
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MORE THAN 30 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL AND PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE

PASTURE IMPROVEMENT AND AGRONOMY SERVICES

We are focused on providing independent, experienced and professional pasture agronomy advice.

Ross Watson Agriculture provides pasture advice throughout eastern Australia. Key areas of influence are the Hunter Region of NSW, Northern, Central and Southern Slopes, Tablelands and the coastal areas of NSW. We provide quality advice on all temperate and tropical pastures as well as lucerne, forage crops and forage herbs. We do consult in other areas of Australia, as well as overseas.

We have more than 30 years professional and practical experience in all aspects of whole farm pasture development and planning, as well as pasture establishment and pasture management techniques. Our pasture advisory services primarily focus on servicing equine, beef, dairy and sheep enterprises, along with whole farm planning.

There are very few agronomy services in Australia with the breadth of pasture skills and experience of Ross Watson Agriculture. We are recognised leaders in pasture improvement technology. If you are serious about making your property and farm business stand out from the crowd, you have come to the right place!

Our Agronomy Consulting and Farm Services team has over 40 years of combined experience and expertise in whole farm pasture development and establishment. We are even available to carry out complete farm appraisals before selling or purchasing a property. You can have complete confidence in our pasture development plans and advice.

Take a look around our site and see the full range of services we currently provide to our clients.

If you have questions please contact Ross Watson direct on 0428 658 704.

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Drought tolerant subtropical pasture grasses are a MUST in our pasture systems! We have been using and recommending them for over 30 years. There are many excellent pastures 20 to 30 years old now and still good density despite several drought periods over this time.
The following pictures are of a new pasture we undertook last summer, under dryland conditions in this drought. Good fallow program is pivotal to this program.
Conditions were extremely hot and dry during it’s establishment.
We decided to sow in mid Dec 2018 after a 25 mm of rain on our sprayed fallow. The seedlings all germinated on seedbed moisture in 7 days. Then received another rain event of 35 mm in late Dec 2018 and then it went very dry and hot. In Jan 2019, only 28 mm and many days over 42C, Feb only 25 mm and many days over 38C. March a series of light showers, and a lucky heavy fall of 80 mm at the end of March and many days over 36C. Nothing in April, and only 18 mm in May 2019. Thought we might lose it, but it demonstrated it’s outstanding heat and drought tolerance from Jan to March 2019. Then it got the 100 mm in late March and took off. Pregnant heifers were placed on it in mid May. Such a valuable paddock in this drought!
This clearly shows what can be achieved by following our agronomy plans and the value of these summer active pastures. There are lessons here for all working through this drought!
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Benn and I attended today, the Heritage Seeds Northern Roadshow at Tamworth , "Powering Productivity and Profit" . Over 70 agronomists and producers attended the seminar.
A very good line up of speakers, that discussed several key aspects of pasture production , fertiliser use, sub tropical pastures and the key role pastures play in the multi-million Australian livestock industry. One of the novel presentations was by Nic Kentish from RCS, who highlighted the massive contribution that grassland , which account for over 30% of the earths land surface. Pastures throughout the world play a vital role in managing the worlds Carbon balance and how we could easily clean up the added carbon going into the atmosphere by only a small increase in our pasture systems throughout the world. Pastures and grasslands play a vital and underrated role in the health of the environment on earth. We are doing an important job growing pastures !!
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Preservation of groundcover is critical in our pasture systems all the time but especially in droughts. Groundcover is your "best friend" in a drought. If you mistreat it, there will be serious implications and hard to get back again , like a friendship.
I see many examples, where groundcover in this drought has been significantly reduced or even totally removed by overgrazing and constant stocking.There is a major cost to the farm and environment for this loss of groundcover which can have ongoing effects for many years. The total cost of this is action is often greater than the gain here.
The following charts I have prepared , from field research undertaken by Des Lang, former Soils Research officer with then Soil Conservation Service near Scone back in the 1980s when I was District Agronomist at Scone, is one of those "gems" of simple research, I have promoted to landholders for many years.
This work showed that you can easily loses 100-150 tonnes/ha of soil in low groundcover paddocks. Realise that 1 mm of soil over 1 ha is equal to 10 tonnes of soil. This soil loss can not be replaced readily. Soil formation is around 0.2-1.5 t/ha/annum, much lower than soil loss.
This research showed that landholders must aim to maintain at least 70% groundcover for soil protection and limiting rainfall runoff. The higher the rainfall zone or the higher the land slope then you should aim for 80-90% groundcover . On lower slope/flat land, or lower rainfall zones then 60-70 % is an acceptable minimum. BUT more is always better anywhere and anytime.
90% of these rainfall and soil losses occur with often less than 10% of rain events. Its those intense sharp storms or rain events that do the damage, which have a much higher probability of occurring from now through to say March that will be of concern for current drought affected paddocks.
The research showed that once groundcover dropped below the 70% groundcover level, the amount of soil loss and rainfall runoff just accelerated to very high levels.

Once the groundcover level get below 70%, the bare ground content starts to join up and water runoff and soil movement can build, join up and become a major events and losses occur. Having groundcover of more than 70% provides more traps to collect runoff and sediment movement.
Pasture and groundcover loss to low levels, largely through overgrazing, will result in poor harvesting and infiltration of rainfall during this drought phase or when it starts to break properly, limiting the water stored in the soil to allow full pasture recovery. This work showed that low groundcover paddocks allowed the equivalent of over 200 mm/pa of our rainfall , about 30% of Scone`s annual rainfall to runoff . Yes some runoff could go into water storages but it will have taken a lot of soil, silt , manure and debris with it , resulting in poor water quality in dams and creeks. The bigger effect is that loss of 200 mm of rainfall , means the drought continues , despite rainfall !!!.
These paddocks may take a very long time to recover and will extend your drought phase and drought pain.
Bare and overgrazed paddocks may need some remedial soil treatment or pasture oversowing program , better land management and some healing time , to help their recovery to productivity again.
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Tonight, Benn had our JD & Kiser Dragmaster out as our sponsorship contribution, professionally preparing the arena surface for the Australian Reined Cow Horse Associations ARCHA Pot of Gold Show at the new Scone Equine Centre at White Park this weekend.
If you want to see some real cow horse action this weekend, come down and support this weekend event in Scone! Get a group together, & come prepared for cold weather forecast. Beer garden, food stall, trade displays, kids fun area. Starts with Cutting at 1pm Saturday followed by evening entertainment of the feature Open and Non Pro Cow Horse event 6pm Saturday and more action from 7am Sunday!
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Precision Lucerne sowing well underway today, into the paddock we applied and incorporated ,the pre emergent herbicide Trifluralin into last week. We put in the time , to accurately calibrate the rates of seed and fertiliser and check and recheck sowing depth. We are using our Davimac Baker Boot tyned seeder fitted with finger harrows and rubber tyres roller. This unit is set to sow shallow, 5-10 mm. The tynes and finger harrows break down more soil clods, cover seed, provide additional mixing of herbicide in soil and level seedbed . The heavy rubber tyre roller firms the seedbed and provides better seed soil contact, to encourage uniform germination on rain or planned irrigation. Attention to detail is critical here. ... See MoreSee Less

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