ABOUT ROSS WATSON

PASTURE IMPROVEMENT SPECIALISTS

Ross Watson Agriculture P/L is one of Australia’s leading independent providers of pasture agronomy advice.

Our point of difference is our extensive and independent technical agronomy knowledge, combined with our extensive “hands-on” field experience with all facets of pasture agronomy and management . We do “walk the talk” every day. We have over 30 years experience in agronomy consulting, which include all facets of pasture improvement. From paddock preparation, pasture establishment techniques such as conventional seedbeds, direct drilling and aerial spray-sow pastures, to pasture species selection,  soil nutrient and fertility management, fertiliser selection and programs, weed control, and grazing management.

We are the recognised specialists in pasture establishment, management and development programs. We are often engaged to help clients, both small and large, beef cattle, thoroughbred horses, dairy farms and mixed crop and livestock operations to develop detailed farm development programs which are appropriate for the various agricultural land classes throughout every farm.

Over the last 20 years Ross Watson Agriculture has been become recognised within the Australian Thoroughbred Industry as the leading equine pasture agronomist, consulting to all the major thoroughbred studs and being the agronomist responsible for the pasture redevelopment on many of the leading established studs as well as being engaged to design and implement the pasture and farm development of many new stud farms throughout Australia.

We pride ourselves on providing personalised, one on one, pasture agronomy advice to a full range of clients, such as lifestyle properties, broadacre primary producers, as well as large corporate clients throughout Australia as well as internationally. Key client service areas include, the Hunter Region, Northern, Central and Southern Tablelands and Slopes regions of NSW. We have been engaged to provide pasture agronomy advice for specific clients in Victoria , South Australia, King Island and South East Queensland.

We also consult to various government agencies, industry groups, farmer interest groups and corporate agribusinesses. We have also been regularly engaged to undertake independent research and development work in pasture species evaluation, fertiliser product evaluation and the development and evaluation of herbicide products for some of the Australia’s leading agribusiness’.

Our other services include, property assessment, farm planning, farm budgeting and benchmarking, legal support and expert opinions, research and development of agricultural products, working with government agencies on agricultural and land management issues.

We can also provide you with the full range of farm contracting services to establish and maintain your pastures.

We do “walk the talk” everyday !

Career Background.

Ross Watson commenced his agronomy consulting career in 1980, when his was appointed as the District Agronomist with NSW Agriculture at Scone , in the Upper Hunter Region of NSW. He quickly became recognised and respected by famers and the ag-industry for his knowledge and advisory skills in many areas of pasture and forage crop agronomy , farm development programs and  pasture / woody weed control. He excelled in his work developing new pasture establishment methods such as aerial-spray sow and direct drill pasture improvement programs. He authored many leading and popular extension and advisory publications, on pastures, fertiliser and weed control, while in the position as District Agronomist at Scone, many of which are still referenced and used today. In his service at Scone , Ross was the longest serving Agronomist ever to occupy that position , (which still stands), with 16 years of exceptional service until 1996. There is not many farms that he has not been on in the Upper Hunter. He loved his time in that position and had established a strong following within the farming community in this Region as well as central and Northern NSW.

In 1996 he formed Ross Watson Agriculture to service clients in the Upper Hunter as well as other areas of  NSW and Interstate. This was the first agronomy consulting business of its type in the Region at the time. Ross Watson Agriculture is a long standing and respected agronomy consulting business today.

Today he continues to offer that experienced, professional and independent pasture agronomy advice that producers have come to trust and admire.

He has always been “a leader in his field” and his company continues to deliver this level of service to his clients !

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DECENT RAIN is on its way for much of eastern Australia , over the next 10 days !!! There has been a major positive shift in our weather pattern of recent weeks. There are many factors driving this change. I know we have all seen these models and rain predictions before, which have not delivered , but this system and follow up rain systems developing, are very good and different. The Hunter, Northern Slopes and Tablelands may see in excess of 100 mm over next 10 days.
Steady soaking rain, not storms and gully rakers is what we need in our fragile drought landscape. Look forward to hearing your rainfall recordings !!!!!!!
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RAIN is ALL we would like for Christmas. This is the universal Christmas gift request for 2019 !!! There seems to be a positive change in our weather pattern developing which could bring some rain soon.

Everyone knows of the great poem “Said Hanrahan by John O`Brien, about possibly the most pessimistic farmer – with his constant belief “we`ll all be rooned, says Hanrahan, before the year is out” . I am sure we all get like this at times or know someone like this. Lets remain positive.

The poem does well define life on the land with droughts, floods, bushfires, crops, stock and the like and the cycles that we all know it follows.
Yes this drought is severe and continues, but it will rain again, like all previous cycles ! Reflect on the lessons you have learnt from this experience, and how it will be used in your future management.

Christmas is a time to reflect on what we are grateful for and the importance of family, your health and friends .

A small extract from the “Said Hanahan” poem, as the local farmers gathered around their local Church on a Sunday morning , may be worth remembering.

“If rain don’t come this month” said Dan, and cleared his throat to speak,
“we`ll all be rooned”, said Hanrahan, “if rain don’t come this week”
A heavy silence seemed to steal, on all at this remark,
and each man squatted on his heel, and chewed a piece of bark.
“We want an inch of rain we do”, O`Neill observed at last
But Croke “maintained” we wanted two to put the danger past.
“If we don’t get three inches man, or four to break this drought,
We`ll all be rooned” said Hanrahan, “before the year is out.”
In Gods good time, down came the rain and all the afternoon
On iron roof and window pane
It drummed a homely tune.

The poem goes on to describe the rains continuing, bringing lush pastures, bountiful crops and smiling faces on district folk.These days will come again, here too.

Thank you everyone for your tremendous support and interest on our Facebook page this year. There will be lots to discuss and talk about in 2020.
All the very best to you from our family to you and your families.
Take the time to enjoy this day.
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Is this a sign !!
It is interesting that over the last 2 weeks and again this morning during a client project , we have seen several Goannas in our daily work , in many and different locations, doing their thing and then climbing up a nearby tree. That’s probably more than I have seen in probably 20 years.
Goannas have spiritual significance with the Aboriginal people.
I like this story
The Spiritual meaning of the Goanna, is inner power and strength and hasn’t everyone had to find that in this drought.
Aboriginal elders would say “ if you come by a goanna climbing up a tree, it is calling for RAIN to bring back life to the land, calling to the spirits, who may be willing to listen and send RAIN !!!
We hope the “rain spirits” are listening and willing !
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Our most EXTREME rock picking project now completed !
Most rocks were rockmelon to 20 litre drum size with some larger rocks 60 cm across, as seen in pictures. This work has turned a previously heavily rock covered paddock with limited productivity , poor eye appeal and low land value, into now clean country that can now go under a pasture redevelopment program to greatly improve productivity, safety, usability and value.
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Much of the Upper Hunter was very fortunate to get around 25-50 mm yesterday, with most recordings tending to be around the 20-30 mm bracket. Nice fall , but we all know good follow up rain is needed.
The following table for November rainfall data, provides you with a little insight into the probabilities of certain rain events. Big rainfall events are rare , small single rain events are more the norm, generally less than 20 mm in any single rain event. Getting more than 150 mm in November is very rare with only 5% of Novembers recording over 150mm. The lowest November recording 1mm in 1936 ,highest 177 mm in 1961, with an average around 59mm.

Based on the last 118 years of rainfall data , to get around 25 mm or the old 1 inch of rainfall in a single day recording, like yesterday, is only a 34% chance or 1 in 3 chance. There is only a 3% chance of getting 50 mm in a single fall and no previous recordings of more than 100 mm in a single event.
The chances of getting bigger rainfalls in November obviously increase with extra days eg over 7 days or over 30 day month. For example there is a 53% chance of getting more than 50mm in the month and a 15% chance of getting more than 100 mm. Refer to my table to pick your bets !

Little rain for next week but expecting some rain again around mid November.
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