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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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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Here she comes ! Not long now as I am sure you are all tracking. Best looking rain front for sometime. With good falls in western NSW it looks very promising !! Hope we see 100 mm of steady rain over night. ... See MoreSee Less

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GOOD NEWS RAINFALL STORY ! MAYBE….
Looking at my detailed tables attached, it is very clear that drought periods of 12, 18 and 24 months have been a regular feature of our climate history and cycles. This is not some new climate phenomena and similar events have been occurring over the last 100 plus years. Yes 2017 to 2019 will be written into the drought history pages, like the others before it.
I have looked at the rainfall data for Scone to determine the DRIEST 12 months, 18 month and 24 month periods prior to 30 September, in any year , from 1874 to 2019, to see if it can provide some indication of the possible rainfall scenarios for the coming Oct-Dec period, that everyone is hanging on to for rain.
The TOP 5 DRIEST years, for 12 months, 18 months and 24 months prior to September are presented. All the well-known “DROUGHT CULPRITS” show up throughout this list. Yes, periods in this drought from Oct 2016 to Sept 2019, make several appearances in this drought show!
Looking through the Tables, (which you will need to study), you will see that we did get some decent rain events in these following 3 months. The long-term average for Scone in October to December is 184 mm.
These very dry periods have tended to see from a low of 117 to a high of 290 mm and an average of 192 mm. In fact, in most of these years they saw around average rainfall, which is well above what we have been seeing!
The Federation Drought period of 1st Oct 1900 -30th Sept 1902 shows up to have a 2 year drought rainfall pattern and amount very similar to 1st Oct 2017-30 Sept 2019 !!!!.
Most other drought periods in this list tended to follow very similar patterns. See our Maps. Rainfall amounts and distribution look amazingly similar.
So maybe the rainfall received in the 1st Oct to 31 Dec period in 1900-1902 might also be a guide to what might occur in Oct-Dec 2019???
The NSW rainfall map from Oct to Dec 1902, following the drought of Oct 1900-Sept 1902 shows good rainfall, possible areas of flooding in coastal areas with around average rainfall for inland and nearby ranges including the Hunter. Will it do the same?
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