AGRONOMY CONSULTING SERVICES

 

Our business is focused on assisting you to identify, plan and implement the key management decisions in developing and sustaining your pasture systems.

Pasture Establishment and Management
We will provide you with the latest agronomy technology in pasture improvement, including paddock preparation, pasture selection, establishment methods, weed and pest control, soil fertility management, fertiliser use and grazing management. We can also coordinate and conduct various farm contracting services to add significant value to your pasture programs.

Pasture Landscape Systems
There is a wide range of pasture systems available to match various agricultural land classes, including native pastures, introduced temperate and tropical grass and legume species . We can expertly advise you on the areas within your property which are best suited to each system, and formulate management strategies to sustain these.

Pasture Selection
Through our extensive field and pasture research experience, we can provide you with pasture and forage crop recommendations, as well as our preferred pasture blends for cattle, sheep, dairy or horse enterprises.

Equine Property Development
We are engaged and retained by Australia’s leading thoroughbred studs to design and implement their farm and pasture development programs. We work alongside a vast project team from property owners, to farm managers, architects, building contractors, fencing contractors, irrigation consultant and government agencies to ensure every project is undertaken to the highest professional standard.

Farm Mapping and 5 Year Farm Development Plan
A property map is an integral tool for farm planning. Farm mapping services can be undertaken. After evaluation and mapping of your property, we can provide you with a 5 Year Pasture Development Plan and Budget.

Farm Business Reviews
Financial planning and business performance reviews are an integral part of a commercial farm business. Through our associates, we can arrange these confidential services.

Agricultural Land Use and Capability Assessment
We have extensive experience in undertaking agricultural land use suitability and capability assessment for farm planning and environmental assessment projects. 

Farm Appraisal
We can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in your property or proposed property purchase. We can then provide you with guidelines in regards to farm development and management priorities. We can also carry out a full farm appraisal on a property before purchase.

Legal Support Advice
Legal support and expert witness for agricultural related matters. We can assist your legal team during matters of an agricultural nature. With our extensive agronomic experience we have been engaged on several occasions to provide expert opinions in legal proceedings.

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19 hours ago

Ross Watson Agriculture

We're attending the Grasslands Conference of Southern Australia in Ballarat this week! Eager to listen, learn and contribute to this meeting of largest network of pasture agronomists from most of Southern Australia.
Wet and green from Gundagai to Ballarat. Looking forward to opportunity to meet and discuss pastures and forage production and management with other keen agronomists!
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This is just one of my favourite fertiliser trials, as it provides us with so many valuable lessons and "Take Home Messages"!!
This is one of around 15 pasture P+S fertiliser trials I have conducted throughout the Upper Hunter and one of around 80 other detailed pasture fertiliser trials , that we conducted in the 1990-1996 period, with other District Agronomists, throughout the Northern and Central NSW , when I was District Agronomist at Scone. This was probably one of the most comprehensive pasture nutrition studies ever undertaken in NSW.
Long term trials , which experience and are measured over a full range of seasons, from good years to severe drought like this one run between 1990 to 1996, is much more valuable than short term trials only done in a good season.
Please study this graph.
So what are my "Take Home Messages"
* Rainfall listed under each bar shows the rainfall from autumn to spring in that year. Scone long term average from May to October is 300mm, so you can see had every season in this 6 year period, from above average in 1990 (340mm) & 1993 (310mm) to severe drought in 1992 with only 70mm. You cant change the rainfall but you have total control how your pastures respond to rainfall.
* Fertilised pastures respond to rainfall , under all seasons, even in droughts better than unfertilised pastures.
*Fertilised pastures grew 2-3 times more pasture in both good and bad seasons, than unfertilised pastures. Even in the low rainfall year of 1992 & the dry winter period of 1994, we recorded more than double the pasture growth than what was grown on the unfertilised pasture.
*Unfertilised pastures fail to respond to rainfall, even in good seasons.
*On average, over these 6 years which experienced every season combination, we grew less than 500 kg/ha on the Unfertilised pastures from autumn to spring, while we grew on average over 2300 kg/ha with fertiliser applied.!!! With the same amount of RAIN !!!
* Over the 6 years, we only grew a total of 3300 kg/ha on the Unfertilised pastures , while we grew a total of 14000 kg/ha on fertilised pastures over that autumn to spring period !! That's over 3 times the feed with the same amount of RAIN !!!
Having pastures that can respond to rain events under both good and tough seasons , will be a critical issues in our challenging climate.

Some say they can`t afford to use fertiliser.....however this trial and many other trials show that, " You can`t afford NOT to fertilise your pastures !
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As posted on several previous occasions now, this drought (2017+2018) was amongst my "Gang of 5" worst drought periods in the last 100 years, breaking several records during the last 24-30 months. But this drought, as at June 2019, has decided to continue in this mode and become our driest recorded 2 year June to June period, in some 118 years of records. (See Graph).
In the graph attached, the lower heavy line is our current cumulative rainfall over this 2 year period and shows how it has departed from the other years for lowest cumulative rainfall. We compare this line to all other 2 year periods, which appear as the "mares tail" fine lines across the graph. The central darker line being the median cumulative rainfall line for Scone.

Over this 2 year period, (June 2017 to June 2019) Scone has only recorded 699 mm which is 600 mm below the long term median rainfall for this period. Effectively we have only received around half our average rainfall for 2 consecutive years. When we look at its ranking for 3 year period (June 2016-June 2019) and 4 year periods (June 2015-June 2019) it is not the driest, but it is in the mix for these periods. Many areas in inland NSW continue to be severely affected by this drought.

One of the driest extended droughts in last 100 years appears to be the 1935-1941 period, when there was 7 consecutive years of drought like conditions. Fortunately most drought periods in recent times have been broken after 2 years of drought. Hopefully we are in that group? (For more reading see my Post on 22 March 2019.)

A 100 years of rainfall records is a 'blip" in Australia`s climate records and the last 100 years of data does not reflect the full range of drought and flood conditions experienced here. Recent Australian climate research looking at tree growth rings, coral cores as well as ice cores from Antarctica, is providing a clearer insight into now a 1000 years of climate data for South Eastern Australia. This work confirms Australia has over this period, experienced a highly variable climate fluctuating from combinations of wet and drought periods.

This research also confirms that seasonal droughts and megadroughts (more than 5 years drought) are not a recent man-made or new climate change phenomena, but have been a common occurrence over the last 1000 years . The longest drought period being 39 years in the period (1174 to 1212 AD), with researchers noting that this unparalleled drought was the exclamation point on a uniquely dry period in Australia, in which 80 of the 111 concurrent years (over the period 1102 to 1212 AD) persisted in drought.
Since the First Fleet arrived, in January 1788, they too were challenged by severe heat, droughts and floods, which makes interesting reading.
Remember, we do live on the driest inhabited continent in the world, but also every dry period has been followed by a wet period.
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Now listen up girls ! Listen up ! We know this drought has been tough and it's not over yet. I know you are all going to calve for the first time over the next few weeks and you will be OK , as you are all in great condition and we will look after you . Yes this drought is tough for everyone, stick together, support each other and lets all try to stay positive! It will rain again and the grass will grow. You are now dismissed ...carry on ! Murdoch 🐾 ... See MoreSee Less

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A long day but a good day, completing our pasture oversowing program for the Segenhoe (Stud) Group east of Scone. Management at Segenhoe Stud place a high importance on their pasture resources and the nutritional role they play in growing and feeding some of Australia's leading thoroughbred horses. ... See MoreSee Less

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