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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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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This drought continues to break many long term rainfall records!
The last 6 months, April to September 2019, with ONLY 61 mm of rain, is now the driest 6 month period ever recorded and the driest April-September period in over 145 years (1874 to 2019) of climate records at Scone !
I have looked back through Scone`s climate records to find the TOP 20- Driest 6 month periods. They are presented and ranked in the Table below.
When you look at my table some interesting observations can be made. They are
• Very dry 6 month periods are a relatively common event, which you need to consider in your planning.
• These 6 month periods are just part of our natural climate cycle.
• These dry 6 month periods are NOT some new “Climate Change” phenomena, as you will see many similar events have regularly occurred throughout the last 145 years.
• The incidence of these dry 6 months is evenly divided over this period. In the first 72 years of this period there were 9 events, while in the last 73 years there were 11 events.
• The combination of low April-Sept rainfall in 2017+2018+2019 has made this drought severe.
• Interestingly, 80% of these extremely dry 6 month periods, occur in the autumn to early spring period eg March to August /April to Sept or May to October.
• The highest risk period for low 6 month rainfall is in fact April to September, as has been the case in 2017+2018+2019. Low April-Sept rainfall is a common occurrence.
• Only 10% of these TOP 20 driest 6 months occurred in January to June or June to November. Other 6 month period did not display consistently low rainfall.
• The good news out of all this is, maybe we might have gone through the worst with this very dry April-September. Based on previous events, the chances of moderate to good rainfall in late spring-summer , after a very dry April-Sept is reasonably good.
• To try to end on a positive note, yes, this drought is breaking new records, and remember “all records are rarely broken by much”.
• “In every perfectly sunny day, there is a storm hiding, and in every rain storm lies a drought waiting its turn. Up and down and the unexpected, are the norms of nature.” Dr Wayne Dyer.
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This is why I love subtropical grasses! They "laugh at droughts", they convert big or small falls of rain into quality feed like few other pasture species and they will be there for the long haul , good or bad seasons!! They are your "true friend"! This drought impacted dryland pasture has been well managed and has transformed to this nice new feed, with only 2 falls of 15 mm over about 5 weeks.
When we get through this drought, which we will do together, give us a call about getting a planned program going, to get more of these type of pastures into your farm.
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I would like you to remember our 6P's Rule. "Prior & Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Pastures" !
Nice even strike and weed free. I say that 80 % of your pasture or crop establishment is determined before sowing !!!!
You will recall we posted back on 22 & 30 July our preparation and precision sowing program for our client near Scone , establishing 100 acres of new Lucerne. These are pictures of this new stand establishing this week .Very pleasing result , with warm dry weather since sowing and limited irrigation.
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What RAIN can we expect in the next 4 months ?
A dominant feature of this 2017 to 2019 drought so far has been the consistently low April to August rainfall in these 3 consecutive years. This is something that has not occurred before in the last 144 years of recorded weather data for Scone.
2019 with only 51 mm is our 3rd consecutive year of well below average April to August rainfall, which followed 2017 with only 66mm and 2018 with only 58 mm for their respective April to August periods. The last 3 years have certainly been up there for low winter rainfall.
The April to August rainfall in 2019 of 51 mm has been the 3rd driest on record for Scone, 2018 was the 5th driest and 2017 was the 8th driest.
The two driest April to August periods were 1982 with only 38 mm, and 1888 with only 48mm.
Interestingly, Scone has suffered very dry winters before, over 130 years ago in 1888, which also was very bad drought year with only 256 mm for the entire year.
Presented in my attached graph is the 10 Driest April to August period since 1875!!
Our 10 driest April to August periods varied from 38mm in 1982 to 99 mm in 1994. Our driest April to August periods all recorded less than 100 mm in total, with the most of the very dry ones less than 50-60 mm. Our long term average for April to August is 207 mm. With ONLY 51 mm this year we have only seen around 25% of our long term rainfall for that period.
The graph is sorted from the driest April to August in 1982 to the 10th Driest in 1994.
Attached to each April-August rainfall amounts is the subsequent September to December rainfall amounts in mm of the same year. 2019 is sitting at 3rd driest April to August and waiting to see what it will do from here !

The 3 consecutive dry winters and low rainfall summers from 2017, 2018 & 2019 has made this drought unique when compared to other droughts. This drought has a mind of its own at present.
When you look at the Sept-Dec rainfall that was recorded after each of these very dry winters , we see there is NO pattern. The only pattern is, that we do get rain, which is pleasing, given recent rainfall patterns.
We have recorded in the 4 months, Sept to Dec, following these dry winters a minimum of 111mm in 2017 to a maximum of 406 mm in 1970. The average of these dry years is 188 mm. Even the driest 6 years which received less than around 60mm in the autumn-winter period saw anything from 100mm to 400mm in the following Sept-Dec period. Our long term average rainfall for Sept to Dec is 227 mm. These very dry April-August years, as a group, tended to receive a little less than the long term average rainfall for Sept-Dec, with still a respectable 188 mm.
Another encouraging fact I found in this data analysis, 50% of the Sept to Dec periods after the dry April to August periods experienced 2 of the 4 month period with more than 50 mm per month. There were 3 individual years with only 1 month receiving or exceeding 50mm in a month. However, one year, 1970 we experienced all 4 months in excess of 50mm. Only 2017 had no months exceeding 50mm. Based on this data, there is a moderately good chance that we will see at least 1 month and possibly 2 months with 50mm or more in the next 4 months.
Remember, if history is a guide to us, we have always receive rain after these very dry winters, with a low of around 100 mm to a high of 400mm and an average close to 180-200mm .
Just for interest, I have put in my estimate for total rainfall from Sept to Dec 2019, using the blue hatched column. I will leave it up to you to decide what you think might occur.
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