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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The lack of ground cover on many pasture paddocks due to continued grazing and overgrazing through this extended drought is going to extend many producers drought pain, even when it does rain. Preserving groundcover above 70 % should be one of your drought management policies.

For producers that have some very bare, hard surface pasture paddocks now, or your dedicated sacrifice paddocks, it might be advisable to consider a shallow working with the contour with a narrow tyned cultivator or tyned direct drill seeder. Not applicable to all situations, but may be a benefit to many areas I am seeing. This operation creates some mild surface roughness to slow rainfall runoff, allow better water infiltration and collect surface silt movement. The primary goal is to improve rainfall harvesting in your paddock profile for the surviving pastures or oversown pasture seeds to use during its recovery phase.

The two photos are two identical paddocks, same management, side by side with same slope, same lack of groundcover, same aspect. One untreated, and one treated with narrow tyned cultivator last week before the 25 mm storm rain event on the weekend.

The first picture is the untreated paddock in its overgrazed, bare, drought state after this weekend rain. Note the serious surface soil wash and obvious rainfall runoff/loss. Unfortunately, but to be expected, there was very little water infiltration into the soil surface. Surface soil loss represents a major loss of nutrients and organic matter. 1 mm of topsoil loss over 1 hectare is 10 tonne of soil !! Topsoil loss won't be replaced in our life time.

The second photo shows the huge benefit of implementing some simple soil protection strategies , with narrow tyned cultivator when there is no natural ground cover. Note no wash marks, no soil loss, minimal water loss off paddock , much better and deeper water infiltration very evident, even after this storm.

Drought recovery will be about effective rainfall harvesting. Pastures which have been carefully managed with strong ground cover will recover quicker, be more productive, be stronger and be healthier.
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Stones and rocks on hay or silage making paddocks don't mix , as we all know !! Now might be the time to clean up those paddocks (like our Farm Services Team are doing today) that have more stone than is desired for hay or silage work. Having clean paddocks that can be cut for hay or silage this year could be a major plus given depleted stocks of conserved feed on farm and throughout much of eastern Australia now. Hay will remain a high value product for a while, given this ongoing drought and high demand. Being able to sow a crop in autumn to graze in winter and then maybe make silage or hay in spring could be a high profit strategy. ... See MoreSee Less

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Our Farm Services Team had the pleasure this week of working with Martin and Kriston Feehan to commence their farm development program just outside Scone. Our first stage this week was to cultivate and clean up the surface stone, with our Schulte Rock clearing gear. Hundreds of tonnes of stone were cleaned up leaving these quality basalt soils, smooth and clean in readiness for their future pasture program. ... See MoreSee Less

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March is our preferred month for sowing early winter grazing crops such as Oats, Winter Wheat and forage grasses. . Some clients have asked, "What is the probabilities of various rain amounts in March?" We will be using this information to make decisions on time of sowing and the chances of decent rain to get enough moisture into our fallows, before sowing.
The following table provides you with the probabilities of various amounts of rain in the first half , second half and over the whole month of March , based on the last 120 years data. You can assess your fallows and develop your sowing strategy, for this year. The chances of decent sowing rain events in March are relatively low, but there is a chance, as seen in Table above. With NO subsoil moisture in most fallows, this year, the risks of sowing early or dry sowing are relatively high. Some rainfall models are indicating a good chance of decent rain events in March. Maybe this March will go "rogue" and RAIN ! As previously posted you need to be "Rain Ready"
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There is no doubt that this last 2 years has been amongst driest in recorded history in the Scone area and many surrounding regions. The last 2 years Feb 2017 to Feb 2019 at Scone has been, the driest Feb-Feb period ON RECORD (as at todays date) only recording a total of 766 mm over this 2 years, which is 580 mm below the long term average for the same 2 yr period. I

In my "Gang of 5" -worst droughts in recorded history, the next driest Feb-Feb period is 1918-19 which recorded 788 mm . Even the Federation Drought of 1901-02 and the drought of 1938-39 both had recorded 855 mm over the same period. The last of my "Gang of 5" is 1939-40 with 881 mm for same period. Once again as per my many previous posts, this current drought certainly joins my "Gang of 5" worst drought periods, in recorded history.

As I advised and strongly cautioned in several previous posts, these severe droughts, my "Gang of 5" tend to behave in a very similar way and largely mimic each other in Cumulative Rainfall, as seen in these chart I have created.

In an upcoming post, I will look what happened with my Gang of 5 in the following 6 months after this dry 2 year period.
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