January 2019
Stories, News & Events from the District
Happy New Year to you all!
2019 is shaping up to be a very active year for the Lower Blackwood LCDC. In addition to our ongoing Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI) Fencing & Revegetation Project we will also be commencing the 2019 REI Soil Testing Program , Smart Farming Partnerships - local fertiliser trials, the Scott River Action Plan & a Values Study on riparian restoration in the catchment.

PLUS we are very proud to announce that we were successful in our 'Riparian Rescue - protecting riparian zones from weeds' project application for the State NRM program.

We look forward to working with our landholders to protect important waterways by controlling weeds in riparian zones that would otherwise out-compete native species. More details will be available in the coming weeks. What a great way to kick off the new year!
Our Land Champions Series:
 Jan White & Gudrun Thiele - Knowledge & Passion A Winning Combination
Hard working volunteers are often shy about beating their own drum, this is certainly true of quiet achievers Jan White and Gudrun Thiele - through their respective community volunteer roles, both have dedicated countless hours working to protect Augusta foreshore’s health. 

Together they are building a healthy social landscape as well as supporting and regenerating the local environment, nourishing the community’s landscape in more ways than one.
Read more about these true local land heroes!
Be Weed Aware

As part of our new Riparian Rescue project, & to help landholders identify & act, each month we will be shining the spotlight on weeds that are causing problems in our Riparian Zones.  


Bridal Creeper is a perennial climber with annually renewed spineless stems sprawling aggressively for several metres and climbing quite high into trees. It forms a thick mat of underground tubers which impedes the root growth of other plants and often prevents seedling establishment.

Method of spread
Bridal creeper plants can produce more than 1000 berries per square metre. Birds feed on the berries and later excrete the seeds at perch sites, usually within 100 m of source plants. Movement of soil containing roots can spread plants further.

Control Methods:
  • Biological Control (Rust application, Leaf hopper spread)
  • Herbicides
  • Hand weeding

Got this weed or want to know more? Read the full report..
Source: A Review of Bridal Creeper Control in the Southwest of Western Australia 2018 by Geraldine and Steve Janicke, prepared for the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group
REI Soil Testing Program 2019

The 2019 program has commenced with 15 of our farmers involved in this years' program. The soil testing program is a great way to find out more about your farm, with participants receiving whole farm testing and nutrient maps, follow up pasture tissue testing, results and advice at a local workshop and personalised, one-on-one agronomic advice. 

SAVE THE DATE - February 28th (for Program Participants only) Invitations to a workshop on your soil test results and farm mapping reports will coming to you shortly.

Want to get involved in the next round? Register your interest on our website for more information or give us call. 
REI Field Officer at work collecting soil samples. 30 samples per paddock are collected to enable an overall picture of the paddock's soil is taken.
Wanted! Feral Pig Sightings in Your Area

Did you know feral pigs cause about 106.5 million in agriculture damage in Australia each year? Feral pigs pose a significant risk to water resources, threaten conservation and cause damage and destruction to biodiversity.

Feral pigs are a relatively new problem facing farmers and landholders in the southwest of Western Australia and unfortunately they appear to be expanding their range at a great speed with their high rate of reproduction and the southwest providing an ideal habitat for them to flourish.

We are supporting the Lower Blackwood Vertebrate Pest Management Group Field Officers in coordinating Feral Pig control in the Lower Blackwood catchment. We are currently focusing on the Augusta Margaret River Shire and we are asking landholders to notify us of any sightings.
Register your sighting on our website, or contact us to let us know:
T: 08 97584021 | E: joanna.wren@lowerblackwood.com.au
In the Know!
Biological Farming Inputs
How do I choose & how do I know if it works in dollar terms?
Biological inputs include a wide range of products aimed at supporting soil fertility, biological activity, and plant growth. They include microbial inocula, biostimulants that promote favourable microbial populations and plant growth, composts and compost
teas, manures, and biochars. These inputs are often used with the broad aim of reducing the use of traditional chemical fertilisers and agro-chemicals, but how do you make a decision on what products to use, how much & how often?

A scientific approach can & should be taken to determine the answers to these questions. To get some tips on how to undertake your own product testing read this great guide from CSIRO & UWA:

The “Biological Product Calculator” that accompanies this guide allows for the exploration of various scenarios out to a 10-year timeframe after initial application. It accounts for the cost of the product, its application, and transport. It allows the user to vary expected increases in yield and gross margin, and then provides options for altering conventional inputs such as fertiliser and yield. Finally, it allows for you to estimate the amount of the initial improvement you expect to see in subsequent years, with or without reapplication, or the changes to conventional inputs. Give it a try!
Hemp Production Opportunities in the South West

WA, & the South west in particular, is on track to have an important and profitable hemp industry, after big increases in the number of growers and hectares planted last year.

Opportunities exist for hemp as a high-protein grain for food and beverage production, and as a strong fibre for textiles and building products. Read more on this story here.. 

Want to know more? Take a look at the WA Hemp Growers Co-op Ltd (HempGro) website , or go along to the next HempGro Board Meeting at Manjimup - they are inviting anyone interested to come have a cuppa with them and chat about anything hemp. More details in the events section below.
Upcoming Events with Lower Blackwood LCDC
'Talkin After Hours', A Free Workshop, BBQ & Networking Event:
Benefits of Rhizobia and N fixation of organic Nitrogen

Where? LBLCDC Office, 403 Kudardup Road, Kudardup.

When? Thursday February 7th,
Workshop: 4.00pm to 5.00pm
Networking BBQ: 5.00pm to 6.00pm  
Join us for our first 'Talkin' After Hours event for the year. Presented by Floyd Sullivan from ALOSCA Technologies , this workshop will give you an insight and understanding of:

  • The mechanics of legume root nodule bacteria symbiosis
  • Function & inherent problems of Root Nodule Bacteria (RNB) in today’s system
  • Limitations of inoculant delivery systems in modern Mediterranean/temperate farming systems
  • Pasture establishment technologies inclusive of top dressing old clover paddocks, summer sowing and twin sowing methods
  • Herbicide residue impacts on nitrogen fixation.
  • Options to tackle poor sub-clover nitrogen fixation
  • How to generate organic nitrogen from current legumes
This event proudly bought to you by:
Other Events You Might Want to Attend
“Symphony of the Soil”
  Farmer’s Seminar & Retreat
Join Bee Winfield from Merri Bee Organic Farmacy & Brent Burns from Landsave Organics for 2 big days of practical soil building activities such as composting, worm farming and creating quality compost tea for broadacre. View tea under the microscope. See successful Permaculture strategies live
Where? Merri Bee Organic Farmacy, Nannup
When? February 9th and 10th 
Hempgro Board Meeting
Here's your opportunity to find out about becoming a Hemp Producer & talk about all things Hemp with the members.

Where? Manjimup
When? February 12,Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Contact? Call Gail Stubber, Phone: 0449 686 928, Email: admin@hempgro.com
Support conservation of your local environment & join Nature Conservation at Cape Mentelle for their upcoming 2019 Annual Movie Fundraiser.
When? Wednesday 13th February
Where? Cape Mentelle
Attendees will have the opportunity to share information on their efforts in caring for the coast and hear from others about our best coastal and marine focused efforts in the region.

Contact? joanneludbrook@yahoo.com.au
We know there is such a wealth of knowledge & experience out there amoungst all of you..so..
If you have a great story, just read a great book, tried a brilliant a piece of new technology, or any other piece of news that you think the rest of the Lower Blackwood Catchment community will want to know about then please share!

Contact Kate on 0414476015 or email kate.tarrant@lowerblackwood.com.au  
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Lower Blackwood LCDC | 9758 4021 | kate.tarrant@lowerblackwood.com.au | www.lowerblackwood.com.au