April 2019
Stories, News & Events from the District
Our Land Champions Series:
Karridale Primary School - Grass Roots Landcare in Action
When you look through to southwest side of Karridale Primary School grounds you would never know that the beautiful bushland you see today was once overridden by weeds and used as a local dumping ground. This area, transformed over time, is still a work in progress that doubles as an invaluable holistic educational resource for all ages right in the school’s backyard. 

Over the past twenty years the school, led by Principal Fiona Cormack, has taken up opportunities to be involved in nature conservation works around their local area. “Each year there are different projects, and projects within projects, so over time all the children are able to participate”, says Fiona. 

Read more.. about these inspirational junior land champions & their supporters.
Augusta Foreshore In the Frame
Have you seen our beautiful Augusta foreshore lately? You may remember the Land Champions story we published earlier in the year about the great work that's been done (& continues to be done), on the foreshore by volunteers Gudrun Thiele & Jan White .

We took a walk there ourselves recently - so lovely to walk in the cool shade of the Peppi trees & Paperbarks and view many of our native riparian plants up close (most of them grown and planted by Jan & Gudrun) - all from the clean & dry comfort of a pretty boardwalk & path.

Next time you are in Augusta take some time out to go for a stroll - it's well worth seeing this fantastic amenity they have created. Thank you Gudrun & Jan!
Be Weed Aware:
Pretty but Toxic - Cape Tulip

This month’s focus is on these two toxic plants native to South Africa, the one-leaf Cape Tulip (Moraea flaccida) and the two-leaf Cape Tulip (M. miniata).

Why is it a problem?
Both one-leaf and two-leaf Cape Tulips are serious weeds of pasture. Animals will selectively graze clovers and other more palatable species, and this allows Cape tulips to flourish. They contain toxic chemicals called glycosides which affect the heart and can cause death in cattle.

How can it be controlled?
Control by manual removal is difficult due to many dormant corms in the soil. Cultivation to 150mm provides control if done after the old corm shrivels and is exhausted, and before the new corms form - usually June or July but may be September.

A detailed description of chemical control can be found in the booklet Southern Weeds & their Control, however it is recommended that you consult with a professional contractor before undertaking any control measures.
Southern Weeds & their Control - now available from the LCDC Office.
Funded Weed Control: Cape Tulip control does not form part of our Funded Weed Control Project, however you may have other weeds that are included. Find out more.
The Wrap Up - Tales & Tips from a South West Veterinarian.

Dr Mark Ravensdale certainly lived up to his reputation as an engaging and entertaining presenter at our last Talkin After Hours event.

With record attendance our audience were treated to a humorous telling of Mark's early years in Africa and his many adventures working there as a vet, and here in the South West in the early 1990's/2000's. 

Mark also happily shared some practical and cost effective solutions to a range animal husbandry issues including (click for more detail):

Do You Recognise Your Most Valuable Land Asset?

Your Riparian (Waterways) Land is a great asset & can ensure that your land is valued at a premium both economically & environmentally. It can take many forms, including rivers, streams, creeks, wetlands, and drainage lines.

What makes it so valuable?

  • Healthy riparian land helps keep sediment and nutrients out of our waterways and supports biodiversity. These functions provide us with clean drinking water for stock, and the ability to enjoy activities like swimming, kayaking and fishing.

  • Healthy riparian land creates a micro-climate that benefits stock, wildlife and fish by reducing air and water temperatures in hot weather, and buffering icy winds and rain when it is cold.

  • Healthy riparian land also plays an important role in reducing the effects of climate change. Riparian soils and leaf litter store large amounts of carbon (hence the expression ‘rivers of carbon’), and are significantly better at reducing nitrates than terrestrial soils.

How do I assess if my Riparian Land is healthy?

WE CAN HELP! Funding is available through the LCDC and the Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI) Program to undertake stock-exclusion fencing on your farm.
Unique & Special to the South West:
A Global Wildlife Hotspot!
In the Know!
Money In Dirt! - The Future of Carbon Farming.
With all major parties promising to assist farmers monetarily to promote biodiversity and carbon management there has never been a better time to get an understanding of what you can do on your property to be eligible for this income stream.

It's called Carbon Farming and the most popular methods used to earn carbon credits are:

  • Planting native trees and shrubs (Native Forest)
  • Managing stock to allow native forest to grow
  • Beef Herd Improvement – Earn a Carbon Credit by reducing methane in your Cattle Herd
  • Storing carbon in your soils

An indicator of the increasing recognition of the part that soil health plays in carbon sequestration is apparent in this recent story on an Australian farmer recently accredited for soil carbon credits.
"Higher yields, better drought resistance and as a bonus the government will pay you for it. It may sound too good to be true but West Gippsland farmer and inventor, Niels Olsen says these are the benefits of carbon farming."

The first in the world to receive soil carbon credits, Mr Olsen's project was approved through the Australian Government's Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). Read more about how he achieved this with his Soilkee System and the additional benefits to his pasture and productivity.
Source: The Land

Want to know more about Carbon Farming? Visit the Carbon Farming Website
The Soilkee Renovator
REGENER8 : A Glimpse of a Regenerative Future
Created by the founders of Australias National Regenerative Agriculture Day, REGENER8 is the first global digital publication with a focus on Regenerative Agriculture, Regenerative Communities and connecting foodies to their farmer. 

Inside the publication you will find articles, features and stories from people who are demonstrating that with a little shift in attitude and a little added carbon, many of
world's environmental issues can be solved and solved quickly. This is a magazine to inspire and to teach.

Get your free copy of Australia's first Regenerative Agriculture Magazine, and invitation to join CARBON8 and a look at Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) new documentary 2040.
Upcoming Events with Lower Blackwood LCDC
'Talkin' After Hours, A Free Workshop, BBQ & Networking Event:
All About Hemp

When talking about the next innovative & emerging crop - Hemp is the 'hot' topic of conversation - and for good reason.

Each year has seen an increase in cropping size in Western Australia. With the growing interest in this industry there is also a growth in information sharing and actual outcomes from growers.

Hemp Gro (the WA Hemp Growers’ Co-op) , were formed to assist growers in all areas of producing this versatile and ancient crop, and they are keen to share their knowledge and information with you at our next 'Talkin' After Hours event - so SAVE THE DATE (May 9th) to hear more about opportunities in this exiting new industry.
Where? LBLCDC Office, 403 Kudardup Road, Kudardup.

When? Thursday May 9th,
Workshop: 4.00pm to 5.00pm
Networking BBQ: 5.00pm to 6.00pm  
This event is proudly bought to you by:
The Lower South West
Growers Group
Other Events You Might Want to Attend
Join three local specialists and gain valuable knowledge, skills and techniques to successfully revegetate native bushland. Get an insight into the long-term regeneration process by visiting three rehabilitation sites that are at different stages of successful revegetation

When?  Wednesday 8 May 2019: from 9.30am - 3.30pm
Where?  Malbup Bird Hide Site, Layman Road, Wonnerup

Details:  FREE with lunch provided
Limited places - RSVP essential by Friday 3 May 2019
to bdec.environment@gmail.com or 0407 605 451
Increase farm productivity by stacking complimentary enterprises & improving your soil health.

2020 Nuffield scholarships are now open
GROWERS from across Australia are being urged to apply for four GRDC-sponsored Nuffield Scholarships available in 2020.

Each of the GRDC-supported scholarships provides a $30,000 bursary to the successful applicant to study a topic relevant to their business and the broader grains industry. Read more..

Applications close on Friday, June 14 this year - go to the Nuffield Scholarship website
We know there is such a wealth of knowledge & experience out there amongst 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