March 2019
Stories, News & Events from the District
Our Land Champions Series:
Bee Winfield & Stewart Seesink - Sustainable Farming A Way of Life.
“Soil is our greatest hope”, Bee expresses at her kitchen table. Bee Winfield and Stewart Seesink are a passionate farming duo. They farm 29 acres on a rolling landscape in Nannup and 50 acres in Karridale. When I ask them what they farm they chuckle, “everything, we farm everything, sometimes we forget what we’ve planted and have lovely surprises when fruit tress mature and bear their first fruit”. 

 Stewart and Bee have been farming together for more than fifteen years, in the process they have become dedicated to improving their soil's health and readily share their knowledge holding soil workshops whenever they more about the Bee & Stewart's 'good life' here .
Augusta River Festival Showcase
The sun smiled on us all at at the recent Augusta River Festival with the Lower Blackwood LCDC teaming up with the Augusta-Margaret River Clean Community Energy Group to show case the work we are doing in the community.

We were kept busy with plenty of interest in the Hardy Inlet, landcare in general & of course clean community energy. The kids got involved too, making windmills and learning about one of our unique and special animals - the Chuditch .

It was heartening to see that many people care about our unique & special Lower Blackwood catchment! 
Be Weed Aware: Doublegee in your paddock?

Common names: Doublegee, spiny emex, three-cornered jack, cat-head, prickly jack, giant bull head, Tanner’s curse, bindii, Cape spinach.

What does it look like? It is a vigorous annual herb with a strong tap root and a long, fleshy, hairless stem. Clusters of very small, inconspicuous white flowers produce hard woody achenes with three sharp spines radiating from the apex. These spiny fruits can injure animals and people walking barefoot and are robust enough to puncture bicycle tyres - ouch!

One doublegee plant growing under ideal conditions in the absence of competition may spread up to one meter in diameter and produce as many as 1100 seeds!

How To Control It? Because Doublegee have developed a resistance to some herbicides, if you have a paddock scale problem then special tactics need to be employed to manage the situation. More information about that here and in this DPIRD Fact Sheet.
Funded Weed Control: Doublegee control does not form part of our Funded Weed Control Project, however you may have other weeds that are included. Find out more.
Latest edition is now available! 

This handy booklet provides easy identification of common weeds & methods of control using readily available cultural, biological & herbicidal control techniques.

You can purchase direct from DRIRD (contact Sheena on 0898928444).. or easier still pop in to our Kudardup Office & buy one from us, only $28.00.
The Benefits & Importance of Pasture Biodiversity

There was plenty of interest in our latest 'Talkin' After Hours event - The Benefits & Importance of Pasture Biodiversity. Sam Taylor from Landmark presented some great insights into how biodiversity can affect pasture production, which species should ideally make up your pasture mix & new species available for use in diversifying pastures.

For those of you that didn't make it to Sam's informative presentation you can view it here .
Following on from Sam's presentation we also thought you might be interested in reading more about the role of pasture biodiversity in restoring soil function.

The more closely we can mimic the structure and function of year-round species-rich groundcover, the more productive and ‘problem-free’ our agricultural enterprises will be.

From light to life: restoring farmland soils , this is an information packed article written by leading and highly respected groundcover and soils ecologist, Dr Christine Jones.
Healthy Waterways = Healthy Farmland

Healthy waterways support a healthy and productive farming environment. A well-managed waterway with healthy riparian vegetation increases the environmental, social and economic benefit of a farm.

Healthy waterways provide landscape refuge for native flora and fauna, as well as shade and shelter for stock. Riparian vegetation helps to maintain water quality by reducing soil erosion and organic loads as well as enhancing the uptake and removal of nutrients.

WE CAN HELP! Funding is available through the LCDC and the Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI) Program to undertake stock-exclusion fencing on your farm.
Want to Know More - take a look at these Fact sheets & Guides
Read these great case studies of local landholders undertaking waterways restoration work on their properties:
Unique & Special to the South West: Well.. what is a Chuditch?
In the Know!
Regenerative Agriculture - WALN New Information Collective Web Page
Regenerative agriculture has been practised successfully by a relatively small number of farmers across Australia for many years. These farmers have practised a holistic approach to land management that keeps water in the landscape, improves soil health, stores carbon and increases biodiversity. This ecosystems approach has also been proved to support increases in productivity over traditional agricultural methods.

The principles and approaches of regenerative agriculture are today gaining increasing popularity. Farmers are increasingly viewing soil health as paramount to maintaining agricultural productivity, understanding that the agricultural sector can play a vital role in storing carbon, and that building resilience to the increasing impacts of climate change is essential to their survival. 

The WA Landcare Network now have a new page on their website dedicated to keeping WA Landholders informed about what is happening in the regen ag space.

The page hosts a range of useful resources for understanding principles and approaches including:
The Federal & State Government's positions on Regenerative Agriculture, WA Ren Ag Case Studies
Video Presentations, Podcasts, Articles & Essays and more..

Take a sneak peek at some of the videos (to the right) or better still check out the page here.
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
Farming futures: How Australia’s farmers are adapting to change | Dr Charles Massey
The Regenerative Farmer | Grow Love Project | David Marsh
Upcoming Events with Lower Blackwood LCDC
'Talkin' After Hours, A Free Workshop, BBQ & Networking Event:
Tales, Observations & Advice from a South West Veterinarian

Where? LBLCDC Office, 403 Kudardup Road, Kudardup.

When? Thursday April 11th,
Workshop: 4.00pm to 5.00pm
Networking BBQ: 5.00pm to 6.00pm  
Our next ‘Talkin’ After Hours promises to be an entertaining affair with a combination of stories, observations & advice on a whole range of animal husbandry issues for the novice farmer.

Veterinarian Mark Ravensdale will share some of his experiences and stories of his time in the region and give some simple and practical advice and observations on subjects including:

  • Practical foot trimming and treatment of lame cattle
  • Treatment of farm animal wounds
  • A cheap oral rehydration formula for scouring animals
  • Worm egg counts in sheep – a practical method
  • Some common plant poisonings
  • Some comments on cattle crush design to make them more user friendly
  • A practical bull testing method
  • Obstetrics in cattle
Other Events You Might Want to Attend
Biochar Network of WA Inc invites you to hear how this carbonaceous organic material has been used profitably in agriculture.
Peter Burgess and Ian Stanley: Rainbow Bee Eater (as seen on ABC Landline) Oil mallees and integrated pyrolysis venture – horticulture and compost production
Trevor Richards: New Zealand Biochar Network activities
Philip Vercoe: UWA Research project commencing Fit-for-purpose biochar to improve efficiency in ruminants
Doug Pow Manjimup avocado and beef producer: demonstrated increases in productivity and profitability
Ronald Master , DPIRD: Cranbrook trial using two locally produced biochars
Euan Beamont Energy Farmers Australia: pyrolysis process developments

When? Monday 1st April 10.30 – 3pm
Where? Donnybrook Recreation Centre
How? Members: free Visitors: $30
Further information available from
Kathy Dawson (Chair) 0439926000 or
Euan Beamont (Treasurer) 0427611424
The Great Cocky Count 2019

The Great Cocky Count is a long-term citizen science survey and the biggest single survey for black-cockatoos in Western Australia.

In April volunteers will monitor known roost sites and count black-cockatoos as they come in to their evening roosts. Records submitted from across the southwest provide a snapshot of black-cockatoo populations, and over time this has helped us quantify the changes in black-cockatoo numbers.

When? Sunday April 7 at sunset (approximately 5.30-6.30pm). Please be aware registrations close 3 weeks prior to the GCC (Sunday 17 March) .

We know there is such a wealth of knowledge & experience out there amongst all of
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  
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