MIG Probes

Enviro Projects

Enviro projects include:

Cameron O'Neill Photo

 

 

 

Anameka Saltbush:

Chatfield Anameka

 

 

 

Anameka Saltbush

 

This project achieved all activities and outcomes stated in the Funding Agreement.

Outcome 1: Maintain and improve ecosystem services through sustainable management of local and regional landscape.

Through its high establishment rate (92%) and the seedlings vigour and growth (allowing for the shrubs to be grazed within 12 months), Anameka saltbush has demonstrated that it will play an important role in sustainable livestock management in the region.

Outcome 2: Increase the number of farmers adopting practices that improve the quality of the natural resource base and the area of land over which those practices are applied.

Thanks to this project, MIG was able to demonstrate the numerous benefits of establishing a forage shrub such as Anameka in the region. Throughout the project and following the field walk, orders from farmers in the region have been placed with Chatfields nursery to provide for planting in the region for 2016 winter.

Chatfields Nursery has indicated they have had 1 sale and 4 orders since the field walk. And they are not able to take on anymore orders till next year. Dustin McCreery the owner of Chatfields nursery believes that plant sales are looking promising and Anameka will be a supplement plant used as a food option and a shelter option for stock properties throughout NAR in the future. He also believes the price of the seedling at $1 is quite high at the moment. When permission is granted for more sales and with more licensing made available to other nursery’s to sell the plant that the price will drop the seedlings to 25c. The high price of the plant is also reflected from the seedling been established by cuttings and not seeds which is labour intensive.

The pastoralists and land holder Craig Forsyth discussed at the field walk that he would use and adapt the same methods of the Anameka project to establish a perennial legume called Lebeckia.  This is another alternative solution to establish vegetation on infertile deep sand soils suggested to pastoralists in the NAR and another tool to fight climatic variability. He also explained to the attendees that his planting of the Lebeckia would be in between the rows of the Anameka rows, allowing the Anameka to protect the Lebeckia seedling from high winds.  Lebeckia is another alternative for farmers to fight drought due to its high seed production, high digestible protein percentage and the benefits of being a legume it can allow nitrogen fixation to occur in poor soils.

Outcome 3: Increase engagement and participation of the community including landcare, farmers and indigenous people, in sustainable natural resource management.

The field walk was very well attended (25 attendees) including farmers, veterinarians, landcare professionals, agronomists and nursery representatives. All project results of the plant count and survival rate are available on the Mingenew Irwin Group website http://www.mig.org.au/projects-and-activities/enviro-projects/ and have been promoted by flyers, MIG links, ABC media, social media on MIG’s facebook ,twitter, The Farm Weekly Newspaper and the MIG Regional Newsletter. The pastoralists and land holder has also recently showed the Anameka plants to indigenous pastoralists associated with the Kimberley Cattleman association members to increase capacity building of pastoralists to encourage them to adopt  the planting of Anameka into drought affected grazing systems.

Pastoralists that came to the field walk that stock sheep are going to trial Anameka on their property as they believe this will be beneficial to the sheep industry.

MIG links: is an electronic update sent out fortnightly, MIG newsletter is sent out quartly consisting of 18 page update that contained the promotional flyer; the newsletter goes to all the grower groups, agric groups, members, associate members and all the farming community in Northern Agriculture Region.

ABC Media Internet Article and Radio Audio: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-06/wach-anemeka-saltbush-does-well-wa/7304252

Outcome 4: Increase restoration and rehabilitation of the natural environment including protecting and conserving nationally and internationally significant species, ecosystems, ecological communities, places and values.

As demonstrated by the Enrich project and the Anameka demonstration, forage shrubs offer numerous advantages: profitable and sustainable grazing, drought mitigation, erosion reduction, biodiversity increase, increased soils and animal productivity, improved farm profitability, emission reduction and carbon sequestration in soils.

All activities (community participation and engagement – publications and events, fencing, management practice change, weed treatment, revegetation, site preparation, site assessment, fire and pest management) were successfully conducted.

The overall objectives were achieved by

-Communities becoming better at managing landscapes to sustain long-term economic and benefits for their environment.

– Farmers are increasing their long-term returns through better management of the natural resource base.

– Communities have been involved in caring for their environment.

– Communities are protecting species and natural assets.

Pest management did occur on the property with seasonal baiting of 1080 occurring to protect stock from invasive pest such as foxes, pigs and rabbits. The reduction of these two animals where essential to reducing degradation of land from rabbit burrows and allowing the animals to be weed seed disperses, reducing the chance of weeds to establish that occur from surrounding areas.

Pesticides were used on the Anameka plantings when the plants observed to have some damaged to their leaves when an inspection was conducted.  Spraying occurred at the end of October 2015, the chemical used was Alpaha scud. This chemical was used as a safety precaution so survival rate was not decreased which would affect the vegetation outcomes. The pest was not identified due to minimal damaged.

Weed management occurred as a preparation protocol before site planting for the site to be established. The land holders use a mixture method for spraying the paddock and the outside fence line. Spraying was conducted using farm machinery with a tractor with a spray attachment.

The mixture of chemical was a ratio 1.5L Roundup and 20ml Hammer over 20Ha. The below weeds where found to be established and an issue for the site and the surrounding area. Annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum), Capeweed Arctotheca calendula, Windmill grass (Chloris truncata), Wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), Blue lupin (Lupinus pilosus). After the spray treatment the site was prep ready for establishment.

Chemical fire breaks occurred on the property and put in place by the land holder. This was conducted around and in the paddock where site is located. The lane ways of the property where also managed for fire breaks this enabled the stock to be directed to the site. Fire break management was put in place in the month of September of 2015, this occurs annually on the property as a best practise method. The site has a total of 35km chemical fire breaks put in place and maintained.

ANAMEKA Vegetation Report 1

6/11/2015
Alive Dead Missing
3294 83 18
97 % survival rate pre summer

Method: Count every alive and dead plant in every 2nd row that was planted for half the paddock

ANAMEKA Vegetation Report 2

Seedlings in: July 24

August: report submitted. Approved on 19/08/2015

October: visit to check on seedlings and noticed damage.

November: survey before summer: 97% survival rate

23 Feb: final survival rate: 4620 alive, 422 dead = 92% survival rate

Method: Count every alive and dead plant in every 2nd row that was planted for half the paddock.

Cell Grazing:  This project aims to demonstrate the economic and environmental potential of cell grazing in WA’s Northern Ag Region.  Cell grazing has been successfully used in New Zealand to optimise both pasture use and stock weight gain.  Cell grazing involves moving livestock through a series of cells to intensively graze the area over a short period of time.

Improving productivity on non-wetting soils in the NAR through pasture cropping:
Perennial grasses were sown at the site in 2011 and had a vigorous establishment during 2012.  Annual crops were then sown at the site in 2012 and 2013.

Whilst farmers have previously sown annuals into perennial pastures, there is a knowledge gap with this technique once the size of the perennial plant increases.  Pasture cropping is an innovative technique that growers on white non wetting sands have been using to increase productivity.  This project aims to identify methods and techniques for successful establishment and management of annuals in a well established perennial pasture.

Yvonne Marsden at a pasture cropping site 2011.

Yvonne Marsden at a pasture cropping site 2011.