Making less water run further

Two of the most important aspects of any successful grazing enterprise, are managing water and groundcover. Producers in south west Queensland are working in partnership with South West NRM to conserve surface and ground water resources, establish engineered distribution methods for quality water, implement rotational grazing and use new technology to streamline their operations.

Landholders at Durella, Holly Downs and Biddenham are some of the producers taking steps to improve the way they farm.  For some landholders, a change in seasons has brought opportunity. They are some of the progressive producers changing the way they graze to ensure holistic management of their enterprises and good outcomes for sustainable natural resource management.

At Biddenham, a Property Management Plan has been developed which aims to increase ground cover, biodiversity and pasture quality and quantity through increased pasture utilisation and rotational grazing. The plan has identified several large paddocks, which are inefficiently grazed by stock. Re-fencing to land type, and reducing acreage to smaller paddocks has helped to more easily manage stock and produce a greater total amount of ground cover. This results in less runoff and more efficient use of pasture.

At Holly Downs, telemetric watering points have been expanded across the property, allowing managers to check water levels and turn pumps on and off without leaving the property office. This saves thousands of dollars in labour, fuel and plant hire and increases water efficiency. Durella’s cattle don’t graze the entire property due to long distances between waters. Spreading watering points every 3 kilometres has encouraged cattle to more evenly graze pastures. Now, with 8 watering points across five paddocks, rotational grazing has been improved.

Funding

$15,430 – Q2 Coasts and Country, with additional funds leveraged:

  • $15,430 – Australian Government funds
  • $86,082 – landholder contributions (labour, machinery hire and lease, electronic field equipment, fencing, poly pip, troughs and pipe fittings)