NSW Farmers

James to help young farmers

James is the new Rural Support Worker with the Department of Primary, based in Dubbo. His role is to assit young farmers. Cont

The Young Farmers Project is a partnership project involving N.S.W Farmers and  the N.S.W Department of Primary Industries.

Young people in N.S.W who want to start an agriculture business are presented with significant barriers. Two of the major barriers are the high cost of agricultural land and the high start-up cost associated with agricultural production.

The Young Farmers Project is focused on assisting Young Farmers enter the business of Agricultural. The proposed web based platform will be a central point to assist young farmers. The platform is focused on three main areas:

  1. Education and Skill Development.
  2. New business model approaches.
  3. Access to information and specialized resources.

The project is only very new and the platform is in development. Young people under the age of 35 who are interested in getting into the business of agriculture are encouraged to register their interest in the project. The more young people that register the stronger the project will become.

James Leigo is  the key contact and his email  and mobile are at the bottom of this article.

Working closely with NSW Young farmers James will try to point people in the right direction.

James contact is James Leigo – Rural Support Worker, Department of Primary Industries, Cnr Hampden & Cobra Street Dubbo 2830. Contributed.

Meet NSW Farmers President Derek Schoen


Presdient of the NSW Farmers Association Derek Schoen will be in town on 20 April to attend a Condobolin Branch meeting. It will be a chance for members to ask questions and advise him of farming issues within the Shire. Cont


By Melissa Blewitt

Condobolin Branch members of the NSW Farmers Association will have the chance to meet with President Derek Schoen, on Wednesday, 20 April.
He will be in town, along with new Regional Services Manager South West Simone Norrie, to meet with members and non members at the Condobolin Sports Club from 6.30pm.
Mr Schoen will give an update on issues NSW Farmers is currently working on, including the much anticipated new draft biodiversity laws which are expected to be released for consultation this month.
It will give local landholders a chance to ask them both questions and let them know of farming issues in the Condobolin region.
The Association has recently undergone a restructure with the dissolution of District Council’s, and Mr Schoen and Ms Norrie feel now more than ever, that the Condobolin Branch is an important asset to our community and a great platform to have our voices heard at a State and Federal level.
Nibbles will be provided.
For more information contact Simone Norrie on norries@nswfarmers.org.au or phone 0427 773 495.

Yellow Mountain misses black spot funding

Federal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has called the Government’s $100 million Mobile Black Spot program “a win for regional Australia”, but those living to the north and west of Condobolin are feeling left in the dark.

• Telstra’s map of their 3G mobile network coverage reveals a gapping hole north west of Condobolin – one of the largest black spots in NSW. A proposed tower on Yellow Mountain, which would have largely filled this, missed out on funding in Round One of the Mobile Black Spots Program. Source: Telstra

By Lara Pearce

Federal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has called the Government’s $100 million Mobile Black Spot program “a win for regional Australia”, but those living to the north and west of Condobolin are feeling left in the dark.

“We were gutted on Thursday,” said farmer Roger Todd, who lives 60 kilometres north west of Condobolin.

Roger Todd and neighbour Fred Colless have been leading the charge for a mobile phone and data tower on Yellow Mountain, supported by the Lachlan Shire Council.

Yellow Mountain is 72 kilometres north west of Condobolin, in the middle of one of the state’s largest black spots.

“We were all surprised,” Roger said. “I thought we were in with a really good shot, given that we’ve not absolutely no mobile service. Given that we have got the power and the towers already [on Yellow Mountain], I thought it was a no brainer.”

The Mobile Black Spot program is jointly funded by the Federal Government, the state governments and the telecommunications providers, Telstra and Optus.

Last Thursday, they announced the location of almost 500 new or upgraded mobile base stations, covering around 3,000 mobile black spots across the nation.

New towers will be built to the south east of Condobolin at Ungarie, Waroo, Bedgerabong and Manna Mountain, but no funding was announced for any towers north west of Condobolin.

Before the NSW election in March, local member and then Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries, said a mobile tower with data on Yellow Mountain was his “number one priority”.

Mark Coulton also lent his support, submitting the funding application on behalf of the community.

“It is extremely disappointing,” said Fred.

“However, we haven’t given up yet. There is another round of funding.”

The second round of applications is now open, with the Federal Government providing a further $60 million in funding. Locations of towers for round two will be announced in a year and a half.

Roger Todd says he hopes the State Government will match this funding, as they did with round one, and mobile and data for Yellow Mountain will be secured.

“If we don’t get this funded federally now, it is never going to happen privately with Telstra,” he said.

“If we don’t get it, we’ll have to look into putting our own towers up and pinching service off someone else, and all we are going to do is overload the system even more – that is what they are pushing us in to.”

Telstra hangs up on Condo farmers

There will be no upgrade to mobile services for farm areas surrounding Condobolin in the near future.

• Condobolin branch President of NSW Farmers Graham McDonald, Federal MP Mark Coulton, Mayor Des Manwaring, Telstra Area Manager Scott Curtin and NSW Farmers executive Peter Wilson at last Thursday’s AGM and blackspot meeting. KP

By Anne Coffey

There will be no upgrade to mobile services for farm areas surrounding Condobolin in the near future.

“It’s a simple game of economics,” said Scott Curtin, Area Manager for Telstra as he delivered the news to over eighty people at the Condobolin Sports Club last Thursday.

Mr Curtin was speaking as a guest of the Condobolin Branch of the NSW Farmers at their AGM and Mobile Black Spot Meeting.

“I am your local contact […] I am passionate to help,” he said. He then went on to explain that a new mobile tower would cost anything from $500,000 to $1 million and an additional $30,000 a year to maintain. They are not able to be built without usage and the numbers are just not enough in this area.

While the township of Condobolin will see its third upgrade when the 4GX network, which will help the currently overloaded 3G and 4G, is rolled out next year, farms more than ten kilometres from the town will likely see no improvement in service.

The only glimmer of hope for areas north west of Condobolin is the possibility of a tower on Yellow Mountain.

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton was also a guest speaker at the meeting.

He has applied for a tower on Yellow Mountain, as one of three for his electorate, under the Federal Governments’ Black Spot Program.

Mr Coulton noted that he had been working with local farmers Roger Todd and Fred Colless and the Lachlan Shire Council to put in the submission. He said that, while he can’t make any guarantees, “I will be asking questions if it is not successful.”

Many questions and discussion followed the presentations from queries about cheaper options for small communities, the future of NBN services, the right equipment to make use of the current available signal and the possibility of joint Telstra and community funding for towers.

The Government’s unfulfilled promise to set aside over $2 billion from the privatisation of Telstra to upgrade services was questioned.

Guests then listened to a lively presentation from Jennie Borg from Roads and Maritime Services and presentations from NSW Farmers staff and executive.

In closing the meeting, Condobolin NSW Farmers Branch President Graham McDonald thanked all the presenters.

“We didn’t hear too many positives,” he said. “It doesn’t look like our phones will be helped until the 4GX upgrade in 2016. However it has been a very worthwhile night.”


NSW Farmers Association calls for bounty on foxes

By Dominic Geiger

The NSW Farmers Association (NFA) has called for a bounty to be placed on foxes and wild dogs to help reduce the pests’ growing numbers across the state.

The bounty would work along the lines of the current Victorian model, with $10 being awarded per fox and $50 per wild dog.

Chairperson of the Conservation and Research Management Committee at the NFA, Rod Young, said a change in livestock running practises combined with a good season had allowed fox numbers to explode.

“Years ago, there used to be a lot of people shooting for hides, but that stopped when the [fur] industry went,” he said.

“The sheep population has also dropped to a historical low; where you used to have groups of sheep farmers who were collectively baiting for foxes, you now have cattle farmers who don’t bait and leave the sheep farmers isolated.

“A bounty may be an incentive for property owners to allow responsible people onto their land to control fox numbers.

“If combined with baiting, a bounty could be successful in significantly reducing fox numbers.”

Mr Young stressed the importance of only allowing responsible shooters onto properties.

“Obviously it would be up to landowners to police what sort of person goes onto their property,” he said.

Lachlan LHPA senior ranger, Craig Ridley, said he was concerned a bounty would encourage irresponsible people to go out shooting, regardless of whether landowners picked the right people for the job.

“I’d be extremely cautious introducing a bounty,” he said.

“It has a downside, and that’s the idiot factor; we could start losing livestock and, God forbid, people.

“It could encourage idiots to shoot on roadsides.

“The best approach in reducing fox numbers is integrated pest management, which involves a group of landholders conducting coordinated baiting as well as possible shooting.”

MDBA socio-economic report released

Compiled by Dominic Geiger

The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has recently released a report into how last year’s guide basin plan would have affected the socio-economic situations of communities if it had been implemented without review.

The report, which the MDBA describes as an “interesting retrospective on what would have been the impact of the guide on basin communities”, shows the guide could have put many irrigation dependent communities throughout the basin at risk.

A spokesperson for the MDBA said the report has allowed the organisation to provide a balanced starting point from which to approach water reform in the forthcoming Draft Basin Plan, which is due to be released later this month.

“I want to assure communities that although the report’s only just come out, the consultants worked closely with the Authority over the past few months to update us on their findings so that we could feed this information into our work on the draft.”

Among the at risk communities identified in the report are the Lachlan Shire towns of Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo.

According to the report, “[the two] towns are totally dependent on irrigated agriculture [and] there is a strong concern that reduced irrigation in the catchment will see [significant] population decline.”

“The remaining population will, to a large extent, be dependent on government support resulting in a significant level of disadvantage in the towns,” the report said.

NSW Farmers Association CEO, Matt Brand, said the report confirms the results of the Association’s own survey of basin residents.

“Our survey found one in every three farmers surveyed believe the Draft Plan could force them to exit agriculture, potentially closing the door on generations of farming history,” he said.

The Association also said it questioned how effective the report would be given the draft basin plan was due to be released at the end of this month.

“How can the community be confident the Authority will have the time to consider the findings of this report when it’s been released at the eleventh hour?” Mr Brand said.

“NSW Farmers is calling on the MDBA to heed the warnings of its own research, and work toward delivering a plan that will protect the social fabric of the Basin.

“Basin communities need a Plan that is flexible enough to adjust allocations – to farmers and the environment; to seasonal conditions.”

CSU academic throws support behind ag benefits of carbon tax

Compiled by Dominic Geiger

Farmers who take advantage of new policies introduced alongside the Federal Government’s carbon tax initiative could ultimately be financially better off according to a Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic.

Professor at the Institute for Land, Water and Society at CSU, Kevin Parton, said there were three main government initiatives introduced which will provide benefits to farmers who chose to move towards a carbon neutral future.

“The first of these is the Carbon Farming Initiative whereby the government has allocated $250 million to purchase carbon offsets for agricultural projects not covered under the Kyoto protocol,” he said.

“The second is the $429 million Carbon Farming Futures initiative which is dedicated towards research into getting a clearer picture of soil carbon offsets.

“It’s about researching the carbon sequestering possibilities of soil during different farming activities.

“The third is the biodiversity fund, which has had almost a billion dollars allocated to pay for revegetation in high conservation areas.

“This means some farmers may be paid to reforest certain high conservation areas of their property to help protect biodiversity.

“I’m not saying there won’t be costs [associated with the tax], but particularly astute farmers may be able to gain from all three initiatives.”

Contrary to Professor Parton’s support of the scheme, the NSW Farmers Association (NFA) has announced it is “extremely concerned” about the impact a carbon price of $23 per tonne will have on farmers, even though the agriculture sector and diesel will not be covered by the Federal Government’s carbon tax proposal.

NFA President, Charles Armstrong, said the Prime Minister’s assurances that Australian families won’t be worse off doesn’t seem to apply to families in the bush.

“Under a carbon price of $23 per tonne, the average grain grower can expect to lose $3,000 each year within the first five years,” he said.

“Despite the decision to include diesel in the carbon tax fuel exemption, farmers are expected to be slugged with higher electricity, fertiliser, transport and processing costs.

“Businesses providing these inputs are able to pass their carbon tax increases on to the farmer, but the buck stops with the farmer who isn’t able to pass on their higher cost of production.”

Despite this, Professor Parton said the NFA failed to acknowledge any of the initiatives which provided funds to farmers who attempted to reduce or sequester carbon.

“In addition to this, treasury has estimated there will be an increase of $1,000 per year for the average grain grower, not the $3,000 suggested by the NFA,” he said.

“The NFA have completely ignored these initiatives which are designed to help farmers and their [estimated] costs are debatable.”

Mining moratorium to make way for better planing

The implementation of the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy demonstrates a new, balanced and far more transparent approach to mining taken by the NSW Government.
NSW Farmers’ President Charles Armstrong has welcomed a moratorium on new exploration licences, which will remain in place for 60 days.
“Imposing a moratorium until a new planning regime is implemented is a clear sign that this Government is taking the concerns of farmers seriously,” Mr Armstrong said.
“The Government has followed through on a pre-election promise to take a responsible and balanced approach to mining exploration in NSW,” Mr Armstrong said.
NSW Farmers’ Mining Taskforce Chair Fiona Simson is pleased the Association’s hard work has paid off.
“The transitional arrangements include a number of measures backed by the Association’s own Framework for Sustainable Development,” Ms Simson said.
“The decision to publicly release all proposals for coal, coal seam gas and petroleum exploration licences will make way for a more transparent application process.
“We’re also pleased to see all applications will have to be accompanied by an Agricultural Impact Statement,” Ms Simson said.
NSW Farmers’ anticipates these two measures will continue once the transitional measures expire, and Regional Strategic Plans are completed.
“This is the start of a long process of mapping out a plan for regional communities which will ensure balanced development, and the sustainability of both farming and mining into the future,” Fiona Simson said.

Farmer of the Year nominations open

Condobolin and its surrounding district breeds some of the most resilient and innovative farmers in NSW and possibly Australia; and it’s high time we showed the world.
Deputy premier and Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner and NSW Farmers Association General Manager Commercial Services Guy Hannan launched the 2011 NSW farmer and Young farmer of the Year Awards at this years Royal Easter Show.
The annual awards recognise excellence in agriculture through management skills, the use of innovation, profitability, environmental sustainability and community involvement
A joint initiative by NSW Farmers’ Association and NSW Industry & Investment and supported by the Royal Agricultural Society and The Land, the awards have a particular focus on acknowledging farmers who combine sustainable environment practices with profitable production.
Deputy premier Andrew Stoner said “Our farmers have faced drought, floods and plague locusts in recent years yet have remained resilient, determined and adaptable – three attributes highly valued by the Farmer of the Year judges.
Our judges are looking for farmers that have put the best strategies in place to manage their land and enterprise profitably and sustainably – each year the competition is strong” Mr Stoner said.
The Young Farmer of the Year Award is open to farmers aged 16-35 years, while the Farmer of the Year Award is open to all farmers aged over 35 years.
The Young Farmer receives $5,000, and the Farmer of the Year wins $10,000.
Application forms are available at www.nswfarmers.org.au or at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.

The Condobolin Argus – 10 years old

With The Condobolin Argus’ 10th birthday nearly upon us, first week of May, it seemed appropriate for a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the issues and events that have been critical in making The Argus the influential and relevant community newspaper it is today.
With so many editions archived in the depths of the Argus library, the task of revisiting important stories and campaigns seemed daunting at first, though with much perseverance, the team at The Argus has managed to compile a fairly concise list of ten achievements it feels have been most relevant to the Lachlan Shire community.
They are (in no particular order):
Joining the battle to keep the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station up and running.
In March 2009, The Argus reported on the NSW Labor Government’s decision to close the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station (CARAS). A surge of public protest culminating in a rally in Condobolin’s main street reversed that decision.
Helping prevent the closure of Target Country in Condobolin.
In January 2003, The Argus confirmed Condobolin Target Country would remain open despite pressure to close the store. The Argus supported the store during the resulting six month trial period through a ‘shop local’ campaign.
Helping to promote the Condobolin skate park project.
The Argus has been supporting the Condobolin skate park project for a number of years. The project is finally becoming a reality with the final draft becoming available for public comment following Lachlan Shire Council Meeting on 20th April.
Supporting the RTA’s ‘Three Shires’ initiative to help reduce the region’s road toll.
This project aims to increase road safety throughout the Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes shires. Part of this project has been the wheelie bin initiative, encouraging children to decorate wheelie bins in an effort to highlight road safety. The Argus played a large role in encouraging people to take part in this project, and now also has a very happy looking bin.
Providing full yet sensitive coverage of breaking news including human tragedies.
For example on the 2nd of December 2005, a ten-seater Piper Chieftain light plane crashed on Neil Baxter’s property ‘Craig End’. Unfortunately, the incident resulted in the loss of several lives and resulted in an Australian Transport Safety Bureau inquiry. The Argus printed continuous coverage of the incident from the crash to release of the inquiry.
Coverage of natural disasters.
The Argus has been instrumental in keeping the community aware of various fires and floods which have affected the region over the past ten years. With the real time news delivery available with the internet, The Argus can now deliver information to readers as soon as natural disasters unfold. This was most recently demonstrated during the floods in Ungarie last month.
Promotion of local tourism initiatives, particularly ‘Utes in the Paddock’.
Owing to the Argus’ commitment to improving tourism in the Lachlan Shire (and perhaps due to the fact our editor is one of the artists) Utes in the Paddock has become a ‘must see’ on any visitor’s to do list. Beginning in 2007, The Utes in the Paddock Project now includes 15 ute artworks and has been nominated for a NSW Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award and People’s Choice Tourist Experience Award.
Coverage of Aboriginal issues and events in the Lachlan Shire.
The Argus has strived to help ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous inequality though a focus on providing fair and unbiased reporting on events and issues important to the Wiradjuri community. The Argus has frequently reported positively on Aboriginal tourism, educational and employment initiatives.
Promotion of major events such as the Condo 750, Tattoo,  Condo B & S and our Australian Idol Shannon Noll.
The Argus has thrown its support behind various community oriented events over its ten year history. This promotion has been in the form of editorials, advertorials and extensive advertising features before, during and after events.
Support of local Charity Organisations
When major charity events and fundraisers happen in the Lachlan Shire, The Argus is always in the thick of the action, lending its promotional power to the event. Various charities and charitable organisations.

Support for Community much more than just words in a newspaper.
Born out of a large gathering of members from right across the community forming the view more could be done to promote our region, The Condobolin Argus actively pursues promotional opportunities in may different ways.
The paper looks to attract staff with high level skills and talents that offer its community additional benefits. One staff member worked tirelessly on submissions and promotion for the Professional Bull Riders event. That event attracting large crowds enhancing business for the local community. Yet another staff member successfully competed the local Show Girl promotion being awarded State Runner Up at the Royal Easter Show, thereby doing a magnificent job of promoting our region.
Focus for The Condobolin Argus is very firmly on assisting local community to promote itself, diligently managing advertisers funds to employ high level skills providing a holistic service. One portfolio sponsored by The Condobolin Argus in this way is that of ‘Community Promotions Officer’.
All of this has only been made possible by your strong support over the past ten years. Thank you for helping us to provide this service to our community.
To help your local community newspaper celebrate its 10th birthday and plan for many more, please drop on by the office at 93 Bathurst Street Condobolin during the first week of May -We’ll have some birthday cake.

NSW Farmers finalises Basin Plan submission

The NSW Farmers’ Association has finalised and lodged all three submissions on the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan outlining its position.

Farmers across NSW have been united in their criticism of the current planning process that they believe is fundamentally flawed. It is clear dramatic change is required to get the process back on track.
The Association is seeking a true “triple-bottom line” approach that gives equal consideration of social, economic and environmental requirements in the Basin.
The Association is calling for the Plan to engage rural communities in planning their farming futures.
The following submissions can now be viewed on the Association’s website at www.nswfarmers.org.au
• House of Representative – Inquiry into the Impact of the Murray Darling Basin Plan in Regional Australia.
• Senate Inquiry into the Management of the Murray Darling Basin.
• To the Murray Darling Basin Authority on the Guide to the proposed Basin Plan.

Foreign farm purchases causes concern

The NSW Farmers’ Association is demanding that a register be established to monitor the sale of all Australian farming land to international purchasers.
NSW Farmers’ Association President Charles Armstrong said today’s startling media reports showing foreign investors have snapped up more than $9 billion worth of prized agricultural land in the last 2 years, triggers alarm bells regarding food security.
“Currently Australian farmers are feeding up to 100 million people in Australia and overseas every year, and we must make sure that our capacity to continue to do this is assured,” Mr Armstrong said.
The NSW Farmers’ Association is calling for the establishment of a Register of Foreign Sovereign and Private Ownership of Australian land, and also Foreign Ownership of Water Licences.
“Land available for agriculture is declining across the globe as expanding populations inhabit fertile land that could otherwise be devoted to food production,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Establishing a register will enable greater understanding of the purchase of Australian land, which the Association believes will enable government to develop policy on this issue,” Mr Armstrong said.
Currently, the purchase of agricultural land that falls under the value of $231million does not trigger an assessment by the Financial Review Investment Board (FRIB).
“Individual sales of land below that value are occurring regularly without triggering an approval process by the FRIB and that is resulting in the ownership of millions of dollars worth of Australian land going offshore,” Mr Armstrong said.
The Foreign Investment Review Board examines proposals by foreign people and companies to invest in Australia, and advises the Treasurer on those subject to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 and Australia’s foreign investment policy.

NSWFA re-elects local farmers

Two local farmers have been re-elected to their respective positions for another year with in the NSWFA.
John Ridley from Burcher has been re-elected for a second year as Senior Vice President.  Mark Hoskinson from Kikoira has been re-elected to the position of Chairman of the Grains Committee within the NSWFA as well as being re-elected  as a Region 5 Executive Councillor.
With two high profile and committed NSWFA representatives in our area local farmers can be assured they are being well represented.
A motion of interest that Tullibigeal District Council was successful in putting forward and becoming Association Policy was one concerning rail crossing stop signs.  The Association will now try and convince the appropriate authorities to have the stop signs we have at present returned to give way signs.  A situation that disparately needs addressing before the upcoming harvest.

Farmers on Locust Red Alert

Farmers in NSW are being reminded to report any sign of locusts to their local Livestock Health and Pest Authority, to help contain a massive plague expected this season.
NSW Farmers’ Association President Charles Armstrong is urging farmers to be on guard as temperatures rise across the State.
“The season is well underway with more than 250 hatchings confirmed, and a giant infestation spanning 265 square kilometres spotted in the State’s north west,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Farmers are at the front line of controlling any outbreaks, and it’s important they remember to report any locust activity immediately.
“Timing is the key, and it’s vital farmers respond as quickly as possible to help limit the number of eggs laid for the next season,” Mr Armstrong said.
As insecticide spraying begins in NSW, farmers are also reminded of their duty to control locusts on their properties before they take to the wing.
“Locusts are best controlled by spraying when the nymphs band together – usually a couple weeks after hatching,” Charles Armstrong said.
“Insecticide is provided to ratepayers of Livestock Health and Pest Authorities free of charge, and can be obtained from local offices.
“Farmers should continue to only use approved insecticides, and follow instructions closely, in order to contain locust outbreaks safely,” Mr Armstrong said.

Gloves off in locust battle as farmer reports first locusts of season

Reports of the first plague locust nymphs having hatched by a Nyngan district farmer with a second spate of hatchings detected between Bourke and Nyngan has signalled the start to what is predicted to be one of the worst plague locust outbreak in NSW in 30 years.
Minister for Primary Industries, Steve Whan, said that it was imperative that farmers report hatchings and treat locusts on the ground.
“It’s now gloves off for our unprecedented $18.5 million offensive against the pest insect,” Minister Whan said.
“Warmer weather over the weekend led to an increase in ground temperature which is a trigger for locust eggs to hatch.
“The Nyngan district farmer reported the hatching to his local LHPA.
“A second spate of hatching locusts has been detected at Byrock between Bourke and Nyngan.”
Both cases have been confirmed by LHPA rangers.
Minister Whan said it was critical to the success of the NSW Plague Locust Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan that farmers report hatchings and treat locusts on the ground.
“If 100 hectares of locust bands are not effectively controlled they may develop into 1000 hectares of adult swarms,” he said.
“Once locusts take to the wing they can migrate up to 600 km or more in a single night.”
The State Government has rallied a coalition to oversee the response in NSW.
Industry & Investment NSW, NSW Farmers’ Association and the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities will co-ordinate a strategic response to the threat here in NSW.

Water Symposium

Nymagee will be the place to be on Wednesday 25 August 2010, with the Nymagee branch NSW Farmer’s Association hosting a Water Symposium.
Phillip Harley, Secretary of the Nymagee branch NSW Farmers Association said “as we all know, water is an extremely precious commodity.  Even though most farms storages are full to overflowing at the moment, it is essential that people are made aware of the variety of options, latest  technology and financial assistance that is available to people, in particular, farmers.  We believe that a water symposium in Nymagee would be beneficial to all community members.”
The Water Symposium will cover many water-related topics, with a number of guest speakers booked, covering topics including farm dam sealing, aboveground water storage, stock and domestic bores, pumps, solar pumps, desalination of bore water, water management for farmers and mineral exploration companies.
Mr Harley advised that there would also be businesses in attendance showcasing their products and providing useful demonstrations of their products.
All are welcome to attend the Water Symposium at the Nymagee Hall.
Any enquiries can be directed to Nymagee branch NSW Farmer’s Association Committee member Mike Nicholson on 0427 373845 or Phillip Harley 0268373822.  Mr Harley would also like to acknowledge the Western Catchment Management Authority’s invaluable involvement saying “the day would not be possible without the financial assistance of the Western Catchment Management Authority.”

Protection package for looming locusts

An $18.5m package to help farmers protect their crops and pastures against a spring locust plague was announced by the state government last week.
Premier Kristina Keneally’s office said that past campaigns had shown that for every $1,000 spent controlling locusts, at least $20,000 worth of crops and pastures have been saved.
It is estimated that this funding could help farmers save up to $370 million worth of crops and pastures.
NSW Farmers’ Association President Charles Armstrong says the package will go a long way in assisting farmers to face what is expected to be the biggest locust plague on record, come Spring.
“The weather for our crops has really been wonderful this year, after years of drought and uncertainty. But farmers are ever conscious of the threat of locust plagues once the weather warms up,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Preparedness is key and while we have been working constantly to achieve this, the extra resources announced by the Premier at our Annual Conference today will be a real boost,” he said.
The funding package will support the NSW Plague Locust Emergency Preparedness Response Plan – using insecticide, surveillance, planning, communications, resourcing and logistics operations to fight locusts.
“As the Government has correctly pointed out, the front line in the fight against locusts is farmers. So vigilance and reporting are both incredibly important.
“Farmers must report locusts, and can obtain insecticide from their Livestock Health and Pest Authority office to treat banding locusts on their properties,” he said.
The NSW Plague Locust Emergency Preparedness Response Plan includes:
• Enough insecticide on hand and on order to treat more than half a million hectares of locusts – five times the amount used in the 2008-2009 campaign;
• About 40 aircraft on stand-by for spring and summer;
• More than 100 field staff ready to be called up for the campaign;
• Experts mapping locust and egg beds locations;
• Planning team working on the operational plan;
• Preparing to distribute insecticide to landholders; and
• High-level Plague Locust Management Group meetings comprising government and industry representatives including the NSW Farmers’ Association.

Nymagee to host water symposium

Nymagee will be the place to be on Wednesday 25 August 2010, with the NSW Farmer’s Association – Nymagee branch hosting a Water Symposium.
Phillip Harley, Secretary of the NSW Farmers Association – Nymagee branch said “…water is an extremely precious commodity. Even though most farms storages are full to overflying at the moment, it is essential that people are made aware of the variety of options, latest technology and financial assistance that is available to people, in particular, farmers”.
The Water Symposium will cover topics including farm dam sealing, aboveground water storage, stock and domestic bores, pumps, solar pumps, desalination of bore water, water management for farmers and mineral exploration companies.
All are welcome to attend the Water Symposium at the Nymagee Hall with enquiries to NSW Farmer’s Association – Nymagee Branch Committee member Mike Nicholson on 0427 373845 or Phillip Harley 0268373822.

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