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Recent beef producers day a success

CowsNorth Coast Local Land Services has been holding a series of farm based technical days for commercial beef producers across the region. The Field Days are being held as part of North Coast Local Land Services commitment to providing integrated agricultural advice to the region. 

The aim of the Field Day program is to share technical knowledge on farming issues and provide a social environment for farmers.  Topics covered include pasture management, livestock health, animal nutrition, pest and weed control, natural resource management and other topics of interest depending on the season or issues at the time.

Events in this round have been held in the Hastings, Nambucca and Grafton.  Over 30 local beef farmers attended the Grafton event to hear about pasture and weed management and winter nutritional supplements for beef cattle.

Julie Dart, Senior Land Services Officer said, "Our Field Days provide information that is useful to beef farmers in their local area.  Participants had indicated to us that managing Bahia Grass is a challenge at the moment so we included it in this Field Day agenda."

Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) is regarded as both a useful pasture on less fertile hill country and a serious weed in the Clarence valley.  The relative feed value of Bahia grass as a pasture and the latest APVMA permits for control with herbicides were discussed at the event, along with the cost of control with herbicides. 

Julie continued, "As with all our topics, we encourage participants to look at their own situation and make an informed decision – in this case as to whether Bahia grass is a friend or foe on their farms."

Presentations from Norco Rural explored looking after winter pastures including grazing management of annual ryegrass and forage oats and fertilizers. There was an emphasis on minimising losses from nitrogen fertilizers by careful product selection and application timing.  Loss of nitrogen to the atmosphere is both a loss of money to the farmer and a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from farms.

The event was also supported by Clarence Valley Council with a demonstration of herbicide application equipment given by Council's Weeds Officers, with special interest in the splatter guns and wick wipers. 

Julie said, "There are benefits for Beef Producers who attend these events - although the splatter guns and wick wipers are specialist items that are not common on many farms due to the cost, attendees learned that Clarence Valley Council hires these out to landholders to assist in weed management."

The Grafton day was also supported by McGregor Gourlay Rural Services and AgSolutions.

Copies of the handouts from some of the presentations are available for those that were unable to attend the day.  Contact Julie Dart at North Coast Local Land Services on 6659 9406 or email julie.dart@lls.nsw.gov.au.

North Coast Local Land Services is seeking to start another Beef Producers group for commercial beef farmers residing in the Coffs Harbour and Bellingen Shire areas.  Farmers are encouraged to register their interest with Julie Dart at North Coast Local Land Services to be included on the email invitation list for future beef events.

Media contact:           Julie Dart, Senior Land Services Officer Phone:  6659 9406 or Mobile 0427 007 501

Image Caption:          Beef production is a vital earner for the North Coast Region.