November 2008 Newsletter

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Hodgsons & Horseshoe Creeks Landcare newsletter for November.

Dear members et al,

Here is our latest newsletter. Note that the next meeting is on Tuesday next week.

I have also attached a pdf flyer for an event happening on the weekend. In keeping with the policy of not sending large emails (to assist those with dial-up) I have removed all graphics to reduce the size (by over 90%) but it still has the essential information.
The 'future events' section lists a lot of things happening over the next couple of months. Make sure you read them, you may find something of interest!

Hodgsons/Horseshoe Creeks Landcare Newsletter - November 2008


President: Mary Anderson (57251657. Vice President: Arthur Bennett (57270234.
Secretary: David Hawthorn (57270200. email:
Treasurer: Doreen Briggs (57270227.
Rabbit & Weed Co-ordinator: Ron Briggs (57270227.
CMA Co-ordinator: Klaus Boelke 0428 444190


Next Meeting : Tuesday 18th November, 8pm
@ Everton Upper Community Centre


Some future events to put in your diary



Speakers / Agency


Contact Details

Fri 14th Nov

Movie:- Travelling Birds

Chiltern Landcare Group
Film Night

Star Theatre

Main St, Chiltern

Jane Roots

Fri 14th Nov
10am – 3:30pm

Water Management, Budgeting and Planning
Bill Otte, GM Water, Understanding Diversions, Water Rights, Creeks and Farm Dams

Greta Valley Landcare Group

Bring water samples for testing

Greta Hansonville Hall

Mary Anderson
5723 8655
Kristy Youman
02 6043 7968

Sat 15th Nov
10am – 3:30pm

Tools for implementating rotational grazing.
Summer management of native pastures.
Results from Wagga and Chiltern proof sites and supporting sites results

Evergraze – Killawarra and Taminick supporting sites

Lunch provided

Meet at Killawarra fire shed – on farm visits to follow

Alison Desmond
02 60304613

RSVP required

Sat 15th Nov
10am – 3:30pm

Planning for hard times – Pasture management during dry times.

Fire management plans.

Work Safe of farms.

Greta Valley Landcare Group

Greta Hansonville Hall

Mary Anderson
5723 8655
Kristy Youman
02 6043 7968

Sat 15th Nov
9:30am for 10am start

Mitchell at the crossroads – A forum on rebuilding our nature for our farms our district and our future

various speakers from DPI & elsewehere

Tallarook Hall

Field trip to Lyndale Park

DPI Broadford 5784 0600

Sun 16th Nov
10am – 3pm

Tools for implementating rotational grazing.
Summer management of native pastures.
Results from Wagga and Chiltern proof sites and supporting sites results

Evergraze – Indigo Valley supporting site

Lunch provided

Bill Dicksons property
1747 Indigo Creek Rd

Alison Desmond
02 60304613

RSVP required

Wed 26th Nov

The changing nature of or rural neighbourhoods - FORUM

Various speakers

CD BLake Theatre, CSU, Thurgoona site

Kris Deegan 02-60519922
RSVP please

Sun 30th Nov

Woodland bird walk

Ian Davidson
Kate Hill DSE

Neet at Chilten Pool parking lot.
Info Centre
Main St Chiltern

Kate Hill 02 60437926

Tues 2nd Dec

with lunch!

Cropping in higher rainfall districts. Benefits for income, sheep fertility, lambing percentages, weight gains

Carboor Bobinawarrah LCG
Chris Howard – Agronomist, Landmark

Carboor Hall
On farm visit to Harry Brussells property

Wayne Donehue
0419 208 207

RSVP required

Sun ? Dec

Wrap Up, Christmas party.
Property Plans

Greta Valley Landcare Group

Greta Hansonville Hall

Mary Anderson
5723 8655
Kristy Youman
02 6043 7968





(extract from “Soil Health – The Journey”)

By Gwyn Jones

[Starting off with the usual disclaimer: The information contained in this publication has been formulated in good faith, the contents do not take into account all the factors which need to be considered before putting that information into practice. Accordingly, no person should rely on anything contained herein as a substitute for specific professional advice.]

The first golden rule is to maintain optimum stocking rates and ideally according to land classification and rainfall. Rotational or Strategic Grazing as opposed to Set Stocking can encourage deep rooted perennial plants [including native grasses] that use water and nitrates deeper in the soil profile, hence, improving nutrient efficiency and recycling, improved summer growth and better ground cover over high risk times. Utilizing nitrate also reduces soil acidification and reduces the need to “Lime” a soil. Good grazing practices reduce stock camps, increase biodiversity in the pasture [root zones] and the soil.

In times of drought strategic decisions have to be made early about stocking rates and the potential use of sacrifice paddocks. The equation is: to de-stock / reduce stock numbers or remove ground cover in the form of dry standing feed. The decision is a classic example of trying to maintain economically and ecologically sustainability.

The second golden rule is to maintain a minimum of 70% ground cover, particularly over summer. Dr Christine Jones suggest to aim for 100% cover 100% of the time. Ground cover protects the soil surface and acts as an insulation blanket. Ground cover can be living [plants] or dead material [dung, stones, standing summer feed etc.]. Ground cover in the form of dead organic matter is a vital food source for soil biology, which plays an important role in recycling nutrients and maintaining or rehabilitating biodiversity. If ground cover is substantially lost there is an increased risk of accelerated soil erosion occurring. Natural resource management practices favour the retention of ground cover to a minimum of 70%, so that the long term asset of the soil is not degraded.

What many landholders may not realise is that on many healthy soils, the soil surface is covered with [the remnants of] earthworm castings! In fact healthy topsoil [on high rainfall country with reasonable Calcium levels] can be 100% earthworm castings. Casts act as a protective covering or mantle over the original soil surface and they grow your soils depth. A minimum of two earthworms per shovelful should be seen in Spring.

The third golden rule is to minimise soil disturbance, in cropping situations minimum tillage practices are preferred together with stubble retention. The burning of stubble exposes the soil and should be only a last resort. The use of crop rotations, which include a pasture phase to increase the percent of time with improved ground cover, assists organic matter retention and associated improved water infiltration and reduces compaction and slaking. There is one contradiction with the third rule in that heavy stock impact / tramping for a short period of time can be beneficial. The on / off grazing with large numbers can have a “herd” effect, which when done properly does not have an adverse effect on the soil and can rehabilitate biodiversity.

In summary to get the best out of your soil, you need to think about the history of your soil and its origins. Look at the landscape, what it can tell you? What can you learn from its shape, slope, which way it faces. How many different soil types do you have on your property? What characteristics do they have? How can you best work with their strengths and avoid their weaknesses? The three golden rules: optimum stocking rates, maintaining a minimum of 70% ground cover and minimum soil disturbance, will assist you in getting the best from your current soil situation. You may wish to consider further and ask yourself the question “How can I enhance my soil resource, plant succession and productive capacity?”

Continued in the next newsletter....


Five minutes with a Land for Wildlife Extension Officer

Q. What is your role as a Land for Wildlife Extension Officer?

A. Landholders ring me when they are interested in registering their properties under the Land for Wildlife program.  My role is to go out to their place and discuss any flora and fauna values on their property, as well as any other conservation management issues. At the same time, I assess whether they are eligible for Land for Wildlife status.

Q. What do landholders have to do to be eligible for Land for Wildlife?

A. There are a huge range of properties that are eligible for Land for Wildlife status. The main criteria are that the landholder manages their property in a way which:

·         attempts to integrate nature conservation with other land management objectives.


·         clearly pursues the maintenance and enhancement of native flora and fauna.

So, this can vary from revegetating a small area with native species to managing 100 hectares of bushland. Or it can be as simple as retaining scattered trees and fallen logs in paddocks, protecting wetlands, or creating habitat friendly areas.

Q. Why do people register their property as Land for Wildlife?

A. The main reason people register with Land for Wildlife is to get recognition for all the voluntary conservation works that they have done on there property – no matter how small or large.  A lot of people say that “they just want the green sign to hang at their front gate”, but it’s more then that -  them wanting that green sign is like a symbol to say we want to be acknowledged for our commitment to habitat protection and restoration.

Q. What does a Land for Wildlife membership provide?

A. Memberships are purely voluntary (there are no legal binds or cost).

Some of the perks are:

·        Practical advice for the management of flora and fauna habitat.

·        Typical species that occur in your area and their ecological needs.

·        The different types of vegetation communities in your local area .

·        A brief farm plan highlighting habitat areas and actions to do in those habitat areas.

·        Advice on the availability of grants, incentives and other assistance.

·        A sign to acknowledge your efforts.

·        A quarterly newsletter that gives you contact with other landholders interested in conservation and management information.

Q. What’s the best part about being a Land for Wildlife Officer?

A. The best part about my role is seeing all the great work that people are doing on their properties to help conserve flora and fauna. I also love teaching people about the ecology of different species or ecosystems and developing a habitat plan for their farm. But the best part is handing over the green Land for Wildlife sign and thanking people for their contribution to biodiversity conservation – no matter how large or small.

Q. Who do people contact if they are interested in registering with Land for Wildlife?

A. Please phone Kate Hill 02 6043 7926 or email


Changes in the rural neighbourhood: lecture

26th Nov. 9am-3pm

A public lecture at Charles Sturt University (CSU) will explore the changing nature of our rural neighbourhoods.

The ‘tree change’ phenomenon is bringing an influx of new residents, but at the same time some rural communities are declining.

What challenges and opportunities do these changes bring for our local communities, businesses, governance and environment?

Come along to this free public forum at CSU to hear about the latest research on this topic and gain perspectives from local landholders and business leaders.

The forum includes a feedback session to discuss future research needs.

Speakers include Professor Jim Walmsley (University of New England UNE), Dr Neil Argent (UNE), Dr Angela Ragusa (CSU) and Mr Cameron McKern (Yackandandah Community Development Company).

To register contact, Ms Kris Deegan Kris Deegan 02-60519922 by Wednesday 19 November.
Venue / Address:
CD BLake Theatre, CSU, Thurgoona site.


GENERAL MEETING Tuesday 7th October 2008


PRESENT: Doreen & Ron Briggs, Stephen Tamme, Jack Murray, Graeme Norman, Rob Reid, Lyndsay Fiddes, Dean Bennett, Arthur Bennett, Keith Cherry

APOLOGIES: David Hawthorn, Jackie Reid, Rodney Bennett, Mary Anderson,

Motion to receive apologies. Mov. Rob Reid, Sec. Ron Briggs, Carried


Motion that they are a true and accurate record. Mov. Graeme Norman, Sec. Jack Murray, Carried


- Secretary to write to the Rural City of Wangaratta stating that we wish to receive Chemical Grant money in cash or chemicals Mov. Graeme Norman, Sec. Lyndsay Fiddes


CORRESPONDENCE: (items with a '*' have a separate flyer)


Invitations to future events
- Evergraze workshops “Tools for Implementing Rotational Grazing”
. Mon 10th Nov 5-8pm @ Warrenbayne Hall, supper provided, RSVP Kerri Robson 0428 210561
. Wed 12th Nov 10am-3pm @ Murmungee Hall, lunch provided, RSVP Alison Desmond 02 60304613
. Sat 15th Nov 10am-3pm @ Killawarra & Taminick, meet at Killawarra fire shed, lunch provided, RSVP Alison Desmond
. Sun 16th Nov 10am-3pm @ Indigo Valley (Bill Dicksons property, 1747 Indigo Creek Rd, lunch provided, RSVP Alison Desmond
- Walk & Talk series
. Sun 19th Oct 9am-12:30pm. Services and Information for New Landholder. How to manage erosion of your property, Native vegetation ID and management, Pastures and Fodder, Farm Planning principles - how it can work for you. Croome Lane Beechworth. VicRoads Map 35 C8. RSVP Janice Mentiplay Smith 5761 1644 or 0418 316169 DPI Benalla.
. Mon 10th Nov 9am-12:30pm. Animal welfare & your small farm, Animal welfare, Biosecurity, Monitoring Diseases, NLIS, what it means to you, Feed & water – needs & management. Cnr Samaria & Moorngag Rds. VicRoads Map 48 B5. RSVP Janice Mentiplay Smith.

Ovens Landcare Network
- National Landcare Facilitator eNewsletters September & October 2008
- St Johns Wort has been growing happily over the winter period, ready to take off in the spring.
Happily, there is a good population of St Johns Wort mites in the Byawatha Hills just waiting for the chance to be re-located into new sites and help decimate the root zones of these plants.
Thrips have proven to be a very successful biological control agent particularly when used in combination with St Johns Wort beetles who should emerge in another month or so.
The mites would need to be collected with a  supporting host wort plant and a small quantity of soil as they live in the root zone. A small shovel or hand trowel and plastic bags (one per host plant for re-location) will be needed for collection. Phone Sue Leavold on 0428 467 260 to arrange a collection day/time.
* Proposed landcare trailer [I met Peter Huhta at a landcare field day a couple of weeks ago & he said that he will probably try to get 3 or 4 trailers].
- Five minutes with a Land for Wildlife Extension Officer


Weed Spotter training 16th October.


- Burgoigee Creek Landcare Group newsletter
* FloodSmart community education program


copy of Pato letter to OLN secretary

Motion that correspondence be accepted. Mov. Rob Reid, Sec. Keith Cherry, Carried


Doreen Briggs - Treasurer

Spray/Seeder/Wickwiper $2,882.60

General $21,611.95

Balance at Bank $24,494.55

(Held for Fox Control Project $19,410.43)

(Hodgson/Horseshoe balance $5,084.12)

Money on term deposit $10,348.65


$$7,130.75 to The Centre for ACUP training (fox control project)

$166.55 to DPI for newsletter photocopying & postage
$25 to Beaurapaires for spray cart tyre

$35.75 for postage of last newsletter

Motion that the treasurers report be accepted. Mov. Doreen Briggs, Sec. Graeme Norman, Carried


Ron Briggs - Rabbit/Weed Coordinator

Mid Ovens Landcare money has been used for spraying weeds on Voigts Rd

Motion: Secretary to send a letter to VicRoads re Gorse not being attended to on Beechworth-Wangaratta Rd.

Mov. Jack Murray, Sec. Dean Bennett, Carried


Arthur Bennett - Oven’s Landcare Network

Nothing to report.

Motion that the reports be accepted. Mov., Jack Murray Sec. Dean Bennett, Carried


It was agreed that we hold the first meeting of 2009 on Tuesday 3rd February and the AGM on Tuesday 17th March 2009.

The group agreed that the secretary can print newsletters at home and bill the Landcare group at the same cost.

Motion: That Arthur Bennett liaise with Burgoigee Landcare Group to find a replacement for Ron Briggs, to discuss and bring back a specific proposal to the November Landcare meeting.

Mov. Lyndasy Fiddes, Sec. Rob Reid, Carried that these motions be accepted

Next Meeting: 8pm Tuesday 18th November Meeting closed at: 9pm



David Hawthorn
ph: 5727 0200