Two days to come to grips with Holistic Management

A TWO-DAY ‘Introduction to Holistic Management’ workshop is being held at the DAF Bowen Research facility in May.

Take advantage of this opportunity, there are limited spaces, so book early.

  • Workshop: Introduction to holistic Managment with Brian Wehlburg
  • Where: DAF Bowen Research Facility, 45 Warick Road, Delta
  • When: Tuesday 26 May 9.30am – 5pm; Wednesday 27 May 8.30am – 4pm

Certified Holistic Management educator Brian Wehlburg, of Inside Outside Management, is hosting the two-day workshop. He will explain the key planning processes that make up Holistic Management.

Holistic Management is a decision-making framework that ensures decisions are economically, environmentally and socially sound and enables landholders to develop a clear vision for the future.

It supports practical, cost-effective and innovative approaches to land restoration and management.

Topics covered:

  • How nature functions holistically; rebuilding pasture diversity; ensuring positive animal nutrition and solving environmental problems, with minimal input costs.
  • Creating a grazing plan for adequate recovery of plants, maximising grass production and keeping soil on your property.
  • Quickly and accurately measure feed volumes to match stock to fodder.  Plan for the dry season…. and for drought.
  • Effective monitoring techniques to improve the country and your cash flow.

The workshop includes a field visit to Five Mile, Bowen. 

The workshop is supported by the Stomping out Sediment project funded by the Australian Government and delivered through the Reef Trust.

Brian Wehlburg from InsideOut Management lectures in the field.

Brian Wehlburg from InsideOut Management with NQ Dry Tropics project officers Sharon Cunial (left) and Adrienne Hall.

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Figure 1. Total fine sediment reduction by project type and erosion source. Inset shows the proportion of the total project area for each project type.

These estimates have been calculated using two methods: 

1) The pollutant reduction component of the Alluvium/Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) investment tool for hillslope and streambank erosion management projects; 

2) The Reef Trust Gully Toolbox method for gully erosion management projects. The LDC Water Quality Report 2020 (Waterhouse et al., 2020) highlights that a number of assumptions underlay these calculations, therefore these figures should be treated as the best available estimate of sediment reductions to date.

Preventing sediment from reaching the Great Barrier Reef

Each wet season sediment is washed into local waterways and out to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). 

Most sediment is very fine, and can stay suspended for a long time and can travel great distances. Valuable topsoil is lost from production, and increased concentrations on the reef can be harmful to seagrasses and corals. 

Landholders in the BBB have completed 69 on-ground water quality practice changes, and it is estimated that these have contributed a fine sediment reduction of 6,154 tonnes per year from reaching the GBR. 

Of this, approximately half of the sediment savings are attributable to grazing land management changes on hillslopes and streambanks, and the other half as a result of gully remediation treatments across a broad range of scales, as shown in the graphs above. 

The table below also highlights the relatively small area of intervention in the gully management projects compared to the large sediment savings that these can achieve - 60 per cent of the sediment savings over only 4 per cent of the project area.

Table 1. Estimated sediment reductions (tonnes) from projects completed in the LDC Project to date.

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*GLMWW = Grazing Land Management Wire and Water

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*The Exploring New Incentives activity area has provided an opportunity for graziers to adopt improved land management practices through a range of activities. For some of these properties, it was the first time they signed contracts for on-ground works.

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The LDC project monitors four gully sites (represented in this table) with gold standard equipment and analysis, carried out by CSIRO.

Results have been compiled in a preliminary report from Bartley et al (2020), with the final report expected to be released by the end of 2020. The preliminary report shows all four sites have indicators of improvements, notably the Strathbogie and Mt Wickham sites.

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Reef regulations - grazing, standard conditions

  1. For land in good or fair condition (more than 50 per cent ground cover at 30 September), continue using measures to maintain land condition.
  2. For land in poor condition (less than 50 per cent ground cover at 30 September), steps must be taken to improve land condition.
  3. For land in degraded condition (less than 20 per cent ground cover at 30 September), steps must be taken to improve land condition OR prevent areas from further degrading or expanding.
  4. Keep records of measures taken and also of agricultural chemicals, fertiliser and mill mud or mill ash applied to land.
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