­GRAZING LAND MANAGEMENT

Get on board a two-year push to stop 45kt of sediment

Darryl Hill shows Old Hidden Valley grazier Steve Plath how to work a dumpy level.

During the next two years, LDC has committed to deliver at least 30 Grazing Land Management projects, in collaboration with graziers, to reach a 45kt target of fine sediment under the $5 million funding arrangement through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s partnership with the Australian Government’s Reef Trust.

Financial incentives are available to BBB graziers and NQ Dry Tropics is confident the grazing community will take advantage of this opportunity to get involved with the LDC project. 

If you have been considering making a grazing management practice change on your property, or installing new infrastructure to support intensification of the changes you’re already making, contact the LDC team. Their contact details are at the bottom of this page.

30 grants up for grabs!

BBB graziers are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $20,000 to improve grazing land management for productivity and water quality outcomes.

We want to make the application process as straight forward as possible. 

An LDC grazing officer will help graziers complete the application to meet the assessment criteria that has been determined by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. 

Diversity of pasture species is the aim.

Projects will focus on delivering a reduction of fine sediment into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon across an area of approximately 2200ha per project.

Sediment savings will be determined using the recently released Sediment Projector Tool and the savings will be dependent on the specific practices implemented by the landholder. See story (right), for further information about the Sediment Projector Tool.

Projects will also focus on implementing best management grazing techniques to improve and maintain groundcover at the end of the dry season.

Of critical importance is implementing a practice change that will grow more grass, reduce stock numbers over the dry season or reduce grazing periods during the dry season. 

A range of management practices can be implemented, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • New fences to split large paddocks and implementing seasonal spelling programs.
  • New stock watering points to spread grazing pressure across land that is underutilised. 
  • Riparian fencing to control seasonal overgrazing. 

For further information, get in touch with one of LDC’s grazing officers. Scroll down to the end of the story for their contact details.

A grazing management field day at Weetalaba.

GBRF funding to build on LDC achievements

NQ Dry Tropics has secured a $5 million funding boost to build on and continue the efforts of the LDC project. 

The funding comes through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s partnership with the Australian Government’s Reef Trust.

The financial injection is supporting a sediment reduction program to improve water quality in the BBB catchment by delivering:

  • Accelerated grazing support (extension) to encourage adoption of improved land management practices; and 
  • Large and small-scale gully remediation.

The three year project runs from December 2020 to November 2023.

Projector Tool will guide GLM projects

LDC will use the P2R Projector Tool to help assess and refine Grazing Land Management (GLM) projects for water quality benefits.

The projector tool has been out for a while, but the component for grazing land management sediment projections has only recently been released. The tool will help predict the water quality benefits of property-scale improvement projects in Great Barrier Reef catchments.

It will help LDC prioritise both the higher modelled areas of greater fine sediment discharge from the BBB, and to ensure that water quality funding is directed towards projects that achieve cost effective and scalable fine sediment savings.

The Queensland Government Paddock to Reef (P2R) questions have been integrated into the GLM sediment calculator, allowing for an assessment of pre and post grazing management practices that contribute to the risk of fine sediment leaving properties.

LDC Grazing Officers are now able to run projects through the tool to get an indication if they are going to meet minimum standards and contribute a cost-effective fine sediment return to the project. If graziers have multiple projects they want to complete, these can be assessed and a balance between the graziers priorities and water quality outcomes achieved. 

The tool will operate in parallel with the streambank and gully toolboxes.

We can now also report grazing practice change that occurs without LDC co-investment, to ensure that the effort graziers are putting in to improving the condition of water running off their property is properly captured and fine sediment savings attributed to the sub-region.

15 gully works grants up for grabs!

SMALL-SCALE GULLY REMEDIATION: BBB graziers are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $20,000 to fix problem gullies.

We want to make the application process as straight forward as possible.

An LDC grazing officer and a NQ Dry Tropics landscape remediation expert will help graziers complete the application and advise on applicable remediation methods to meet the assessment criteria laid out by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. 

These projects will each focus on delivering a reduction of fine sediment into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon of approximately 100t. 

Sediment savings will be determined using the CSIRO and Department of Resources Sediment Calculator Tool, and on-site sediment savings will be dependent on the specific practices implemented. 

These projects will focus on implementing best management erosion and sediment control techniques through methods such as (but not limited to):

  • Rock chutes for gully head protection.
  • Banks for hydrological management.
  • Deep ripping for scald rehabilitation
  • New fences to allow for control of seasonal overgrazing on re-establishing pastures.

For further information, get in touch with one of LDC’s grazing officers.

Contact one of the LDC Grazing Field Officers:

NEIL CUPPLES

Grazing Team Leader

neil.cupples@nqdrytropics.com.au

0418 390 406

RODGER WALKER

Land Management Support Coordinator

rodger.walker@nqdrytropics.com.au

0408 828 276

ADRIENNE HALL

Senior Grazing Support Officer

adrienne.hall@nqdrytropics.com.au

0428 158 859

SHERIDAN CALLCOTT

Grazing Support Officer

sheridan.callcott@nqdrytropics.com.au

0439 421 994

 

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.
KEQ #8

KEQ #7
KEQ #6

KEQ #5

KEQ #4

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.

KEQ #3

*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.

KEQ #1

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.

KEQ #2

*GLMWW = Grazing Land Management Wire and Water

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