Low stress stock handling made simple

  • 27-29 September.
  • Bowen River rodeo grounds.
  • Contact Senior Field Officer Brendan Smith 0417 408 587.

The aim of the workshop is to help graziers to handle stock in a calm and confident manner in all situations.
Topics covered include:

  • Increase productivity and make money.
  • Improve meat quality from your livestock.
  • Be more effective with your time and money.
  • Improve management and profitability.
  • Reduce cost of production.
  • Have quiet, stress free stock and people.
  • Learn to work through all situations confidently.

Even though the emphasis is to revisit graziers’ ability to read cattle and work with them in a low-stress way, there will also be lots of discussion on the following:

  • holistic business principles ranging from the importance of keeping good ground cover;
  • appropriate yard design;
  • sound and consistent communication;
  • financial analysis;
  • how to get the best bang for your buck with infrastructure development; and
  • how to approach family succession.

Sustainability is not a destination – it’s a continuous journey being carried out by each generation of graziers responsible for raising and supplying beef across the world.
That’s the view of the founder and principal trainer of Low Stress Stockhandling, Jim Lindsay, who believes knowing how to work with animals without stress is a key component in setting the standard in ethical beef production.
“It comes down to knowledge and communication,” he said.
“We can use pace and pressure to direct cattle where we want them to go, but we need to recognise and work with their fight and flight zones to get the result we want and that they’re comfortable with.
“We also need to communicate well with the people who are handling the cattle.
“Everyone needs to be on the same page to ensure cattle are being handled without stress.
“Get this right, along with using a holistic approach to running your grazing business, and the beef industry will be sustainable for generations to come.”

Jim Lindsay (left) with Bristow and Ureisha Hughes and children Archie and Braille

Attitude is the key

BORN in 1957 and raised on a 2 million acre cattle property in far south-west Queensland, Jim Lindsay’s association with stock has been since ‘before he could remember’.
Leaving school at an early age, he worked as a stockman and horse-tailer (responsible for the care of the working horses) on North Queensland Gulf properties, before returning to the south-west country to run a stock camp and contract mustering operation.
He has been involved with large herd management in extensive areas as well as droving cattle.
In 1980, he purchased his own cattle property in north-west Queensland near Hughenden, and has been conducting working dog and stock handling schools since the early 90s.
Jim believes one’s attitude is the key to obtaining benefits to people and livestock and promotes harmony between man, and dog, and animal, in the working environment.

Jim Lindsay in action


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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