Two Mile grazier Graham Gordon gets some assistance from Maree Cali, Department of Resources.

Glencoe grazier Bob Harris with Maree Cali of the Department of Resources.

Maps and Apps workshop back for an encore

By popular demand, a Maps and Apps workshop is coming back to Collinsville for a third time. Graziers have identified mapping as a critical planning tool.

NQ Dry Tropics first ran a Maps and Apps workshop in Collinsville in September last year with help from Department of Resources staff. It was so successful we ran a second workshop earlier this year.

The Collinsville workshop was one of three held across the Burdekin region. More than 40 graziers took part in the workshops to learn how to use Queensland Globe and Avenza Maps mobile app to assist with property management and planning.

The Maps and Apps workshops have provided graziers with the knowledge, skills and tools to produce customised maps of their property to help them plan and analyse their property infrastructure and land resources. 

Heidleberg Station grazier Jon Haucke (pictured) with NQ Dry Tropics Grazing Team Leader Josh Nicholls (right) attended the inaugural Maps and Apps last year in Collinsville. 

The workshop has provided invaluable information for setting up property maps going forward. The ability to overlay specific data provides information to help support decision-making for property management.

Workshops organiser NQ Dry Tropics Grazing Team Leader Josh Nicholls said Queensland Globe was a free, mobile-friendly tool which allowed graziers to zoom in to their property and overlay that image with property-specific information such as land types, soil types and terrain.

“Its real power is the ability to easily overlay your property with data layers – ranging from  historical imagery to vegetation management mapping,” Mr Nicholls said.

“Property boundaries, soil types, proximity to local roads, rail lines, water catchments are all available on the Queensland Globe, together with detailed location-specific grazing land management, topography, and hundreds of other datasets.

“Graziers are able to draw fence lines and water points, measure paddock sizes, calculate elevations, view historical satellite imagery and access vegetation management layers.

“This provides graziers with the potential to make informed decisions to improve grazing practices with reliable, up to date information in the one place”.

Grazier Tracey Rollinson, of Inkerman Station,  in the East Burdekin, attended the Ravenswood workshop and said being provided with practical, easy to use mapping tools would enable better planning of pasture to maximise water use efficiency and adjustment of stocking rates to minimise under and oversupply of pasture throughout normal seasonal variations. 

“Avenza is a wonderful tool to use everyday out in the paddock to record what’s happening around the property and for infrastructure planning,” she said.

Workshop participants learned how to use Avena Maps to download maps for offline use on smartphones or tablets. Users can plot and record information about locations, import and export place marks, measure distance and area, and plot photos.

The three workshops were held at Collinsville, Ravenswood and Greenvale and were hosted by the NQ Dry Tropics Herding Change Through Grassroots Recovery project and the Landholders Driving Change project  which is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

The next round of workshops are being held in August.

Don’t miss out. Places are limited, so book now at TryBooking:

Collinsville – Tuesday 23 August

Charters Towers – Thursday 25 August

 

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
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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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