Producer Demonstration sites

LDC has been successful in securing funding from MLA to establish two Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS). 

MLA partners with producer groups to achieve improved business productivity and profitability outcomes. 

The MLA PDS program supports groups of livestock producers to adapt, validate and demonstrate the business value of integrating new management practices and associated skills into local farming systems.  

The key outcome of a PDS is producer adoption of the demonstrated management practices resulting in improved business performance.

The LDC project’s two PDS will focus on:

  • regenerative grazing practices (a five year project) and;
  • an integrated approach to weed control (a three year project). 

MLA, with support from LDC, will provide the producer-led demonstration sites with facilitation and extension, monitoring and evaluation of on-farm practice change, and communication and reporting, to oversee the demonstration.

Click here for information on the integrated weed control PDS.

Regenerative grazing site

THIS project involves five properties testing regenerative grazing practices across a wide range of grazing environments and commercial situations and scale in the BBB.  

It will demonstrate how livestock can improve soil biology, and stimulate production of quality pasture through livestock impacts while improving herd performance.

The five-year project will trial regenerative grazing practices including:

  • mobbing up of cattle;
  • planned grazing based on matching stock numbers to carrying capacity (forage production);
  • high density short duration grazes with long pasture recovery periods; and 
  • retaining suitable ground cover at the end of the dry season. 

The project will provide critical herd performance, pasture management and soil health data for the increasing number of graziers undertaking regenerative grazing practices in the BBB and the broader Burdekin area.

Participating grazing properties will:

  • undertake regenerative grazing practices;
  • dedicate paddocks at a suitable scale to demonstrate practices;
  • provide relevant infrastructure and technology, for example, walk over weighing;
  • undertake monitoring and evaluation,  and training and technical support, if required; and
  • host field days and other events to highlight the outcomes to the beef industry.

The PDS will also support the Collinsville region’s Regenerative Grazier Network, an informal network of about 12-15 enterprises.

These businesses have been supported by NQ Dry Tropics since a Holistic Management training program was implemented in 2015.

Many of these businesses have also completed Resource Consulting Service (RCS) Grazing for Profit, and similar training.  

The network has met on each other’s properties, attended field days, and sought technical support on a wide range of issues in recent years, and have been actively involved in the implementation of projects related to water quality and productivity improvements – funded by a range of Federal and State government programs.

A number of these businesses have also worked on projects with NQ Dry Tropics and with organisations such as CSIRO, Griffith University, James Cook University and Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

This is an excellent overview of regenerative grazing principles developed by RCS Consulting:

Dr Christine Jones talks about roots and healthy soil during a workshop at Strathalbyn Station in the BBB.

Regenerative agriculture

Regenerative agriculture works to:  

Support soil systems

Return nutrients to the soil to increase microbial health and diversity.

Increase biodiversity

Encourage and support flora and fauna species co-habitation.

Improve water cycles

Repair erosion and reduce and remove water pollution.

Strengthen soil health and vitality

Improve water retention, compost and pastures and tree root systems.

Support bio-sequestration

Increase dry matter compost and soil structure to lock carbon back into soil.

Increase resilience to climate fluctuation

Build resilience through ground cover and water storage.