Leanne and Barry O’Sullivan hosted the first day of the workshop at Glenalpine Station.

NQ Dry Tropics’ Rod Kerr making a point at the workshop.

Five-year trial wraps up with workshops to discuss results

Strathalbyn grazier Bristow Hughes contributes to the discussion.

Dr Christian Roth answers questions in the field.

A five-year project that took an unconventional approach to gully management — using livestock for gully remediation — has wrapped up in the BBB. 

A two-day field day held in May provided an opportunity for project participants to discuss results.

Rather than excluding cattle to heal eroded land, the Stomping Out Sediment in the Burdekin project trialed an alternative approach using livestock as a tool to remediate gullies and scald areas to reduce sediment loss from grazing properties. 

This method involved deploying high-density mobs on gullies for short periods. They helped reshape the gullies through hoof impact, and their dung and urine provided “biological carpeting” that supplied organic material to stimulate soil organisms and promote rehabilitation with more ground cover, helping stabilisation.

Results indicate that high-density grazing has improved soil health and pasture cover, and increased water infiltration. 

More conventional treatments were also trialed and included contour banks, rock capping, rock chutes, ripping, and reseeding. Intervention and management techniques were tailored for each site, according to soil types and gully features.

A total of 16 project sites across nine properties were completed during the project.

Brian Wehlburg, from Inside Outside Management and Dick Richardson, from Grazing Naturally, provided technical support. 

Support was also provided by Department of Agriculture and Fisheries officers Bob Shepherd (Charters Towers), Jim Fletcher (Mackay) and Paul Jones (Emerald), and Raymond Stacey (Resource Consulting Services). 

Monitoring support was provided by CSIRO, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the University of Southern Queensland.

The trial was conducted from June 2017 to June 2022. 

The Stomping Out Sediment in the Burdekin project is funded through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust.

Day Two host Hells Gate grazier Owen Howard.

Dr Bec Bartley from the CSIRO

Ashin Ghahramani, Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, USQ.

Discussion on the second day at Hells Gate Station.

Andrew Brooks, Griffith University.

Paul Jones, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Emerald.