08 May 2011

Making landcare profitable....

Practical landcare solutions that work

Landcare investment can return substantial dividends to all landholders, both in the short and long term, according to Bill Davey, Forester with Plantation and Landcare Services (PALS).

Mr Davey said that trying to balance livestock numbers with erratic rainfall, long dry periods, feed quantity and quality had emphasised the need to integrate fodder within the landscape

Figure 1: Saltbush fodder plantation 8 months after planting, Newdegate WA

Farmers with blocks of fodder in the past 12-months were able to maintain stocking rates while those without the fodder had to reduce their livestock. Some have even increased their stocking rates as they have confidence they can carry greater numbers of stock because of the additional feed.

“Much of the fodder is established on land that is usually unproductive,” Bill Davey said.

“Once planted there is no-going costs and the grazing regime can fit into the overall paddock or farm management, “ he said.

“My biggest objective when planning landcare sites is to ensure that the plan produces positive results while being integrated into specific paddock rotations and management.”

He said that he visited farms so he could see the site and speak to the farmer on a one- to-one basis. Since each farm was run differently each project had to be fine-tuned to fit in with the farm management.

Landholders need solutions that have worked and can be integrated easily into their paddock management and operations. If this can be achieved, landcare can be profitable, less costly and provide momentum to tackle big projects across regions.

Bill Davey has more than 25 years experience working in the landcare industry.

“These solutions are not out of a book but have been improved over the years. It gives me great satisfaction to look back on properties where PALS has halted salinity or land with fodder crops for sheep used as part of the landcare solution,” Bill Davey said.

He said that landcare, like cropping and most farm operations, had an optimum time to maximise the results or yields.

“Early planning, quality tree stock, specie selection and site preparation followed by implementing the program on time will ensure excellent results,” Bill Davey said.

“Currently I am visiting all 2010 clients to assess their projects and draw up new programs for the 2011 season.

“Anyone with big or small landcare farm issues should contact me to see what positive action can be taken to rectify challenging areas,” Bill Davey said.

More information:

Bill Davey

Plantation and Landcare Services

PO BOX 591

Mount Lawley WA 6929