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Swamp talk to reveal wetland farm secrets

GRAZE ANATOMY: The secrets to grazing wetlands will be the theme of Swamp Talk in the west Wimmera area on November 8.

A west Wimmera farmer and two wetland researchers will use a breakfast event next month to reveal the secrets of grazing wetlands.
Farmer Simon Robinson will host ‘Swamp Talk’ on his Langkoop farm ‘Maremely’ on November 8. The event starts at 8am with a hot breakfast. Wetland researchers Belinda Cant and Michelle Casanova will also speak at the event.
Wimmera Catchment Management Authority is organising ‘Swamp Talk’ as part of its work with farmers to balance agricultural productivity wetland preservation.
Mr Robinson, a third-generation west Wimmera farmer, said he was keen to find the ‘best fit’ in managing his wetlands.
“We’ve got highly improved pastures and I like to put all the fertilisers into the productive country and look after the swamps at the same time,” he said.
“There’s definitely the business side of it – I don’t want to be spending lots of dollars on non-productive country and would prefer to just set it aside and maintain it as best I can.”
Regenerate
Teal Swamp and Closes Corner are on a block of land Robinson bought in 2002. In the past eight years, he has fenced the block to soil type and rarely grazes the two wetlands – allowing redgum trees to regenerate.
“I try very hard to only graze these two swamps when I have to, and I try not to overgraze them,” Simon said. “I put sheep and cattle on them, but I prefer cattle because they’re not as hard on the new trees that spring up.”
Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems ecologist Belinda Cant is completing a PhD at Monash University on the impact of salt on wetlands.
Since 1999 she has worked with the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research on endangered species, aquatic ecology and environmental flows and wetlands. She has also reviewed the impact of grazing on wetlands.
Michelle Casanova grew up in Lake Bolac and studied marine biology at James Cook University, then completed a PhD on water plants in the Botany Department of UNE in Armidale. She now lives on a farm at Westmere and has worked as a wetlands and plant-biodiversity consultant.
People keen to register for the event can call Wimmera CMA on 5382 1544 or text their name to 0428 104190 before November 3.

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Posted on Oct 27 2010

Posted by on Oct 27 2010. Filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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