WORKSHOP: Farmers attended the workshops and learnt about common weeds, and how to best make them work for their farms. Photo: Contributed
WORKSHOP: Farmers attended the workshops and learnt about common weeds, and how to best make them work for their farms. Photo: Contributed

Clarence farmers learn the way of the weeds

NORTH Coast Local Land Services has held a series of farm-based technical days for commercial beef producers across the region.

The Field Days are part of North Coast Local Land Services commitment to providing integrated agricultural advice to the region.

The aim of the Field Day program is to share technical knowledge on farming issues and provide a social environment for farmers.

Topics covered included pasture management, livestock health, animal nutrition, pest and weed control, natural resource management and other topics of interest depending on the season or issues at the time.

Events in this round have been held in the Hastings, Nambucca and Grafton.

Senior Land Services Officer Julie Dart said more than 30 local beef farmers attended the Grafton event to hear about pasture and weed management and winter nutritional supplements for beef cattle.

"Our Field Days provide information that is useful to beef farmers in their local area. Participants had indicated to us that managing Bahia Grass is a challenge at the moment so we included it in this Field Day agenda," she said.

Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) is regarded as both a useful pasture on less fertile hill country and a serious weed in the Clarence valley.

The relative feed value of Bahia grass as a pasture and the latest APVMA permits for control with herbicides were discussed at the event, along with the cost of control with herbicides.

"As with all our topics, we encourage participants to look at their own situation and make an informed decision - in this case as to whether Bahia grass is a friend or foe on their farms," Ms Dart said.

Presentations from Norco Rural explored looking after winter pastures including grazing management of annual ryegrass and forage oats and fertilizers. There was an emphasis on minimising losses from nitrogen fertilizers by careful product selection and application timing.

Loss of nitrogen to the atmosphere is both a loss of money to the farmer and a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from farms.

The event was also supported by Clarence Valley Council with a demonstration of herbicide application equipment given by the council's weeds officers, with special interest in the splatter guns and wick wipers.

Copies of the handouts from some of the presentations are available for those that were unable to attend the day. Phone Julie Dart at North Coast Local Land Services on 6659 9406.



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