2014 Conference

Just a very quick heads-up that this year’s conference will be held at Inverell on the 22-24 July.  More details will be posted as they come to hand on the Conference Information page.


Last 2013 newsletter now online

The last issue of the Society newsletter for 2013 is now online – see below for details.

Volume 28, Number 4, 2013 (pdf file 2100kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • Grassland Society of NSW Pasture Updates
  • Pre and Post International Grassland Congress meetings
  • Grasses of the NSW Tablelands (book announcement)
  • EverTrain Learning
  • Research Update
  • From the President’s Desk – David Harbison

From everyone at the Society, please have a safe and very merry Christmas and great seasons for 2014.


Survey on the roles of animal genetic resources in providing ecosystem services in grasslands

FAO SURVEYClick here to download the pdf survey form

We invite you to participate in a survey on the roles of animal genetic resources in the provision of ecosystem services in grassland ecosystems (please see the attached questionnaire). The results will be used to prepare a thematic study that will serve as an input in the preparation of The Second Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which is being prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at the request of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
The specific objective of the survey is to obtain information on the ecosystem services provided by specific populations of grazing livestock in specific grassland locations. To participate in the survey, you will therefore need first to choose an area of land (which for the purposes of the survey will be referred to as “the grazing area”) and a livestock population about which you are able to provide information.
The “grazing area” can be a single management unit (e.g. a nature reserve under unified management or an individual farm) or a geographical area (e.g. a mountain range) encompassing a number of management units (e.g. a number of farms or a communal grazing area used by a number of livestock keepers).
The livestock population should be a specific breed or group of breeds belonging to a single livestock species. It can either be a population that has historically been present in the grazing area or a population that has been introduced specifically for the purposes of managing the vegetation (or otherwise contributing to supporting, regulating or cultural ecosystem services). If you wish to provide information on more than one livestock population (e.g. more than one species), please complete a separate questionnaire for each. Likewise, if you would like to provide information on additional grazing areas, you will need to complete additional questionnaires.
Please support your answers by providing references (scientific publications, grey literature, official reports, etc.). Please insert the references in the relevant text boxes in the questionnaire (if possible, please include a web address for each). If the documents are not easily available (e.g. not available on the web), we would be grateful if you could send copies via email to the address below.
Once the relevant information has been assembled, the survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. If you have any questions, please contact Tatiana From (Tatiana.From@fao.org), Animal Genetic Resources Branch, FAO.
Please kindly submit completed questionnaire forms by 20 November 2013.

When you have finished completing the questionnaire, click the “Submit by Email” button on the last page and send the completed questionnaire to Tatiana.From@fao.org. This should work automatically. If it does not, please attach the completed questionnaire manually to an e-mail and send it. Note that if you click the button without completing all the compulsory fields, you will see a warning message. Any required fields that you have not filled will be highlighted in yellow.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this survey!


Newsletter Vol28/No3 now online

The latest issue of the newsletter is now online – please see below:

Volume 28, Number 3, 2013 (pdf file 2800kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • Flexibility the key to capitalising on lucerne – Susan Robertson
  • Regional EverGraze packages
  • Merino 2014 – the 9th World Merino Conference
  • Research Update
  • Feed on offer library now online – Geoffrey Paul
  • Highlights from the 22nd International Grassland Congress
  • Putting pastures on trial
  • New legume guides available
  • NSW Government launches major weed review
  • From the President’s Desk – Mick Duncan



New President for the Grassland Society

After nine years at the helm Mick Duncan decided not to stand for another term as President of the Grassland Society of NSW at the recent AGM (September 25) in Orange. In the election for office bearers David Harbison was elected unopposed as the new President.

David is a Director of DR Agriculture Pty Ltd, Molong and would be well known to many of our members. David has been an active member of the Grassland Society of NSW management committee for a number of years and was the conference convenor at the 2011 conference at Bathurst. David is looking forward to the challenges ahead as President and would welcome input from all members on the future direction of the Grassland Society of NSW.

The management committee on behalf of the members would like to thank Mick Duncan for his commitment and dedication during his time as President over the past nine years and look forward to his continued contribution as a committee member.

The election of the remaining positions on the management committee were

  • Vice President – Lester McCormick
  • Treasurer – Frank McRae
  • Editor – Carol Harris
  • Committee – John Coughlan, Hugh Dove, Nathan Ferguson, Keith Garlick, John Ive, Hayley Pattison and Warwick Wheatly.
  • Janelle Witschi continues as Secretary.

Pasture Update at Bingara

Grassland Society of NSW Pasture Update - Better Pastures for a Variable Climate


$15 for members, $25 for non-members includes lunch and morning tea and return bus trip to “Glenayr”
RSVP: 6 November, please contact: Janelle Witschi 0408 612 235 or email secretary@grasslandnsw.com.au

FLYER AND REGISTRATION FORM – cick here to download


  • Linda Hygate (Project Manager, Meat & Livestock Australia) – MLA’s investment in the southern feedbase
  • Robin Dobos and Hutton Oddy (Research Officers, Armidale Beef Centre, NSW DPI) – Maximising red meat production on tropical grasses
  • Mick Duncan (Agronomist, Northern Agriculture, Armidale) – Managing legume nutrition with phosphorus and sulphur
  • Elizabeth Hartley and Greg Gemell (Technical Officers – Inoculants and Rhizobia, NSW DPI, Ourimbah) – Improving nodulation. Have we got the rhizobia right?
  • Lester McCormick (Leader, Coastal & Temperate Pasture Systems, NSW DPI Tamworth) – Establishment opportunities using hard seeded legumes
  • Luc Farago (Team Leader, Strategic Land Services, BRG CMA, Inverell) – Native vegetation – what are the changes?
  • Phil Butler, “Glen Ayr” – The “Glen Ayr” operation. Phil describes his program of integrating tropical perennial grasses into his grazing system.
  • Carol Harris (Research Agronomist, Glen Innes) and Suzanne Boschma (Snr Research Scientist, Tamworth, NSW DPI) – Latest research on temperate and tropical legumes and trial site inspection

Pasture Update at Trangie

Please see the Events Calendar for info on the upcoming Pasture Update.



Download the Flyer and Registration Form here - $15 for Society Members (includes morning tea, lunch and the bus tour) or $25 for non-members.


Photo Competition

Send in your favourite pastoral or grassland landscape photo to go into the running for a years free membership.

Email your digital photos to Carol Harris at carol.harris@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Please provide a caption and/or location of the photo – they will be published here on the website so members can appreciate our wonderful grassland landscapes.

First entry below to get you started:

Grassland Scene from the top of Mount Rankin, between Uralla and Bundarra on the  Northern Tablelands of NSW by Katie Austin.

Grassland Scene from the top of Mount Rankin, between Uralla and Bundarra on the Northern Tablelands of NSW by Katie Austin.





Latest newsletter now online

The latest issue of the Society newsletter is now online and full of excellent information and updates.

Volume 28, Number 2, 2013 (pdf file 7600kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • The emission profile from a wool producing property at Yass – Phil Graham
  • A timely reminder on potassium – Jim Laycock
  • Perennials on path to commercialisation – Future Farming Industries CRC
  • Research Update
  • Perennial grasses in pasture production systems – Symposium – Rob Salmon
  • Pasture fertiliser response study – a summary to December 201 – David Harbison
  • NSW seasonal conditions summary – June 2013 – NSW DPI
  • Pasture plant adaptation to drought and high temperature stress – Satellite Meeting 22nd IGC
  • From the President’s Desk – Mick Duncan



Letter from President

11 June 2013


Dear Members

This note is to keep you up to date with several developments in the Society relating to the remainder of this year.

1.    The annual subscription will rise from $50.00 to $60.00 as from 1 July 2013. As many of you will know, our subscriptions have not altered for several years as we attempt to keep costs down. Costs however do trend up, rather than the other direction, and for this reason we have reluctantly made the decision to increase our annual sub. Our Society subscription is cheaper than comparable societies in Australia and overseas and I believe that at $60.00 per year, it represents excellent value. The sub covers four newsletters each year, a very informative members only internet site, the conference proceedings and the opportunity to attend local activities at a reduced cost compared with non-members.

2.    As we have advised in previous newsletters, there will be no annual Grassland Society conference this year. The reason for making this decision is to give the International Grassland Congress to be held in Sydney in September a clear run to attract sponsors and attendees. Details of this important event appeared in the previous newsletter (volume 28, number 1, 2013) with registration information available here.

In place of the conference, a series of pasture update meetings will take place across NSW, thanks to funds provided by MLA. Dates and venues are yet to be finalised as they are to some degree dependant on completion of the DPI restructure. At the time of writing this letter, we are unsure of the availability of relevant people, able to take part in these meetings.

On more general matters, I trust seasonal conditions are improved for all members, with recent welcome rain and the opportunity to sow crop and pasture.

We encourage letters to the editor on most topics, so if you have any thoughts you would like to air through this newsletter, I am sure our editor would like to hear from you.

With best wishes to all members


Mick Duncan

The Grassland Society of NSW