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

2011 Conference Proceedings now online for members

An electronic version of the 2011 Conference Proceedings is now available online to members only(access using username and password).  Lots of extremely informative papers to keep you at the cutting edge of grasslands research and management. For details on applying for membership of the Grassland Society of NSW see the Membership page.

Click on the Cover Image to view the contents of the full proceedings. Click on the individual paper title to download.

NOTE: you will need to use your membership number to login for access to these documents – please contact us if you are unsure of your login details. As usual, do not enter your details until prompted – a login box will pop up when you attempt to access a document stored in the “members only” area of this website.

Conference Bus Tours a Success

Conference delegates enjoyed two interesting and informative bus tours in the Bathurst area yesterday as part of the 26th Annual Conference.

One tour visited the Paspaley Pearls Rural property Bunnamagoo at Rockley where they heard from the manager Matt Bowden and Agronomist Andrew McFadyen on the Paspaley Rural group operations and inspected some pastures. Next stop was at Euarra O’Connell. John Bestwick explained his goals to increase the utilisation of grazable heactares using dual purpose crops. At this site Stuart Moncrieff, Agronomist at Elders gave a run down on Alternative forage systems for the central tablelands including hard seeded legumes.

Can't make it to the conference this year – join us online

If you can’t make it to the conference this year don’t worry – regular updates will be available on the website and our Facebook page during each day. Keep an eye out for posts of presentation and bus tour highlights.  As always we welcome your comments on any of the conference posts.

2010 – From the President's Desk

The year is rapidly coming to yet another end, and fortunately the general seasonal picture across NSW is better than for many years. The downside continues to be rainfall in the cropping areas that has already caused signifi cant delays with winter crop harvest resulting in inevitable grain quality problems. To all our cropping members, we hope for some fi ne weather, at least until the headers have finished the job.

Livestock producers have enjoyed what some people describe as the best spring for at least 10 years. This was very welcome after a generally dry autumn that threatened to continue the protracted dry weather of recent years. The Society continues to prosper, with a membership over 400 and prospects for interesting new projects planned for 2011. We are currently planning to put together a series of localised meetings across the state, designed to provide updates on new pasture varieties from all seed companies. When firm plans are available, including dates and venues, details will be posted on the internet site.

In addition the newsletter will give members information on this and other activities. As many of you will now be aware, next year’s conference will take place at Bathurst. This will be the fi rst time at Bathurst and the emphasis of the conference will focus on improved pasture development and management for sheep and cattle producers. A number of interesting and novel farm tours are in the planning stage for what is likely to be a very stimulating conference. The convenor for the conference is David Harbison, ably assisted by an enthusiastic committee.

As this is the last newsletter for 2010, I would like to wish our members, all the best for a safe and restful Christmas period with hopes high for continuing good seasonal conditions.
Mick Duncan (President, Grassland Society of NSW)

New book on tropical grasses for Northern Inland NSW available

This publication is a joint venture between I&I NSW and the Grassland Society of NSW. The book provides a comprehensive guide to sowing and managing tropical grasses in Northern Inland NSW.  Chapters include; Planning and preparation, Pre-sowing weed control, Getting species selection right, Seed quality, Sowing rates, Sowing machinery, Sowing time & depth, The role of fertilizers and nitrogen, Grazing management, Pasture quality, Root depth, growth and water use efficiency.  For a copy contact Lester McCormick at lester.mccormick@industry.nsw.gov.au

Grassland Society of NSW Celebrates 25 years

At the recent Grassland Society of NSW Annual Conference at Dubbo (July 28-29), the Society celebrated 25 years as an organisation.  Malcolm Campbell, the Grassland Society Secretary for 17 years (1985-2002) and Life Member entertained the conference delegates at the dinner with an address on the history of the society over the past 25 years.  A copy of Malcolm’s address will be printed in the next edition of the newsletter.  More conference highlights will be posted soon

Malcolm Campbell toasting the Grassland Society of NSW at the Conference dinner on July 28 at Dubbo. Photo Jenene Kidston.

Pasture Varieties used in New South Wales 2010 – 2011

Pasture Varieties used in NSW 2010-2011

This excellent publication is a joint venture between I&I NSW and the Grassland Society of NSW. It provides information on species and varieties/brands of pasture grasses, legumes and some herbs used in pastures. Varieties/brand names are listed together with suppliers and other relevant detail such as plant characteristics, sowing rates, suitable soil types etc. that may assist producers in selecting suitable pasture varieties.

From the Presidents Desk

From the President’s desk – Mick Duncan (December 2009)

Seasonal conditions across NSW vary greatly, with good winter crop prospects in northern NSW, patchy further south, and pasture conditions also varying according to location. Irrespective whether you are a climate change sceptic or not, there is no doubt that variable climate has significantly changed attitudes to plant and animal production in recent years, if not longer. A study of climatic data for the past century makes for interesting reading and suggests that pastoralists way back were concerned with changes in both rainfall pattern and yearly totals. We will attempt to print an article on this subject in a coming newsletter.

Our editor for this newsletter over the past eight years, Professor Haydn Lloyd Davies, has finally and reluctantly decided to retire from this position, but not, I’m pleased to report, from either the Society or his state committee membership. Haydn, one of the few life members of the Society, has contributed enormously to its functioning by serving in many capacities, including that of President from 1997 -1999. On behalf of all our members I thank Haydn for his long service to the Society and his editorship of this highly regarded newsletter, with much assistance from Helen.

Carol Harris, from Glen Innes has kindly offered to take on this very important task. I thank her for this and ask all members to consider letters to her as editor, on topical subjects. I also welcome Cathy Waters to our committee and look forward to her valued contributions.

Our internet site that provides members with linkages to a broad range of seed, fertilizer, chemical companies and weather stations, to name a few, is in the process of review. I am grateful to Cathy Waters from Industry and Investment at Trangie and Carol Harris, Glen Innes for agreeing to review our site in an attempt to make it even more useful. One suggestion is to have the abstract of conference papers available for people who do not wish to wade through all the papers in full. I know that Cathy and Carol would welcome any suggestions that may improve our internet site.

Best wishes to all members.

Last 2009 newsletter online

A bit late but better late than never:  the last issue of the 2009 newsletter is now online here.

This is the first newsletter edited by Carol Harris – the new editor – and is full of interesting articles and photographs from the Annual Conference.  Brief summary of the contents follows:

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • Good results for hay and silage awards – N Griffiths
  • Mineral nutrition of sheep and cattle grazing dual-purpose wheats – H Dove, W Kelman, G
  • Boosting live weights on winter forages – R Van Es
  • Native pasture systems: Forage value in the Manilla-Bundarra Region – L Rowling, C Edwards
  • 2010 Grassland Society of NSW Conference and Aust Society of Animal Production Conference
  • 9th World Sheep & Wool Congress
  • From the President’s Desk – Mick Duncan