Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

The Grassland Society of NSW would like to wish all of our members and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I usually put a fun and colourful christmas picture on these end of year posts but I dont think that is what is called for this year.

I think everyone would agree that what we all want for Christmas and then ongoing through the next year is rain and lots of it.

So here’s hoping for us all with this drawing by Anton Mauve from the late 19th century to set the mood:


For those who are struggling with drought, bushfires, and tough times, make sure you take a little time out over Christmas to look after yourself.
Wishing you all the best for a better 2020.


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Last newsletter for 2019 now online

The last newsletter for 2019 is now online and as usual full of useful information.  Check it out below:


Volume 34, Number 4, 2019 (pdf file 5250kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • Progress in research to develop a more P-efficient pasture system – Richard Simpson, Richard Hayes and Rebecca Haling
  • Post-drought lucerne pasture viability – how to assess trigger points to renovate – Jeff McCormick
  • Research Update
  • Vale Hugh Dove
  • NZ Grasslands Association Conference Report – Hamish Best
  • Be on the lookout for Pasture Dieback – Sarah Baker and Suzanne Boschma
  • From the President – David Harbison


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Latest newsletter now online

Please see below for latest Society newsletter with lots of interesting reading.  Our newsletter editor Carol Harris has done a great job as usual with this issue marking 10 years in the editor’s job – we appreciate her hard work.


Volume 34, Number 3, 2019 (pdf file 4250kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • Drought opportunities: producer panel session at Gunnedah – Jillian Kelly
  • 2019 Conference Report
  • Practical application of soil test benchmarks for phosphorus -Richard Simpson and Phil Graham
  • Research Update
  • UNE GRASS Program Update
  • Grazing lingo – what does it all mean
  • Acid soil management in the 21st century
  • From the President – David Harbison
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Latest newsletter now online

The latest issue of the newsletter is now online.

Volume 34, Number 2, 2019 (pdf file 875kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • Its Conference Time
  • Crookwell Pasture Update
  • Phosphorus soil test benchmarks for productive legume-based pastures -Richard Simpson and Cameron Gourley
  • Research Update
  • Post sowing weed, disease and pest control
  • Drought in Australia – poem by Colleen Wright
  • Assessing species composition and ground cover
  • From the President – David Harbison


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Earlybird Tickets – Conference 3-4 July

MEDIA RELEASE: Monday 6th May 2019

2019 Grassland Conference Earlybird Tickets On Sale NOW

The biennial two day Conference will be held on 3 – 4 July 2019 in Gunnedah, NSW.The theme of the 2019 Conference is “Renewed focus on livestock systems for resilience – the swing back to forages”.

It is an occasion for Primary Producers in North West NSW to come together and consider opportunities to grow.

Grassland NSW Conference Convenor, George Truman said, “The Conference is a premier event for producers managing pasture and livestock systems. It is a two-day
event that will educate, inform, connect and provide opportunities to consider to improve your own business.”  The two day Conference is comprised of a series of sessions and presentations.  These include: Climate Change and Variability, Economics – Producers Changing – the swing to forages, Livestock Production Systems and Livestock Nutrition as well as Livestock and Plant Genetics. Special Speaker Presentations will give delegates insight into current perspectives, drought conditions and opportunities.

“The drought is still biting and many producers are still very busy feeding, the organisers of the conference recognise the situation and have put together a producer panel, to discuss how they managed the drought and the opportunities they were able take advantage of.”

Bus trips and farm tours are on the agenda along with the opportunity to network at the Conference Dinner. Our after-dinner speaker, Greg Mills. GoAhead Business Solutions, will be addressing Social License, which has been hitting the headlines in recent months.

“We encourage you to be at the forefront of your pasture and livestock systems, by attending the 2019 Grassland Conference,” said George Truman.

Special drought discounted Earlybird Tickets are now on sale and there are a range of ticket package options. An Earlybird FULL CONFERENCE PASS is valued at $265
(Member)/ $335 (Non-Member). It provides unlimited access to daily sessions, plus Conference Dinner and Bus tour. SINGLE DAY passes are also available for $115
(Member)/$175 per day (Non-Member). Conference Dinner, Bus Tour and Student tickets also available.

For a full list of Ticket options and to BOOK NOW at special drought discounted EARLYBIRD prices visit Grassland Society of NSW website:


Media requests:

Jill Stewart | Curious Culture | |0414 215 285

For more information:

Lester McCormick | | 0427 401 542


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First 2019 newsletter now online

The first issue of the Society newsletter for 2019 is now online with some very useful reading with special emphasis on pasture and feeding management during these particularly challenging dry conditions.

Volume 33, Number 1, 2018 (pdf file 935kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • Moree Pasture Update report
  • Livestock Productivity Program expanded
  • New drought indicator safe-guarding farmers
  • Understanding combined drought indicator phases  (click here for link to CDI page)
  • How many farm injuries result in hospitalisation?
  • NSW seed in doomsday vault
  • Research Update
  • Factors to consider before sowing a temperate pasture  (click here for DPI Pasture Establishment Guide)
  • Pasture establishment budgets
  • From the President – David Harbison
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Final 2018 Newsletter now online

The final newsletter for 2018 is now available:

Volume 33, Number 4, 2018 (pdf file 828kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • Pasture Update Reports
  • Cattle adaption to dual-purpose canola – Dr Jeff McCormick, Dr Shawn McGrath and John Paulet
  • Weed control prior to sowing pasture
  • Research Update
  • Fertiliser at sowing
  • From the President – David Harbison

From all of us at the Society, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year – and most importantly better weather for 2019.

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Latest newsletter now online

The latest newsletter is now online at the link below.  As usual it has lots of very useful information for all of us.

Volume 33, Number 3, 2018 (pdf file 955kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • The Grassland Society of NSW sponsors GRASS program
  • Establishing pastures – Soil issues affecting pastures
  • Establishing pastures – Pasture species selection
  • Research Update
  • Largest ever remote monitoring project kicks off
  • Automation could be the way of the future for shearing sheds
  • Updated drought guide available now
  • From the President – David Harbison

Of particular interest to those still struggling with drought across the state, will be the updated version of the “Managing and Preparing for Drought (August 2018)”.  Details within the newsletter but to make it easier for everyone, you can use this direct link to download the publication. Further information on Drought Assistance and other resources is available at the DPI DroughtHub.

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2019 Science and Innovation Awards

2019 Science and Innovation Awards
for Young People in Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry 

Grant applications now open!


Applications are now open for the 2019 Science and Innovation Awards.  If you’re 18-35, this is your chance to apply for a grant of up to $22,000 (inc GST) to fund your project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue that will benefit Australia’s primary industries.

There’s 13 industry award categories available in the 2019 round – cotton; dairy; eggs and poultry (layers); established, new and emerging rural industries; fisheries and aquaculture; forest and wood products; grains; health and biosecurity; meat and livestock; pork; red meat processing; viticulture and oenology; and wool.

Applications close on Friday 12 October 2018. The Award winners will be publicly recognised as part of the ABARES Outlook 2019 conference in Canberra in March 2019.

Since they were launched in 2001, the Science and Innovation Awards have helped more than 230 young researchers, innovators and scientists turn their ideas into reality through more than $3.7 million in grant funding. Be a part of the 2019 round and apply today!

Winners of the industry category Science Awards are then invited to apply for the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources’ Award, which provides additional funding for an extended research project.


Interested in applying for a 2019 Science and Innovation Award grant? To be eligible you must:

  1. be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) on Friday 12 October 2018.
  2. be Australian citizens or permanent residents (proof required) by the closing date.
  3. be working, employed or studying in an agriculture, fisheries or forestry related industry (including food and sustainable natural resource management). Proof such as a letter of employment, scholarship or pay slip may be requested.
  4. not be employed by a sponsoring organisation in the award category they are applying for, and not have an immediate family member (eg a sibling or parent) who is employed by a sponsoring organisation in their selected award category.
  5. not be employed by an Australian Government agency classified as a Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.


  • Employees of entities that are classified as Corporate Commonwealth entities are eligible for the Awards.
  • Employees of entities classified as Non Corporate Commonwealth entities are ineligible for the Awards.
  • Corporate Commonwealth entities are legally separate from the Commonwealth, whereas non-Corporate Commonwealth entities are part of the Commonwealth (see PGPA Act, Section 11).
  • For advice on the entities and how your employer is classified, visit the Department of Finance’s website.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the Science Awards team at

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Latest newsletter is now online

The latest issue of the newsletter (Vol33/No2) is now online with some very useful information particularly during these very dry times.

Volume 33, Number 2, 2018 (pdf file 890kb)

  • Editorial – Carol Harris
  • Grong Grong (Berrembed) Pasture Update report
  • When the going gets tough the Drought Feed Calculator (DFC) gets downloaded
  • Understanding your feedtest
  • What you need to know about soil testing
  • Soil issues affecting pastures
  • From the President – David Harbison


Note: for those who want to check out the Drought Feed Calculator, it can be downloaded for Android here and for Apple here.

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