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Lower Nebine Road Trip Report - 2009

Posted by Bestprac on Sep 14 2009

We were late, we were forgotten, we were early- we had a ball!

 

August 23rd saw 9 intrepid travellers setting off from South Plains, Cunnamulla, on the Lower Nebine Bestprac Group’s road trip, capably organised by member, Kerrie Cribb. Eight of the group were Bestprac members with Alan Dick, a passionate wool man, completing the entourage.

We lunched on the banks of the river at Weilmoringle and made our way to Bokhara, Brewarrina at the designated time of 2pm, only to find we had been expected for lunch! However, Graham and Cathy Finlayson made us very welcome with a cuppa, and then took us for a very eye opening tour of their plot which encompasses holistic management- restoring native broad leaf perennial grasses and 100% ground cover by means of low inputs and high impact from cloven hoofed animals. Cathy Finlayson at Bokhara with group
They had many 60 to 70 Ha cells with 1000 head of agisted mostly heifer females which are moved every 2 days on the heavier country and every day in the copper burr country. This has been very effective, as has their restoration of claypan country. Waters in the cells were confined to encourage cattle not to camp but to go out and graze. We spent the night at Bokhara in very comfortable accommodation and had an interesting night talking to Graham and Cathy about their aspirations.
 

Beauty on the Kallara Flood PlainDay 2 saw us head to Brewarrina, Bourke, Louth and Tilpa where the hotel put on a great Bar B Q lunch for us. We went on to Justin and Julie Mc Clure’s Kallara Station only to find that in their very busy life, they had over looked the fact they had 9 coming to stay! Julie was incredible- she found accommodation for all of us, and as Justin was 3 hours away, very capably showed us around their 250,000 acre patch of paradise- not a bad acre on it. They are organic and are going away from wool production to produce organic lamb through the use of Dorpers. Julie showed us their magnificent shearing shed and yards to die for- all Prattley yards with weigh crate and automatic drafter. They use a pig weigh crate as it holds the dorper lambs more successfully than a sheep crate. They are opportunistic farmers and had an oats crop in dire need of a drink. We saw a slide show and were treated to a great dorper roast dinner and a lot of wine! Early morning found a flat tyre fixed for us and a beaut hot breakfast ready- ably cooked by Justin.

Pasture restoration at Etiwanda

Day 3 started with a 300k drive to Etiwanda, south of Cobar, where once again, we arrived on time according to us but an hour early according to Megan and Andrew Mosely. We watched their slide show and then went in to the paddock to look at their regeneration of native pasture, achieved in a similar manner to Bokhara, with holistic management. They use a 3000 DSE rotational graze pattern. Their country was probably most like western Queensland country but was once again, surrounded by hills with a valley effect. We ate our lunch in their garden and proceeded to Cooee, Nyngan, via a back road. Mark and Lisa Ticehurst once owned Heywood Station, fellow traveller, Alan Dick’s property, so we all enjoyed catching up. Most of us toured their property, looking at the upgrade to the shearing shed to make it friendlier for a February shearing, and to see cattle on oats. Mark is an opportunity man, trading stock, growing fat lambs etc. when the markets and seasons are both right, really maximising income and utilising his 5000 acres very efficiently.

We went to Nyngan for the night, staying at a motel owned by ex Cunnamulla-ites, where a whacko time was had, particularly by some of the boys who were a doughie lot the next morning!

Fat Herefords on Oats at CooeeOur last day saw a depleted group as Kate and Ross lost a friend while we were away and wanted to attend his funeral in Gunnedah. We headed off for 100ks back near Nymagee to Weston Fencing. This was a real surprise- we had thought we were going to see different types of fencing displays but it was the real innovation in the trip. Peter and Elizabeth Weston and their sons found a need for electric fence droppers which were not timber and which could be made quickly and efficiently without waste. They devised a die and plan for a solid rectangular poly dropper with grooves along the length to house holes for wires. They had the machines manufactured in Finland- too bad that the instruction manual was all in Finnish!- and set up a factory in a shed on their property. They use a generator to power it all as mains power isn’t good enough. We were able to see the droppers being made from start to end, from a one tonne bag of poly granules to the end product. There is no waste as all scraps go back through a granulator to be reused. It is all very clean- no nasty fumes. They also built themselves a machine to fashion clips for tying wires to posts. They have trailers specially fashioned to run these droppers out and which are available for hire. We were treated to a tour of their very beautiful garden as well as one of their property of 70,000 acres. They are well ahead of their time, having done pasture restoration very successfully 20 years ago. After this most enjoyable leg of our trip, we set off for our 5 hour drive home.

We met up in Brewarrina and had a discussion on the stand out parts of the trip. The passion all these people had to do the right thing by the country/ environment by restoring the country to broad leafed native perennial grasses was a very tangible thing, and electric fencing would appear to be the fencing of the future for all animal control, feral, native, and domestic. Claypans can obviously be restored though it would be good to revisit when there hasn’t been a lot of rain, to see how the regeneration of both claypans and pastures has held up. We didn’t see anywhere in Qld the feed that we saw in areas of our trip. No one was in drought though Kallara definitely was looking for rain for their crop.

We heard repeatedly how Queensland has stolen their water, some felt wine bottles are far too small, roads in NSW are terrific, and all in all we had a damn good time!

Lower Nebine Bestprac Group Road Trip 

 

Last changed: Feb 15 2012

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