BY ROGER MCRAILD, VSTWP EXTENSION OFFICER, 2017.
As an Extension Officer I have the privilege of meeting hundreds of landowners and witnessing many different approaches to land management. While there are some that need advice, encouragement or even stern persuasion, there are a few like Anthony Grodzki who are leading the way.
Photo 1: The productive pastures of the property help prevent germination of serrated tussock through competition.
The Grodzki's 100-hectare home property is a great example of applying the right principles and best practice serrated tussock management:
- Pasture renovation has created good competitive cover to minimise weed invasion of any sort.
- Stock management has maintained the ground cover throughout the year.
- Careful use of flupropanate has provided residual selective control to supress serrated tussock on marginal country at the top of a river escarpment.
- Revegetation has been used to provide long term cover on marginal land infested with serrated tussock
- Sensible farm planning has optimised paddock configuration to facilitate rotation and allowing shelter belt planting to shelter pasture and stock and provide ecosystem services. These diverse, well-structured, indigenous shelter belts link right through the property creating habitat corridors from neighbouring State Forest.
Photo 2: The existing native vegetation has been left intact and allows for habitat corridors from the adjoining State Forest.
The Grodzkis have started to apply the same approach to the 160-hectare blue gum plantation north east of their home property. One of the first things done on the recently purchased bloc was to have aerial application of flupropanate done on a couple of well-established patches of serrated tussock.. This is not only a solid step toward productivity, but a service to the whole community through preventing seed production.
This is an early step in a comprehensive plan toward harvesting the trees and returning the land to a productive grazing cropping system.
Photo 3: Grazing is managed to keep good ground cover throughout the seasons.