Hot topics at special seminar

Far West land owners are invited to take part in a special agriculture seminar next month to discuss the future of the region.

The free, one-day seminar will be held at the Fowlers Gap research station off the Tibooburra Road, and organiser Anika Molesworth said it will give people the chance to discuss topics including livestock management, land productivity and resilience, as well as new technology.

The last seminar was held in 2016 and discussed changes in the Far West, ranging from climate change and water to biodiversity management and changing practices.

“This time we’re going to be talking about what cutting edge technologies are available, new practices, and how those can be integrated into the Far West,” Ms Molesworth said.

“As an example, we’ve got some really exciting speakers coming up for the day covering things from animal behaviour, wool and sheep, drones and how you can move livestock with them, soil and how to manage soil carbon and access green markets,” she said.

“We’ll touch on climate change, kangaroo and goat population changes and response plans for farmers to manage these. We also have the head of research development from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) coming out to talk about the latest research and innovation there.”

While the day will feature several speakers, Ms Molesworth said attendees are encouraged to add their own comments and ask questions at any point throughout the day.

She said having people participate and making comments was key to learning what works and what doesn’t.

“We want people to be interactive, we want to see all sorts of land managers from the Far West and further afield so we can learn more, share ideas, and learn to be more resilient in the future.

“Another of our speakers will be talking on virtual fencing which is very exciting new technology that involves GPS boundaries.

“Farmers have huge fences with huge costs so if you can do things by GPS maybe that’s a way to reduce costs. It’s early days in the research and that’s why we need everyone to actively participate and further that research.

“We’ll be talking about what’s going to happen in the Far West in the coming decades and want everyone to be part of this conversation.”

The seminar, which is organised by UNSW and Climate Wise Agriculture, will run from 10am to 4.30pm on May 12 at Fowlers Gap. It is free but people are asked to RVSP by contacting Anika Molesworth on 0408 386 121 or by emailing climatewiseagriculture@gmail.com.