NT Rural Review - September 2020

Note from our guest editor: Shaun Drabsch

Shaun Drabsch - Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the first issue of the Northern Territory (NT) Rural Review.

Earlier this month, the Chief Minister announced his new Cabinet and the associated realignment of the Machine of Government arrangements. The new Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade encompasses:

  • the former Department of Primary Industry and Resources
  • Tourism from the Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture
  • Licencing NT from the Department of the Attorney General and Justice
  • most of the existing Department of Trade, Business and Innovation.

Bringing together these related functions will foster a greater level of agility, flexibility and quicker decision making across government with a clear focus on growing the Territory.

The government’s goal to create a $40 billion economy by 2030 has driven the decision to group energy, tourism, resources and primary industries into one team. At a time when Australia is in recession, and the full impacts of COVID-19 continue to be realised, there has never been a more important time to achieve this economic growth.

The NT agriculture industry is a vital source of economic activity with important linkages to other sectors of the economy. Promoting and facilitating the development of this industry will be key to realising the government’s goal - which will mean 35,000 new jobs in the Territory, and a strong economy that supports a safe and healthy environment for all Territorians.

I trust you will enjoy the refreshed format of the NT Rural Review – a result of stakeholder feedback received through our formal regional communications review. This issue is packed with the latest research and development, extension and key market information.

I look forward to working alongside you in the critical task of reconstructing the Territory economy into the most competitive place to do business across all industry sectors.

Shaun Drabsch
Chief Executive Officer
Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

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Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Case report – Barber’s Pole worm and pestivirus in weaners

During May, a Darwin property manager reported two steers out of a mob of three-year-old steers seemed to be wasting away over a period of six weeks. One steer died, while the other was very skinny, weak and scouring, and it was euthanased when it became unable to stand.

Topic: Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Advance your career with horticulture grants for young Australians

Hort Innovation and the 2021 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry are offering a competitive grant program for young researchers, scientists, producers and innovators aged 18-35.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Central

CASH kicks off

Recently, the department had the opportunity to once again host Bruce Maynard, a passionate farmer and co-developer of the Maynard and Revell self herding and self shepherding management practices.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Katherine Region, Barkly Region

Choosing the Right Bull (Livestock Industry Development)

When it comes to choosing a partner, you typically don’t throw caution to the wind and choose any person who catches your eye! You have to understand what you’re looking for in a partner, identify deal breakers, consider the longevity of the relationship and make sure their genetics are what you want to include in your future family.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Barkly Region, Central Australia

Connecting North Australian beef producers

FutureBeef supports sustainable and profitable productivity gains for northern beef producers. It is an ongoing partnership of the Northern Territory Government (the former Department of Primary Industry and Resources, now the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade) with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin

Darwin Agriculture staff move buildings

The Berrimah Farm Science Precinct redevelopment project recently hit a major milestone with the opening of the Field Services Building.

Topic: Livestock, Horticulture, Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Do you have mad cows? Bucks for brains subsidy available!

Australia is currently free of TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies, or ‘mad cow disease’). The National TSE surveillance program helps Australia demonstrate our freedom from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and scrapie, to meet guidelines set by the World Organisation for Animal Health which includes collecting and examining eligible cattle and sheep brain and spinal cord samples each year.

Topic: Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia

Ehrlichiosis disease detected in Northern Territory dogs

The disease ehrlichiosis, an exotic tick-borne dog disease, has been confirmed in the Territory.

Topic: Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Katherine Region

Fall armyworm (Biosecurity)

Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is a caterpillar pest that feeds in large numbers on a wide host range of more than 350 species of plants, including sugarcane, millet, rice, maize, sorghum, cotton, wheat, vegetables and fruit crops.

Topic: Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Central

Good land condition pays premiums – the Central Australian story

The Old Man Plains Research Station (OMP) turns off steers each year as part of the Quality Graze research project. This project aims to identify optimal grazing systems that can consistently produce premium beef in arid zone rangelands, despite the highly variable climate.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Growers, send your best recipe to encourage Australians to #EatMoreAusVeg

AUSVEG has launched a #EatMoreAusVeg campaign to address the barriers to eating more vegetables and encourage consumers to eat more local vegetables.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Katherine Region, Barkly Region

Investigating bottle teat in calf loss

The CalfWatch project being conducted by NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT) the former Department of Primary Industry and Resources, is using new technology to remotely monitor calving and investigate calf loss.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS) reminder

The J-BAS is a number from 0 to 8 which represents the risk of Johne's disease on a property. A high score means a low risk of Johne's disease.

Topic: Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region

Manipulating mango flowering

As part of a Hort Innovation’s latest mango industry capacity building project ‘Building best management practice capacity for the Australian mango Industry (MG17000)’, Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism released a video providing insight into manipulating mango flowering.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin

New horticulture group leader

Welcome to Dr Sohail Mazhar, who joins Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade former Department of Primary Industry and Resources, plant industries team this month as the horticulture group leader, working on all aspects of horticulture in the Territory.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia

New Jackfruit project to look at processing options

Tropical exotic fruit products are not always well understood by the retailers, wholesalers and consumers. Reviews of the Jackfruit industry have identified scope for ‘edible’ jackfruit products.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Nominations open for Australian Biosecurity Awards

Nominations are now open for round two of the 2020 Australian Biosecurity Awards (ABAs).

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

NT livestock biosecurity snapshot – May to June 2020

The NT has a reputation for producing healthy livestock free from diseases and residues that could harm human health or impact our ability to sell livestock within Australia or overseas.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Katherine Region

NT Soil Symposium in Katherine

Territory Natural Resource Management held the final leg of its Northern Territory Soil Symposiums at Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre in Katherine on 5 March 2020.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Barkly Region, Central Australia

Offline mobile map apps

Learning your way around a new patch of country comes naturally to some, but not so much for others. Fortunately, advances in technology have paved the way for contemporary solutions to an age old problem.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Katherine Region, Barkly Region

Paddock Power gears up at Rocklands Station

There was excitement in the air as Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade Rangeland Program Manager Dionne Walsh and Senior Livestock Scientist Kieren McCosker rumbled down the highway in late August in a ute loaded with crates of high tech wizardry.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Katherine Region

Pastoral real jobs program (NTCA)

The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) are calling for participants in their Pastoral Real Jobs Program.

Topic: Event | 28 Sep 2020

Katherine Region, Barkly Region

Reducing calf loss from exposure – project update

The ‘Reducing calf loss from exposure’ project (besides being a mouthful) has been implemented at Avon Downs station to assess the effectiveness of providing shade for reducing calf mortality in relatively treeless Mitchell grass plains of the Barkly Tableland.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Reducing the impacts of feral pigs

Feral pigs pose a significant threat to Australia’s $60 billion agricultural industry, destroying crops and pastures, spreading weeds and disease, and preying on livestock. Feral pigs also cause serious damage to the natural environment.

Topic: Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Central

Reflections from a lifetime of adapting regenerative agriculture to the desert context

On Wednesday 22 July 2020, some staff from the Arid Zone Research Institute and from Bushfires NT went to Woodgreen Station for a tour and to hear about the management strategies Bob Purvis has spent many decades perfecting.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin

Spicing up the north - project update

Through the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) and CQ University researchers, our growers and partners are trialling the performance of five different spice crops at sites across Northern Australia.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Strong partnership enables rapid biosecurity response

During a ride in the bush in July, a member of the Larrakia Rangers spotted a dead pig near a local rubbish dump. Thanks to recent post-mortem training, they were aware of the threat of African swine fever (ASF) and its transmission/risk pathways, and were able to recall the reporting mechanism for suspicious pig deaths.

Topic: Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Subsidies available for investigating disease in livestock

Did you know there are subsidies available to investigate diseases in Northern Territory livestock?

Topic: Livestock, Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Suspect seeds set for destruction in the Territory

Territorians are being reminded to be biosecurity aware, following cases of unsolicited packets of seeds being received through the mail.

Topic: Biosecurity | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin

Sustainable vegetation management for rangelands

Territory Natural Resource Management’s (TNRM) ‘Sustainable Pastoral Business’ program provides guidance and support to cattle producers to strengthen and develop their natural resource capacity.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Central

The Central Australian team

The halls of the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI) have seen some changes in recent months with staff movements bringing a new mix of knowledge and experience and creating a buzz around the office.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region

Tipperary cotton field day a success

Well over 30 growers and industry representatives attended a modern cotton field day at Tipperary station in July.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Central

Understanding the rainfall forecast for summer 2020

A senior climatologist explained that it will always be difficult to predict rainfall in places like Central Australia, because we are right in the middle of the continent. The moisture for rain comes from the oceans, and by the time it has travelled over our vast, hot, dry continent it is difficult to say how much moisture will be left. Wind speed and direction, temperatures and frontal systems will all influence how and when the rain falls.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin

Webinar series, now available online

Amid ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism (DITT), formerly the Department of Primary Industry and Resources) launched its first ever weekly webinar series, aimed at helping growers keep abreast of national and local agricultural projects.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

Central

What’s your P status?

The Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Phosphorus Challenge, now in its second year across the Northern Territory, aims to help producers and industry bodies build a better understanding of the potential for phosphorus deficiency in breeder herds grazing various types of country.

Topic: Livestock | 28 Sep 2020

Greater Darwin, Katherine, Barkly, Central

Women in horticulture scholarships – EOI’s open

Hort Innovation and Women and Leadership Australia are offering funding grants of up to $10,941 for women who work in the horticulture sector.

Topic: Horticulture | 28 Sep 2020

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