Barkly Rangeland Management Courses run across the Barkly

Jane Douglas, Tennant Creek

During March and April, the Tennant Creek Livestock Industry Development team ran a series of Rangeland Management Courses (RMCs) across the Barkly.

While the free training sessions, that are run on-station, are aimed at entry-level station staff, attendees also included senior station staff including head stockmen and assistant managers. Some were attending for the fourth time and stated that they were still learning more each time.

Jane Douglas and Gabrielle Penna ran the first run of sessions at Brunette Downs, Anthony Lagoon and Avon Downs. Jane was also joined by Casey Collier to run the final sessions at Brunchilly and Helen Springs. A total of 75 attendees were from a range of properties that represented a total area of 46,800 km2.

The Barkly RMC has been specifically designed for staff working within the region with topics including:

  • pasture species and dynamics (what grows in the paddocks and their value as feed)
  • land condition and monitoring (improved land condition results in improved feed quality and quantity)
  • grazing animal nutrition (digestion process and maximising cattle production)
  • weeds (identification and control of weeds on the Barkly)
  • poisonous plants (identification and management)
  • biodiversity (native flora and fauna on the Barkly and their importance)
  • fire management (using fire to improve land condition and pasture quality).

While mainly operated in the classroom, the field trips to the paddock are very popular, as this is when the participants get to find, identify and learn about the different plant species that are growing on their station. They learn about plant identification, where it grows and how palatable it is to stock. Presenters also introduce the concept of land condition and participants are given the opportunity to discuss their own assessments while out in the paddock.

The final activity for the day is an interactive mapping activity where participants are required to plan the layout of a station using management strategies learned during the course.
The RMCs are run on demand during the late wet season each year. For more information regarding courses for 2019, please contact Jane Douglas by telephone 08 8962 4483 or email jane.douglas@nt.gov.au.

Figure 2: Not all classrooms are indoors. Trevor Dineen (Helen Springs) and Jack Veenbaas (Phillip Creek) identifying pasture species at the Helen Springs RMC Figure 3: Annie Murphy and Henry Kneebone (Phillip Creek) tying all of the course content together in the Property Mapping Activity at the end of the dayFigure 4: Some of the locals checking on Phil Heathwood's pasture identification at Helen Springs

Figure 2: Not all classrooms are indoors. Trevor Dineen (Helen Springs) and Jack Veenbaas (Phillip Creek) identifying pasture species at the Helen Springs RMC

Figure 3: Annie Murphy and Henry Kneebone (Phillip Creek) tying all of the course content together in the Property Mapping Activity at the end of the day

Figure 4: Some of the locals checking on Phil Heathwood's pasture identification at Helen Springs

Last updated: 14 June 2018