NT Rural Review - February 2021

Note from our guest editor: Luke Bowen

Luke Bowen, Deputy Chief Executive Officer - Agriculture, Fisheries, Civil and Defence Industry

Welcome to the first Northern Territory Rural Review for 2021.

A new year brings with it reflection on the past twelve months and anticipation for the next twelve and beyond. For me personally, this year will see me take on a new role as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade with responsibility for Agriculture, Fisheries, Civil and Defence Industry.

I have a long standing affiliation with the agricultural sector. I was born and raised on a mixed farm in Western Australia and have a working understanding of livestock, broad acre cropping and intensive animal production systems.  In 1854, my great-great-grandfather, Michael arrived non-voluntarily in WA from Ireland, following some legal proceedings relating to the possession and subsequent consumption of a ram at the time of the Irish Famine.  A connection to land and agriculture is my foundation. While I studied agriculture at the Muresk Institute, Curtin University in WA, I gained agricultural experience in the UK and Ireland and spent time as a shearer predominantly in the WA pastoral zone.

In the 1990s I worked in executive roles with two major building services and product companies in WA and SA, exposing me to sectors which have alignment with current areas of responsibility in defence and civil industry. Following this period and prior to joining the Territory Government in 2014, I worked for the Indigenous Land Corporation (now the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation) for 10 years and was the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association for six years.

While in industry and for a period in the Northern Territory Government, I spent five years on the Federal Government’s Agriculture Industry Advisory Council, a group chaired by the Federal Agriculture Minister. The council advised on a wide range of policy and industry issues at the local, national and international level.

In 2014 I joined the Northern Territory Government and have held appointments of General Manager across Northern Australia Development, international engagement, trade, investment and defence.

I am passionate about the development of Northern Australia agriculture and look forward to working with industry, partners and stakeholders to drive economic growth for primary and secondary industries across the Northern Territory.

Luke Bowen
Deputy Chief Executive Officer - Agriculture, Fisheries, Civil and Defence Industry
Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade

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Central Australia
Weather map

Useful weather forecasts for summer

Alice Springs received above average rainfall for the months of October and November 2020!

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

Central Australia
LID group

Alice Springs Livestock Industries Development group – projects for the future

Senior staff from the Livestock Industries Development group in Darwin and Katherine go to Alice Springs for a few days of planning discussions.

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

Central Australia
ASPIAC members and some guest speakers from a previous meeting.

Alice Springs Pastoral Industry Advisory Committee modelling workshop for the OptigGraze project

Senior staff from the Livestock Industries Development group in Darwin and Katherine go to Alice Springs for a few days of planning discussions.

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Swollen Spleen

Case report – tick fever in the Darwin region

During October 2020, a property in the Darwin region found 10 head out of approximately 200 heifers dead over the course of one week.

Topic: Livestock, Biosecurity | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Branding irons

Cross branding in the Northern Territory

Under the Livestock Act 2008 (the Act), all cattle, except buffalo and horses, over eight months of age are to be branded prior to movement in the Northern Territory.

Topic: Livestock, Biosecurity | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Erlichiosis

Ehrlichia canis spreading across the NT!

The disease ehrlichiosis, a tick-borne bacterial disease in dogs which was first detected in the Northern Territory (NT) in June 2020 is now present in most Local Government Areas across the NT including Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs and most remote communities.

Topic: Biosecurity | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin
Hemp Plant

First commercial hemp licence issued

The development of a new commercial plant industry in the Northern Territory has taken another step forward with the NT Government granting the first commercial hemp licence since the Hemp Industry Act 2019 came into effect in May 2020.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin
African Mahogany

Forage available under mature plantations

There is a theory that there is enough light under mature oil palms to grow 1,000kg per hectare of dry matter (DM) of forage grass each year.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Central Australia
IPM Dates

Integrated pest management plans for Central Australian date palms

The Northern Territory Department of Industry Tourism and Trade in collaboration with Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development are trialling the use of pain relief on commercial properties across northern Australia.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin
Jackfruit field day

Jackfruit field day

Local jackfruit growers attended a field day at the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade’s Coastal Plains Research Farm.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Cow

Legal responsibilities in using hormonal growth promotants

Hormonal growth promotant’s (HGPs) are commonly used in North Australian production systems to increase weight gain.

Topic: Livestock, Biosecurity | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Scenic image

Making the most of the forecast

FutureBeef and Beef Central have recently teamed up with WA Climate Mate, Anne Marie Huey, to present a webinar to assist primary producers in northern Australia to better interpret weather and seasonal forecasts.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin
Senior Research Agronomist, Tony Asis from DITT and Dr Sean Bellairs, leader of the native rice project, from CDU, with plants at a vegetative stage.

Native rice trials begin

A 10-year collaborative research project seeking to commercialise native rice in Northern Australia, and support Aboriginal enterprise, has commenced growing trials.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Pain relief in cattle

Pain relief during castration and dehorning

Conducting surgical husbandry procedures on beef cattle is sometimes necessary.

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

Central Australia
Weaner Training

Pastoral Research Station Herd Performance report for 2019 to 2020

The Northern Territory Government’s cattle research and management program is integrated across two agricultural research stations near Alice Springs, Old Man Plains Research Station (OMP) and the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI).

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Bucks for Brains flyer

Pink duplicates of NT Waybills

Northern Territory (NT) Waybills provide detailed livestock movement information used to trace animal movements.

Topic: Livestock, Biosecurity | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Cattle Yards

Pregnancy Tester Renewal

Accredited Pregnancy Testers with renewals due on 31 December 2020 should ensure that renewal forms are completed with annual returns.

Topic: Livestock, Biosecurity | Feb 2021

Central Australia
Branded-steer

Quality Graze – so much more than a rotational grazing project!

Quality Graze is a grazing strategies trial being run at Old Man Plains Research Station, south-west of Alice Springs.

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Attendees at reducing calf loss on the Downs

Reducing calf loss on the Downs

In October, staff from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade’s Agriculture Division travelled to Queensland to share recent research and practical prevention strategies to reduce calf wastage.

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin
Ginger production in a protected cropping system

Seeding a future for ginger in the NT

In 2019, the Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism established a co-innovation program with local growers looking at the production of clean, high quality ginger varieties.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Katherine Region

Sunn Hemp (Crotolaria Juncea) evaluation Trial: Results of 2020 Demonstration Site

The majority of soils in the Northern Territory have a weak structure and low organic matter. Wet season rains can result in further structural degradation if the soil is not protected against erosion.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin
TNRM 2020 awards

Territory NRM awards night

The development of a new commercial plant industry in the Northern Territory has taken another step forward with the NT Government granting the first commercial hemp licence since the Hemp Industry Act 2019 came into effect in May 2020.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Katherine Region

Understanding the key climate drivers for your region

Darwin based Emily Hinds offers a range of services for pastoralists in the Top End and Victoria River District.

Topic: Horticulture | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
Gamba Grass

Weed management plan for gamba grass

A new 2020-2030 Weed Management Plan for Gamba Grass has been developed that establishes goals, objectives and management requirements for owners and occupiers.

Topic: Biosecurity | Feb 2021

Central Australia
Watering down yards helps to reduce dust which can be an eye irritant. Damaged eyes are more susceptible to disease.

What do we know about pinkeye in Central Australia?

The summer of early 2020 will be remembered as one of the worst ever for flies in Central Australia, for many stations it was also a particularly bad time for pinkeye in cattle.

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia

Woody cover change at Kidman Springs since 1988

This article is the second of a two-part article looking at general trends in woody cover across Northern Australia.

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Barkly Region, Central Australia
landscape of sunset in front of field with pasture fence

Woody cover change in grazing lands of Northern Australia since 1988

Trees are a natural part of our landscapes but they can have both negative and positive effects on pasture growth, depending on the situation.

Topic: Livestock | Feb 2021

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