Have you spotted Josh Arnold out & about this week catching up with the kids from Monto, Mulgildie & Abercorn. If you haven't yet then you will be able to catch him this Friday, 17th November at the St Therese's Christmas Fair were he will be performing with all of the kids.
We have been lucky enough to be involved with the fundraising of bringing Josh to town. Some of this fundraising included our Monto Ladies Luncheon that was held in May and food stall at our 2023 Bull Sale.
CATTLE prices across the eastern states have lifted considerably in the past fortnight on the back of moderate, but widespread storm rain.
If numbers at a recent Drought Resilience Workshop in Monto are anything to go by, more and more producers are looking to access the relatively new drought preparedness funding.
The workshop funded by DAF and hosted by the Burnett Catchment Care Association (BCCA) on Thursday, November 9, saw a roll up of 43 producers keen to get as much information as possible on how to do their Drought Resilience Plans for their funding applications.
A similar workshop in Eidsvold on Wednesday, November 8, attracted about 20 people.
BCCA extension officer and facilitator Hayley Webster said it was huge rollup in Monto. "Having an online group and having a specific graziers group, I think, has created a little more proactivity and enthusiasm in the area in general," she said. But Ms Webster agreed the large turnout would also be because the dry conditions are biting and people want to learn more about how to access the drought funding which has only been out about 18 months. She said people were also seeing other people have got funding from QRIDA and had used that funding to build hay storage sheds, set up centre pivot irrigators and expand water infrastructure.
"Above and beyond this, producers who have completed their plans - who generally only did them under sufferance to access funding - report that the plans have given them greater clarity, direction and unity within their businesses, and they actually feel better prepared and positioned to ride out dry spells - a claim that is already being tested," she said
Ms Webster said the new drought funding scheme was designed to have farms and businesses set up so they were prepared for the inevitable droughts which were part of our climate.
"It takes over from the old 'feed and fodder' bandaid scheme which, while useful, was not addressing the key cause and did not seem to stop people getting themselves into desperate situations," she said.
Ms Webster said some of the key points regarding drought preparedness which came out of the workshop included:
She said possibly the most important strategy was the idea of doing pasture budgets and taking the time to assess how much grass was present at the end of the growing season. "Acknowledging that this is what we have to get us through to the start of the next wet season and looking at whether we need to adjust how many cattle we have and then doing it." Ms Webster said to determine the start of the next growing season DAF works on a 'green date'. "For Monto, statistically we are looking at January 6 to have 70 per cent chance (seven out of 10 years) of getting 50 mm or more in a rainfall event - that is, enough rain to stimulate a 'break' in the season, " she said. "Doing this enables us to make decisions early; sell cattle before they eat too much of our precious grass reserves; sell cattle before everyone else realises they need to sell; and stock up on dry season supplements again before everyone else floods the market. "And, most importantly, look after your pastures and remaining cattle so they are still healthy and productive and ready to go once rain eventually comes as it always does in it's own time."
If producers would like assistance with completing their Drought Resilience Plans to access the new drought funding, Rural Solutions Queensland is a free service set up to assist.
ARTICLE CREDIT - QUEENSLAND COUNTRY LIFE AUTHOR JUDITH MAIZEY - https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/8421647/huge-turnout-at-drought-preparedness-workshops/?cs=4698
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