E-News Issue 175

Time is flying by so fast, it is almost spring!  All around town the early fruit trees are starting to blossom, a beautiful vista against the rich, green lusciousness of grass and crops.

On Tuesday 12th of August, the staff of Wheatbelt NRM went to a location near Quellington.  There we planted approximately two and a half thousand trees on a property on the South Mortlock River, followed by a BBQ lunch.  It was a refreshing change for those of us that don't often get to go out into the field.

The Round Two Expressions of Interest for the Sustainable Agriculture's Trials and Demonstration Project opens today.  For more information CLICK HERE.

Next week the Landcare Community Equipment Grants close, for information on how to apply CLICK HERE.

Enjoy the last couple of weeks of winter, hopefully there will be some more rain!

Kind regards,

The Wheatbelt NRM Team.
The WA Landcare Network has formed to assist landcare groups across Western Australia to have a much needed collective voice when decisions are made about our future, to help groups share their skills, experience and collective buying power together to help cut costs and improve efficiency at getting the job done on the ground.

For more information on the network and how to join, please CLICK HERE.

Farewell to Georgie

This eNews we bid a fond farewell to Georgie Troup who will be taking up a new position with DAFWA. Georgie has been a highly valued member of the Sustainable Agriculture team at Wheatbelt NRM for the past 3 ½ years. Georgie’s last day at Wheatbelt NRM is the 22nd August, following this please contact Guy Boggs (9670 3112) or Jo Wheeler (9670 3121) for information on projects or activities Georgie has been working on.

Rainfall decline is due to greenhouse gases and ozone
Bureau of Meteorology

US researchers have developed a high-resolution climate model that shows south-western Australia’s long-term decline in fall and winter rainfall is caused by increases in manmade greenhouse gas emissions and ozone depletion. The simulations predict that the decline will continue, and that average rainfall will drop by 40% later this century. 

The top map shows observed changes in March-August rainfall; the second map is the model simulation which shows a similar pattern; and the third map shows the model simulation for the drying increase this century.

For more details please CLICK HERE.

When is a small farm considered to be a business?

As featured in the August Countryman publication, "My Block", what determines if your property is a business for tax purposes?

Your small scale farming operation may classify you as a primary producer for tax purposes and this can have a significant impact on your tax reporting requirements.

Determining if an activity is classed as primary production requires two steps. The first is to establish that the activity is classed as a business and not a hobby and if so, the second step is to determine if the business is carrying out primary production.

To read the Small Landholder Information Service Fact Sheet on this issue, CLICK HERE.

Commonwealth Bank Northam is offering Energy Efficient Loans in partnership with the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)

The Energy Efficient Loan (EEL) is a result of CommBank’s Partnership with the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). CEFC is an Australian Government funded initiative that has been established to help businesses make smart choices to improve their energy efficiency.The types of equipment that can be financed include:
  • Energy efficient lighting
  • Refrigeration units (industrial)
  • Methane capture
  • Solar panels
  • Heat exchanges
  • Energy efficient electric motors, pumps and fans
  • Cogeneration and trigeneration
  • Compressed air, variable speed drives
Please note this is not an exhaustive list
Min amount $250k. Term 3-7 years
Commbank Asset Finance Specialist – Dean Bennett 0439 741 906 or 1300 ASSETS (1800 277 387) or CLICK HERE.
Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC) – 1300 002 332

Fifth National Malleefowl Forum-Registrations OPEN now

The Organising Committee of the 2014 Fifth National Malleefowl Forum takes pleasure in inviting you to attend the Forum at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo NSW from Friday 12th to Monday 15th September 2014

For information on how to register please CLICK HERE.
App in Focus


There are several birding apps available.  The Pizzey and Knight one illustrated is available both on Apple tools such as iPhones and iPads as well as on Android platforms.  For further  information and details on how to download please go HERE

The Michael Morcombe eguide to Australian birds is available on both Apple tools and androids.  Information on how to download its can be found HERE.


Sustainable Agriculture Trials and Demonstrations Expression of Interest

Are you a farmer or farming group wanting to trial new and innovative sustainable agriculture practices?

Grants of up to $20,000 are available to farmers and groups for approved trial and demonstration projects which aim to encourage the adoption of innovative practices associated with the following themes:

  • Improved soil management e.g. Biological ameliorants application, treating soil acidity or non-wetting issues, increasing soil carbon etc.
  • Innovative crop management e.g. chaff management to reduce burning and weed seeds, crop rotation optimization for soil health, maximizing stubble retention, reducing fertilizer application etc.
  • Sustainable grazing systems e.g. optimizing forage shrub integration across multiple paddocks for improved farm profit, integrating perennial pastures to maximize cover, innovative stock management to optimize productivity and soil health etc.
  • Tree crops e.g. Reducing establishment cost of Brushwood through direct seeding, optimizing mallee harvesting methodologies, establishment of integrated grazing/sandalwood systems, bush tucker establishment etc
Applications close 26th of September.

CLICK HERE for more information and how to apply

Wheatbelt NRM Equipment Grants

Do you want to do a project with your environmental group but you just don’t have the funds to pay for it?  Well here is where the Wheatbelt NRM’s Equipment Grant can assist you!

The Equipment grants are for building the capacity of your group through the purchase of equipment such as laptops, cameras, printers, sensor cameras, you name it, as long as it’s not a consumable (and things like seedlings, herbicides/pesticides or fencing), and can be bought for $1000 or less your idea may be considered.  You need to say how it will improve the ability of your group to operate effectively. 

Enquiries to Jacquie Lucas, on 9670 3113 or email
Application forms are available from our website

Applications close Friday 22nd August 2014 at 5pm.
Job Opportunities


Here is a chance for you to join the team at Wheatbelt NRM.  The Sustainable Agriculture Project Manager will provide leadership to cropping and soil management based initiatives across the Wheatbelt NRM Sustainable Agriculture program. This will include the development and management of on-ground projects that work with farmers, industry and the R&D sector to trial and demonstrate best practice sustainable cropping, nutrient and soil management.

The position description, and application process can be found on the Wheatbelt NRM website HERE.
Upcoming Events

Ucarty Catchment Group is hosting a "Soil Health for Profit" workshop.

You're invited to "Soil Health for Profit": a Cropping & Mixed Farming Forum With Dr Maarten Stapper, Farming Systems Agronomist/Expert on Dryland Wheat Systems and the Management of High-Yielding Irrigated Wheat. 

Tuesday 9 September
8.50am for 9.20am start until 4.20pm
Dowerin Community Club
Costs: $30 inc GST payment on the day (includes Morning Tea, Lunch & Afternoon Tea)

Questions to: Amanda Hagboom - Ph. 9634 1026

Bookings Essential: Christie Kingston,

For further information and to register CLICK HERE.

People's Choice in National Landcare Nominations

You can vote HERE up until 16th September 2014.

Go WA!!

Australian Rural Leaders Program: for established Leaders

The ARLP aims to produce a network of informed, capable and ethical leaders who are able to work collaboratively to advance the interests of their industries, businesses, communities and rural Australia in general.   

Applications close 29th of August, 2014.

For more information click here. 

ABARES Regional Outlook Conferences

ABARES is pleased to announce the dates and locations for its 2014 Regional Outlook conferences.

Held across Australia, the seven Regional Outlook conferences bring ABARES commodity forecasts and analysis to regional Australia.

Delegates include farmers and other producers, bankers, consultants and other service providers, rural counsellors, local business owners, state and local government staff and others with an interest in their region. Be a part of a Regional Outlook conference in your area.  The Western Australian event is on Thursday 21st August in Albany.


Controlled traffic farming conference

August 26 – 29

CTF 2014 will present the expertise and experience of farmers, engineers and scientists from grain, vegetable and fodder industries across Australia. With a general theme around low rainfall zone farming, other important aspects of CTF will also be explored in interactive sessions with plenty of time for questions.

Click here for more information

Will you host a cuppa Sunshine?

18-24 August 2014

So you'd like to host a Cuppa Sunshine - that's fantastic, thank you!

There’s no question that the future of solar in Australia hangs in the balance - at the whims of a handful of senators who now hold the balance of power. That’s why, in one week in August, all around the country, hundreds of people will gather in workplaces, cafes, living rooms and on stalls to put pen to paper and show our key balance of power senators just how much Australians care about a strong solar future.

For registration details please CLICK HERE


WANTFA Long Term Cropping Systems and Soil Health Day 

Thursday 25 September 2014 at the Long Term trial site in Cunderdin.

The event will showcase the Long Term Cropping Systems Trials and associated research and an Action on the Ground Carbon Farming Trial that is located at the site. Enquiries:David Minkey (Executive Director WANTFA): 0417 999 304 |


National Landcare Conference

Date: 17-19th September 2014
Venue: Crown Conference Centre, Melbourne

This year’s National Landcare Conference promises to be an exciting celebration of 25 years of Landcare as a national program with a focus on the future and what this means for Landcare, with a program based on the theme – Celebrating our history – growing our future.

For more details, click here
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