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E-News Issue 182
Twines Reserve, WA

Boosting wheat yields in waterlogged soils


Crop yields in waterlogged Wheatbelt areas could be increased by planting wheat strains with high ion toxicity tolerance levels, according to ongoing UWA research.

Assistant Research Professor Hossein Saberi from UWA’s School of Earth and Environment and Institute of Agriculture reports that his group has quantified the effect of ion toxicity on wheat growth in transiently waterlogged areas.

The UWA research identified genotypes with aluminium, iron and manganese tolerances which then helped to establish a link between improved ion toxicity tolerance and improved plant performance.

It is estimated that planting with the new ion tolerant wheat yields could result in at least a 5 to ten percent increase in yields.

The information will be useful to breeders who can then use it to develop further varieties of wheat and has the potential to improve the ion toxicity of canola and barley. Read more HERE.
 

Legumes as viable crops


UWA researchers have also been investigating a pasture legume – Turra (Melilotus Siculus) – for its ability to grow in saline and waterlogged areas.

Using controlled simulations of waterlogged and drained soils they have found that Turra is able to form air channels around its roots and survive, unlike most waterlogged plants. Read more HERE.
 

Wheat and sea barleygrass hybrids


And previous studies by UWA scientists have improved the tolerance of wheat to salinity and waterlogging through genetic cross-breeding with sea barleygrass, a wild relative of wheat found growing naturally in salt marshes.

Read more HERE.

Kind regards,
Wheatbelt NRM
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News
Toodyay winners

Wheatbelt cleans up Tidy Town awards


Wheatbelt towns have placed in five out of eight categories in the 2014 Western Australia Tidy Towns awards, with Toodyay taking out the overall Sustainable Communities title for its work around Waste Management and Litter Prevention.

Other Tidy Town winners from the Wheatbelt include:
  • General Appearance – Cunderdin
  • Water Conservation – Merredin
  • Heritage & Culture – Southern Cross
  • Energy Innovation – York
CLICK HERE and HERE to read more.
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2014 Premier's Award winners

Premier's Award for Shire of Kulin


Congratulations to the Shire of Kulin for its joint win in the 2014 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management. The Shire’s internationally recognised Camp Kulin program was named joint winner in the Strengthening Families and Communities Category along with the Department of Sport and Recreation’s Kidsport program.

CLICK HERE to read more.
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Landcare in schools

National Landcare Survey - have YOUR say


Thanks to the Landcare groups who have taken part in the National Landcare Survey. Your answers will help the Australian Government develop a current ‘snapshot’ of the Landcare movement in Australia.
 

More responses are needed


If your group hasn’t taken part yet, it’s not too late.

Surveys can be completed online until MONDAY 8 DECEMBER 2014, with the option to go back to questions later without losing your previous answers.

Make sure your Landcare group has a say in helping influence the future design of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

For more information or help, contact Leigh Whisson, Regional Landcare Facilitator at lwhisson@wheatbeltnrm.org.au or on (08) 9670 3136.
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Wheatbelt NRM Rangers

Noongar Boodja Rangers make a difference


Wheatbelt NRM’s Noongar Boodja Rangers have been working ‘on country’ to restore the Badjaling and Northam Reserves, in acknowledgement and celebration of the Aboriginal history at these sites, and to help manage the environment in these areas.

The Noongar Boodja Rangers are funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and provide employment opportunities for local Aboriginal people to work in natural resource management. Read more HERE.
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Landcare in schools

Landcare in schools


Junior Landcare resources have been developed to encourage school participation in Landcare activities and increase understanding around where food comes from. The free guides link into Australian Curriculum studies and include: Creating a food garden; Building a worm farm; Creating a frog pond; Enhancing and restoring habitats; and, Growing healthy plants using natural pesticides.

CLICK HERE to view the guides.
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Callistemon

Emissions Reduction Fund


Minister for the Environment, Mr Greg Hunt, spoke at the recent World Parks Congress in Sydney, showcasing the Australian Government’s $2.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund.

The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) Amendment Bill 2014 was passed by the Senate in October 2014, establishing the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

The ERF aims to reduce emissions while improving the environment and the economy, through its support of energy efficiency, waste coal mine gas, cleaning up of power stations, the transport sector and large industrial facilities.

The Australian Government has also committed $2 million to boost threatened species protection in national parks, $6 million for marine protection and another $6 million to combat illegal logging in the Asia Pacific. Further new initiatives were announced around the Great Barrier Reef and Antarctica.

CLICK HERE for more information on the ERF.
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WA's outback

Aussie outback is international treasure


Pew Charitable Trusts has ranked our iconic outback as one of the world’s few remaining extensive natural regions – alongside the Amazon, Alaska, Canada, Siberia and the Sahara.

Here in Western Australia, we have the largest chunk of outback but this internationally significant environment is under threat from weeds, feral animals, fire and a declining population.

Read more HERE, HERE and HERE.
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Bees

Are insecticides killing bees?


Bee-keepers and grain-growers around the world are awaiting the outcome of Australian research into the effects on bees by insecticide seed treatments used in canola farming.

CLICK HERE to read more.
Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Farmers key in saving threatened ecosystems


World Wildlife Fund calls for incentives for Australian farmers to help save threatened ecosystems and species, including Carnaby's black cockatoo.

Read more HERE.
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Pasture cropping trial

Pasture cropping research


CSIRO research into sowing winter-active crops like wheat with summer-active perennial grasses could improve soil quality and water usage while maintaining crop yields and summer grazing.

CLICK HERE for more information.
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Bacteria

Wheatbelt bacteria
eye mining jobs


CSIRO scientists have discovered bacteria in the Wheatbelt that could potentially extract metals from ore. The acid-loving bacteria were found in farmland drains near Merredin and are more salt tolerant than any bacteria previously discovered.

Read more HERE, HERE and HERE.
lick of death

Lick of death for feral cats


Feral moggies across Australia could be tricked into ingesting poison by a device that sprays a cat-lethal dose of poison onto their fur. The device is triggered by passing cats and was invented by Dr John Read – an environmental consultant and associate lecturer at the University of Adelaide.

Read more HERE.
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Job opportunity
Persuasion Skills workshop

Biodiversity Project Officer - Casual


Wheatbelt NRM has a casual vacancy in its Biodiversity program for a team member with experience in community based biodiversity conservation and field work.

Work includes monitoring and site assessments to determine biodiversity values, and requires broad and effective communication skills. Applicants must have a current drivers’ licence and the capacity to travel widely around the Wheatbelt.

For further details contact Rowan Hegglun, Program Manager Biodiversity on 9670 3101 or via rhegglun@wheatbeltnrm.org.au

Applications close: Thursday 4 December 2014, 4.00pm

CLICK HERE for more information.
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Tender

Provision of Executive & Administrative support services


A suitably qualified person or organisation is sought to provide executive officer and administrative support to the Eastern Wheatbelt Biosecurity Group Inc.

The provider will oversee the group’s business operations, including financial management, reporting and governance obligations as an incorporated association.

For a statement of requirements, please contact Mrs Rebecca Maddock via email or post at Executive Office EWBG, PO Box 179, Southern Cross, WA, 6426.

Applications close: Friday 12 December 2014, 4:00pm
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Events
Where do eagles dare?

Where do eagles dare?


Join Australian Geographic Society funded researcher Simon Cherriman for the world premiere of his new film – ‘Where do eagles dare?’

The one-hour film documents his world-first research into satellite tagging wedge-tailed eagles and following their movements as they travel across Australia at altitudes of up to 3000m.

When:   Tuesday 9th & Friday 12th December 2014
Time:     7:00pm, for 7:30pm screening
Where:   Haydn Williams Theatre, Curtin University
Cost:      $20 per person

CLICK HERE to read more about the project.
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer, and HERE to order tickets.
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Persuasion Skills workshop

Persuasion Skills Workshop


Two day workshop designed to upskill agriculture and NRM industry workers in motivating growers to implement new process, products or technologies. Delivered by Bruce Howie and Jeanette Long.

When:  Tue 17 & Wed 18 February 2015
Where:  Perth

CLICK HERE to download flyer, or HERE to register. For more information, contact Bruce Howie via email, or on 0418 254 668.
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Grains Industry of WA

Perth Agribusiness Crop Updates


The 2015 Agribusiness Crop Updates will showcase the latest in research, technology, market development and management innovations to improve the productivity and profitability of the WA grains industry.

When:  Tue 24 & Wed 25 February 2015
Where:  Crown Casino, Perth

CLICK HERE for more information.
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Funding
Green Army round 2

Green Army - Round Two


Applications are now open for community-led, Green Army projects that support practical, grassroots environment and heritage conservation activities across Australia. The Australian Government is seeking projects that will make a real difference to the environment and local communities, while providing meaningful training and skills to young people.

Applications close: Tuesday 9 December 2014

CLICK HERE for more information and HERE to apply.
Farm finance

Farm Finance Concessional Loans - Round Two


The Australian Government’s Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme assists farm businesses that are having trouble servicing their debts but are considered commercially viable in the longer term, by providing loans to undertake productivity enhancement activities. Farm businesses are able to apply for loans of between $50 000 to $400 000, but not for debt restructuring or carry-on finance.

Applications close: 30 April 2015

CLICK HERE for more information.
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Drought concession

Drought Concessional Loans


Applications for drought concessional loans are now open across Western Australia, with the Australian Government providing $280 million for loans to assist drought-affected farm businesses recover from drought and return to viability in the long term.

Loans of up to $1 million (or 50% of the farm’s business debt) are available and can be used for debt restructuring, operating expenses, drought recovery and preparedness activities.

Applications close: 30 June 2015, or once funds are fully committed.

CLICK HERE for more information, or call DAFWA on 1800 198 231.
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Copyright © 2013. Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.

Our mailing address is:
info@wheatbeltnrm.org.au

http://www.wheatbeltnrm.org.au
 
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