New program being rolled out for graziers

A new grazing program Grazing Resilience and Sustainable Solutions (or GRASS) being rolled out in the Burnett Mary, Fitzroy and Burdekin regions has seen graziers get on board and start to develop land management plans.

Joe and Helen Oram participated in the former Grazing Best Management Practice (BMP) program and became accredited in 2018. In recognition of their previous commitments and accreditation, it was a straightforward step to move onto the new program and find out what it had to offer.

The $5.72 million GRASS program has been designed to support beef cattle graziers in the Burdekin, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary regions over the next three years. The program has several key outcomes, including reducing soil loss from grazing lands in reef catchments.

Matt Brown, team leader of the GRASS program in the Fitzroy region, explained that the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) is working with the Orams to develop a land management plan to improve several areas of degraded land on their property.

A cattleman stands with his prime bulls as he participates in the GRASS program.
Joe Oram with his Brangus stud bulls.

“This plan will allow the Orams to apply for incentive funding that is available through the program,” said Mr Brown.

“The Orams have been on their property ‘Cooinda’ outside of Calliope for 10 years and they breed stud Brangus cattle. Through participation in the GRASS program, they can access a range of resources and identify actions that lead to improved condition and productivity of poor or degraded land on their property.

“We have developed a package of maps to assist graziers participating in the GRASS program. These free customised maps include information on property infrastructure, land types, ground cover levels and potential land condition hot-spots.

“The maps will help producers to identify potential land condition issues on their land, and provide a great springboard to more productive and sustainable management decisions.”

A total of $1.43 million is available across the Burdekin, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary regions to assist landholders to undertake infrastructure improvements such as fencing, water troughs and erosion works.

The GRASS program is funded through the Queensland Government Reef Water Quality Program and is being delivered by DAF and partners Burnett Mary Regional Group, Fitzroy Basin Association and NQ Dry Tropics.

Graziers participating in the GRASS program will be given the opportunity to voluntarily provide their details in order to be listed as a low priority for compliance under the Reef protection regulations.

To find out how you can participate in the GRASS program, please call DAF on 13 25 23 or contact your local participating regional natural resource management group.