Producers use GRASS program to protect riparian zones

GRASS program participants, Justin and Bronwyn Tait
Justin and Bronwyn Tait used the GRASS program to compliment their existing goals for their property.

When Justin and Bronwyn Tait of ‘Palmtree’, Canal Creek, heard about the Grazing Resilience and Sustainable Solutions (GRASS) program, they jumped at the chance to be involved.

They said that the program complimented their on-property goals for long term sustainability and provided a financial incentive for work that was already on their 2020 ‘to do list’.

The Taits purchased the property in 2007, and currently run 130 Droughtmaster breeders and replacement heifers. The property is 1650ha and is dominated by coastal Eucalypt forest woodlands, loamy alluvial and river gum flats land type. The cattle like the river gum flats along the creek system, and these are selectively grazed, particularly in the wet season.

Since they purchased the property the Taits have been passionate about improving grazing land condition with a focus on off-stream watering points, land type fencing and managing vegetation regrowth. As a part of the GRASS program, Justin and Bronwyn have had the opportunity to work closely with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) to develop a Land Management Plan. In April 2020, DAF extension officers assisted the Taits with a plan to fence the riparian areas and distribute watering points away from the riparian zone.

The Taits then took advantage of the $1.4 million funding that has been made available to GRASS participants across the Burdekin, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary regions, and applied for funding to assist with implementing their Land Management Plan. Their application for funds was successful and the Taits have now installed water tanks, troughs and fencing infrastructure, to protect the riparian zone and allow cattle to graze more sustainably across other land types.

In addition to the GRASS program, Justin and Bronwyn have continued to work with DAF, focussing on other areas in their beef operation, including pasture budgeting and monitoring during the dry season and tailored advice on herd supplementation options.

If you would like any more information on the GRASS program, please contact Project Manager, Matt Brown, on 0428 104 248.