This year, Waggamba Landcare programmed and installed five LoRaWAN gateways on properties in the region.
On the 18th and 19th of June, we were lucky enough to have Tom Dowling from Goanna Ag and Andrew Sevil, a Dirranbandi producer speak at two workshops. The workshops were held at Carpendale and Lundavra where we have two LoRaWAN gateways set up, ready to have sensors connected to them.
Those in attendance found it interesting to see two different perspectives on implementing LoRaWAN on their own properties. This includes a commercial option as well as one that embodies more of a community system, with producers deploying their own gateways and sensors
Sensor Building Workshops
During the first week of August, we held two LoRaWAN Sensor Building workshops for several landholders who have access to one of our five LoRaWAN gateways.
The first workshop focused on putting together a Davis Vantage Pro weather station to be used on the LoRaWAN network.
The second workshop involved the hands-on experience of building a tank ultrasonic. Both workshops included the teaching of some technical knowledge on setting up the sensors on both The Things Network and Grafana (a free dashboard).
This allowed landholders to gain an understanding of accessing, building and setting up sensors and online dashboards to receive and view data.
The weather stations and trough ultrasonics that were set up in these two workshops are now deployed on the landholders' properties across the region. As with all new technologies, there are arising issues that need to be overcome. However, many landholders are enjoying the process and can see great benefits for their future production.
Our Drought Resilience forums were a huge success with over 75 people in attendance. The forums gave landholders a chance to get off the farm and have a catch up while listening to our key speakers deliver information that will benefit producers as they continue to tackle drought conditions. Another benefit from the forums was the information provided by Mary Woods on mental health and rural financial advice and information provided by Kay Barby and Shanea Rossiter.
Our Drought Resilience project has also been completed with the finalisation of a series of filmed interviews. These interviews are ‘casual conversations’ we had with a number of local landholders whom we deem to be very resilient in the face of drought.
Click here to access the videos: <LINK>
Harrisia Cactus Forums
The Harrisia Cactus Working Group (HCWG), led by Cacti Control Coordinator Jo Skewes, held five Harrisia Cactus forums from the 10th-12th of September at Goondiwindi, Millmerran, Yelarbon, Boomi and North Star. These forums gave local producers a chance to hear about the latest in Harrisia Cactus Control, meet key industry personnel. This included Jo Skewes; NW Cacti Control Coordinator, Dr. Rachel McFayden; biological control scientist and researcher, Angela Ebera Ezreh; PhD Student (research on biological control agent Hypogeococcus festerianus), Craig Hunter; Senior Biosecurity officer, Geoff Riley; Weeds officer, Bec Morrissy; NRM officer, Scott McLachlan; authorised officer and Ian Schwartz; Senior biosecurity officer.
Those in attendance also had the opportunity to listen to a local landholder and engage in a very involved discussion. From this discussion, the HCWG were able to gauge producers issues, thoughts and wants in regards to Harrisia cactus, and come up with some actionable steps for the future.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the world of grants; particularly in accessing and writing them. We have often talked to producers who have little knowledge in this space, yet want to know more – they just don’t know how to go about it! For this reason, we thought it a great idea to jump on board with SQ Landscapes and provide a workshop specifically aimed at our members.
Those in attendance were able to get a lot of knowledge out of the half-day workshop and enjoyed networking with others.
NSW Farmers Federation and Harrisia
At the start of the month, we met with
local NSW producers, Cactus Control Coordinator Jo Skewes, NSW
Farmers Association RSM
(northern) Michael Collins and president of the NSW Farmers Association, James Jackson.
The topic of discussion was Harrisia cactus, and its huge impact on producers in our region, both in NSW and QLD.
After discussing the spread of infestation,
James and Michael walked away with a strong view that Harrisia Cactus is an extremely serious problem that requires NSW, QLD and Federal Government collaboration and funding. The NSW Farmers Association held its annual conference last week, and Harrisia cactus was placed firmly on the agenda for future action.
2018 Waste Oil Muster
This years Waste Oil Muster was another success! Over 56,000L of waste oil was collected by our major sponsor Cleanaway, who will refine the used oil and create fuel oil, process oil and base oil from the collected waste.
Thank you to Cleanaway for your support with another years Muster and thanks also to committee members Bryan Lahey and Dave Woods for accompanying Terry from Cleanaway through the region.
2018 Waggamba Landcare AGM
The 2018 Waggamba Landcare Annual General Meeting was held on Friday the 2nd of November at the Victoria Hotel Goondiwindi. Vice-Chair Bryan Lahey presented a report on the Group's activities for the previous year, with highlights including:
Annual Waste Oil Muster
Soil health field days held at Weengallon and Yelarbon
Distribution of the Harrisia Cactus Trial Site Brochure
A night of bush poetry with Murray Hartin at the Lundavra Sports Club that raised over $400 for the Tie Up The Black Dog Committee
Completion of cluster fencing projects at Kindon, Bendidee, Kioma, Mt Carmel and Talwood
Completion of Harrisia Cactus projects in the Whalan Creek region
Bryan also thanked outgoing Chair Ben Montgomery for his work with the Group over the past year and welcomed Dave Woods as the new Chair of the Waggamba Landcare Group. Dave will be joined by Bryan Lahey as Vice Chair, Ian Winter as Secretary and Emma King in the position of Treasurer. A full list of current committee members can be found on our 'About' page.
A huge thank you to all outgoing and new committee members for donating your time to our Group.
Harrisia Cactus Herbicide Trial Site Results
The Harrisia Cactus Herbicide Trial was carried out to provide landholders with management options that best suited both seasonal and operational requirements.
The trial ran over two years and the most successful results were recorded and published in a brochure that was mailed to landholders in 2018. This brochure is available to view here.
For the full results of the trial please visit our Harrisia Trial Info page.
This trial was carried out thanks to funding provided by North West Local Land Services.
Whalan Creek Project
Thanks to funding from North West Local Land Services, Waggamba Landcare was able to support landholders spraying Harrisia Cactus within the northern NSW containment line.
Pippa Jones from North West LLS and Richard Littlewood are pictured below in an area that was sprayed as part of this project.