Friday 24th September
Preparation has begun
The 18 months Sowing the Gap project has begun its preparations on each of the 10 productions sites. The Gippsland Agricultural Team have been on the ground working with the Farmers at their sites across East and Central Gippsland to fence and begin to knock down spray in preparation for sowing, which will begin in 4-5 weeks time.
Prior to the preparation, we caught up with Trevor Caithness, CEO of Gippsland Agricultural Group and Graeme Dear, CEO of East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority at the GAgG research farm in Bairnsdale to hear their hopes and beliefs about the project, to improve drought resilience for Beef and Sheep Farmers across Gippsland.
The project will trial over 65 varieties of crops at the Bairnsdale Research Farm and on 10 demonstration sites on commercial grazing farms in the local districts of; Cann River, Snowy River, Tambo Valley, Buchan Valley and the Gippsland Plains. Over the coming months, we will be introducing each demonstration site and provide behind the scenes access to get to know each Farmer, their Farm and the reasons behind joining the project.
Sowing the Gap is designed to help farmers prepare for the future and build stronger and more robust businesses. Graeme Dear highlighted that across Gippsland we have an array of “great Farmers and great Farms with lots of potentials even in a climate variable future”
A key aim of the project is to connect farmers together as a community to share techniques and strategies and as a group produce a best practice guide for others in the future tackling the feed gap. With the hope to produce better feed year-round and reduce the need to import feed, there is an opportunity to reduce risks associated with importing such as; imported weeds and elevated costs in dry times.
Both the GAgG team and EGCMA are very excited at the prospect of preparing and enabling farmers to be better positioned for future adverse conditions.
There is no doubt about it, the people that can produce homegrown feed in quantities that are large enough to be able to sustain their business in dry times have been the businesses that have been able to succeed quite well through recent droughts we have had. Which is what is really exciting about this project, to be able to showcase the region and how some of these crops and fodders can be grown.
Trevor Cathiness, Gippsland Agricultural Group