Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc.
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Image: Harvesting some barley buffer plots from our SAGIT pulse trials

From the Executive Manager, Stuart Putland
We are now at the end of 2015 and hopefully all of our farmer members have finished harvest or at least have the end in sight. From all reports of our trial sites and feedback from members, harvest has been fair to reasonable in the northern Mallee but less so in the southern areas. For those facing a poor harvest there are some support programs beginning to be rolled out. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page and we will post anything that we hear of on there.
At the end of this year our Program Manager Jen Bond will be moving on. After a year with MSF back in Australia she is returning to Vietnam to continue the rural development work that she has a passion for. Jen’s professionalism, intellect and work ethic have made a significant contribution to a successful year for MSF. Much of the work she has done will also guide MSF into the future. All of the team at MSF will miss her but also wish her all the best for her future work and if the opportunity arises we will be glad to work with her again at some stage in the future.
In January Madeline Mole will take up a three month position with MSF as a Project Officer to coordinate the Mallee Research Updates, the 2015 Research Compendium and some of our key projects. Madeline has recently successfully finished a Behavioral Science degree at Flinders University in Adelaide from which she brings to MSF skills in understanding people and how they learn. Having grown up and worked on the family farm at Speed, she has a good working knowledge of both cropping and grazing in the Mallee. Madeline will be a great addition to the MSF team.
With Christmas now just around the corner the Board and staff of MSF would like to wish you all a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

Stuart Putland

Executive Manager
Mallee Sustainable Farming

Support for Pinery Fire Recovery

MSF was deeply saddened by the recent South Australian fires, particularly the loss of life. Many within the extended MSF family were affected by the fires and we wish everyone the best with the recovery.

For those wishing to help out:
The South Australian government has set up a Pinery Fire Appeal for 
which you can contribute here.

The South Australian CWA have set up an Emergency Aid Fund and The Salvation Army have a SA Bushfire Appeal.

There are also options to donate goods through St Vincent de Paul, or to donate fodder through Livestock SA and to donate grain through GrainFlow Pinnaroo.

New Farmtalk released:
Top tips for stubble grazing!

Through the Mallee CMA funded “Maintaining ground cover in mixed farming” project, MSF has released its latest Farmtalk on Top Tips for Stubble Grazing in the Mallee. Check it out here!

Mallee CMA grazing on native shrubs booklet

This week the Mallee CMA released a booklet on grazing native shrubs in the low rainfall Mallee, highlighting the key points for successful shrub–pasture system utilisation. The booklet is available in hard copy from the Mallee CMA and can also be downloaded here.

MSF Mallee Research Updates 2016

The dates of the 2016 MSF Mallee Research Updates (previously known as the Tri-State Forums) have now been released: Wednesday, February 17th at the Manangatang Hall and Thursday, February 18th at the Renmark Club.

Each day will be held from 8:30am to 2:00pm and will showcase the latest research of relevance to Mallee farming systems.

Confirmed speakers include Dale Boyd, DEDJTR (Moisture probes); Rob Wheeler, SARDI (NVT); Bonnie Flohr, CSIRO (Managing frost/heat risk); and Michael Moodie, MSF (break crops comparison trial). More details and the full program will be available from in the new year.


David Roget Mallee Sustainable Farming Excellence Award

MSF are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2016 David Roget Mallee Sustainable Farming Excellence Award, to be presented to an individual, business or group who has made a significant contribution to dryland farming production systems in the Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc. (MSF) region.
The award was created to remember and celebrate the significant contributions made by the late David Roget to sustainable agriculture, particularly in the Mallee region. 
The MSF Board selects the recipient of this Award on an annual basis with the Award being presented annually at the MSF Mallee Research Updates (February). To be eligible, nominees must:
  • Be a business, individual or group involved with sustainable dryland agriculture within the MSF Region.
  • Not be a current or immediate past member of the MSF Board.
 Nominees will be judged on:
  • Contribution to improving the environmental, economic and social sustainability of dryland farming production systems in the MSF region.
  • Demonstration of any impact broader than the initial target of the activity or initiative
For further information and to download the application/nomination forms please click here

CFA Guidelines on windrow burning in Victoria

MSF has released an article outlining the guidelines of windrow burning in Victoria. The article was developed in close consultation with the Swan Hill CFA team and is available here.