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Darren J.  Doherty
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26,000ha Consultancy at Jervoise Station (QLD AU)

Posted by Darren J. Doherty almost 13 years ago

Jervoise Station is a family owned cattle station in the dry tropical rangelands and woodlands of north QLD. We conducted a 3 day consultancy which was very successful in attending to the clients primary needs around water, soil, grass and fecundity...

Over three beautiful April days we traversed the 26,000ha (65,000acre) Jervoise Station some 240km inland from Townsville in Far North Queensland (AU). Northern Gulf Resource Management Group & Terrain Natural Resource Management both sponsored members of their teams to attend this consultancy as part of their professional development. This was all organised by the tireless Kym Kruse (of  Free Range Permaculture who with Georgie Kruse, are also RegenAG's QLD conveners) who also attended the consult as part of his professional development. The owners of Jervoise, the Jonsson's are a classic 'RegenAG' family (which included them attending all of workshops at the 2010 RegenAG series in QLD) with the station being certified organic, they have an abattoir (in Tully) and market their products.

The consultancy focussed on increasing profitability, grazing management and keyline strategies for soil development (i.e. stock water, drought proofing & irrigation systems). Looking forward to working with this great multi-generation family enterprise this year with their hosting of RegenAG courses (HM & Keyline Farming) and development works. We completed the consultancy describing a range of treatments along with strategising what order of works would give the greatest 'bang for their buck'. 

A summary of the treatments are as follows:

1. Increasing calving rates by:

a. switching to high density grazing with more frequent 'moves'

b. developing a keyline irrigation system which will increase feed quality in the all important periods prior to conception, 3rd trimester and in the first months after birth. 

c. increasing water quality by removing stock access to dams and switching to troughs. 

2. Developing a Keyline irrigation system in the regions closest to the homestead and main stock yards. This will allow the bulk of the stock selected for processing to be finished on the property such that buyers will come and purchase prime grass finished stock before they leave the property.  

3. Involve a portable saw mill in processing selectively harvested timber stands across to open up the natural woodlands currently being colonised by too dense a stands of these valuable species. This especially relates to the stands of Acacia shirleyi on the red soil plateaux which have been heavily effected by Cyclone Yasi.

4. Develop a Holistic Management Grazing Plan and Financial Plan for adoption from 2012. This will follow a consultancy with Kirk Gadzia in November 2011. 

5. Use the 100 strong herd of breeding bulls as part of the land restoration process, gaining 'animal impact' services from this. 

6. Establish a series of Keyline catchment dams across the property to enable the development of a network of gravity fed stock water points via piped reticulation.

7. Take a series of 'Bullseye' rangeland assessments across the different land systems of the property. Involve the children of Jervoise in this process such that they can understand the current ecosystem processes that much better and witness the changes that occur as a result of management. 

8. Use a handheld GPS to map the station's infrastructure including roads and pipelines and other utilities.

First up over the next few month will the construction of a catchment drain and 60ML (2ha) Keypoint Dam with a 30cm lockpipe and irrigation system. Trevor Parker and Kym Kruse will be involved with the next phases (survey, detail design & set out) under my remote supervision and direction and the Jonsson's will complete the earthworks with the machinery they have available on the property. Following the next wet season this system will allow us to irrigate around 30ha. We'll then be able to reduce recovery times between very high quality feeds increasing both livestock performance and fecundity. 

Costs for the consultancy were split 3 ways between Jervoise, NGRM & Terrain and to summarise these were as follows (inc. $GST): 

Travel: $700 (return flights from Melbourne to Townsville)

Travel Time: $792 (12 hours x $66/hr)

Consultancy: $3300 (3 days x $1100/day)

Total Consultancy Cost:  $4792

Comments (2)

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Kirsten Bradley
Kirsten Bradley : nice one :)
Posted almost 13 years ago

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Floyd C. Constable
Floyd C. Constable : Great stuff Would love to see pics perhaps. There isnt enough of this type of work in the Australian tropics documented.
Posted almost 13 years ago

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