Wa­ter works ben­e­fits flow

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

DAIRY and beef farm­ers are the fo­cus of a new project to im­prove wa­ter qual­ity in the Cir­cu­lar Head re­gion.

The project aim­ing to keep cows off wa­ter­ways is funded by Cra­dle Coast NRM and DairyTas and sup­ported by Green­ham Tas­ma­nia.

The project is a first for the re­gion and will pro­vide up to $5500 for about 26 farms to help fence ri­par­ian ar­eas and to pro­vide off-stream wa­ter points.

Over the past year, Cody Kor­per­shoek has been busy putting up about 4km of fenc­ing along rivers and creeks on the White­wa­ter Flats prop­erty at Edith Creek where he farms.

The dairy op­er­a­tion is owned by Cir­cu­lar Head Farms and Mr Kor­per­shoek did the fenc­ing work as part of the Clean Rivers project.

As well as fenc­ing off large sec­tions of the Duck River to ex­clude cows, he has also fenced off about 1km of the White­wa­ter Creek.

He said as well as im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity, there were a num­ber of other ben­e­fits of keep­ing stock out of the wa­ter­ways.

“The main ben­e­fit for me is man­age­ment. When you haven’t got fences around there it’s re­ally dif­fi­cult to strip graze and things like that.”

Mr Kor­per­shoek said pre­vi­ously they put up tem­po­rary fenc­ing along the river when cows were in those pad­docks.

“We don’t see the down­stream ben­e­fits like other peo­ple prob­a­bly would, but there are a lot of man­age­ment ben­e­fits,” he said. “Even when cows are calv­ing, their nat­u­ral in­stinct is to go to the wettest, hard­est spots to get them out of, so this def­i­nitely helps.”

Mr Kor­per­shoek said he could al­ready see changes in the fenced-off ar­eas now the cows can­not ac­cess them.

“There’s grass right down to the river edge now and there are al­ready some small trees start­ing to shoot up.”

He said they had fenced off some of ma­jor farm drains to en­sure waste run­ning into the river and creek was clean.

Richard In­gram from Cra­dle Coast NRM said the project would im­ple­ment re­search find­ings on farms.

He said the NRM plan for the Duck, Wel­come and Mon­tagu catch­ments showed works to keep stock out of creeks and ma­jor drains could make a dif­fer­ence to wa­ter qual­ity.

DairyTas ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mark Smith said the project was a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the dairy and beef in­dus­tries.

He said it built on the Clean Rivers pro­gram in the dairy in­dus­try, which has seen 107 dairy busi­nesses take on ef­flu­ent, drainage or off-stream wa­ter­ing projects.

Beef farm­ers in the re­gion will also be en­cour­aged to get in­volved with the project.

Green­ham’s live­stock sup­ply man­ager Kris­ten Kay said good en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­tices were im­por­tant for the com­pany’s pre­mium brands as well as for an­i­mal health and pro­duc­tion ben­e­fits.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for the project close on Septem­ber 15. Visit www.dairytas.com.au.

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