Geelong Landcare Network invites you to attend a full day workshop with cover cropping
specialist Grant Sims from “Down Under Covers.”
We will explore all aspects of cover cropping in detail and pay particular attention to transitioning to regenerative practices and the practical side of sowing and managing cover crops, so that attendees can take this information home and implement.
This project is supported by Corangamite CMA through funding from the National Landcare Program.
About Grant Sims:
Grant Sims is a sixth generation farmer running the family farm in North central Victoria Australia. The farm is 8500 acres of dryland and some irrigation.
The Sims farm has been utilizing no-till since the early 80's thanks to Grant’s father and uncle. When Grant came back full time on the farm he started looking at ways to improve the life and function of the soil through biology. In 2008 he stopped using granular synthetic fertilizers and started using a biologically made liquid fertilizer. Also at that time stop using seed dressing, insecticides and fungicides, unless absolutely necessary.
The Sims have a strong focus on diversity and grow many different crops. They use companion crops, cover crops and have expanded their cow calf numbers to integrate through the system. They have seen many positive changes in the health or their soils and plants. They perform on-farm trials to learn and share methods about how solve problems, be more profitable and improve the soil for the next generation.
Grant and Naomi have recently started up a multi-species seed business Down Under Covers where they use their own experience and consult with world leading experts to design and put together multi species blends to help improve the soils and provide live weight gains to livestock to help farmers become more profitable.
In 2015 Grant was awarded the Coles Weekly Times Farmer of the Year. Grant is the former president of the Victorian No Till Famers Association.
Join Dr Christine Jones – renowned soil biologist – for a deep dive into activating biological pathways to improve soil structure, nutrient status, and moisture retention.
Learn how the influence of plant root exudates on soil structure and function can be enhanced by the adoption of management practices that maximise the power of photosynthesis. These practices include the establishment of species-rich communities, appropriate grazing management and the use of bio stimulants.
Explore the extraordinary symbiotic relationships that exist between plants and microbes and the role of soil microbial diversity in enhancing levels of stable soil carbon.
Improvements in soil carbon can reduce reliance on high-analysis fertilisers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides; improve soil structure, aeration and water-holding capacity and optimise soil, plant, animal, and human health, water quality and farm profit.
3 dates available - morning tea and lunch provided.
Activating soil health in mixed species crops and pastures
· Thursday 16 June 2022 at Irrellipe Hall, Irrellipe
· Friday 17 June 2022 at She Oaks (near Bannockburn)
Soil Health and Native Grasslands
· Sunday 19 June at The Potato Shed, Drysdale
Cost $30 to cover catering and venues
This project is supported by Corangamite CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Colin Seis is a regenerative farming trailblazer and pioneer of a cover cropping system called pasture cropping where the cash crop is planted into a perennial pasture instead of into bare soil. It not only is more cost efficient, but it increases soil organic matter and soil fertility.
In January 2015, The Weekly Times, wrote an article titled “Six of the world’s influential farming trailblazers share success secrets”. Colin Seis was one of those 6 trailblazers. In 2005 Colin won the NSW Conservation Farmer of the year award and in 2007 he won the inaugural “Carbon farmer of the year award” in NSW. He was the recipient of the 2014 Bob Hawke award for Landcare.
Colin is very passionate about regenerative agriculture. Since 1993 Colin has been using a technique of planting crops into grasslands called Pasture Cropping. Leading on from that Colin developed MultiSpecies Pasture Cropping.
MultiSpecies Pasture Cropping uses a group of plant species that have a range of different root systems, and includes legumes, flowering plants. This mix of plants is sown into dormant perennial native grassland. The benefits include improved soil structure and nutrient cycling, more efficient use of water, reduced input costs and risks, improved economic return from “vertical stacking” of enterprises, while producing good crops for grain and /or forage and vegetables for human consumption.
Colin Seis, and his family before him, have been farming in the Gulgong area since the 1860s. Currently Colin and his son Nicholas run around 4000 fine wool merino sheep on their 2000-acre property “Winona” in the Gulgong area of NSW.
The Winona Kelpie Stud is one of the largest and better known ‘kelpie working dog’ studs in the world. Winona grows up to 500 acres of oats annually using the ‘pasture cropping’ technique and harvests native grass seed from the property’s native grassland.
This full day workshop will cover the following:
Morning: indoor presentation. (approx 3 hours)
-History of Agriculture (what went wrong)
-Grasslands (how they function)
-The farm as an ecosystem
-Restoring grasslands (why and how)
-Grazing management (Using animals to restore grasslands)
-Pasture Cropping (Using regenerative methods to restore grasslands)
-Sowing native seed (Why, how, and is it necessary)
-Soil (Soil ecosystem, soil health, nutrients, structure, and carbon)
-Gross Margins. (profit)
Afternoon (approx 2-3hrs)
A paddock walk identifying native grassland species, problem weeds, soil and discussing the practical side of implementing improved grazing management and alternate methods of sowing native species and crops.
This project is supported by Corangamite CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
At this workshop we will be put in small groups with a field "expert" and will wander the site learning to accurately identify herbs and grasses using necessary resources (pocket guidebooks, resource books, apps - and perhaps even a microscope has been suggested!).
This will flow into to seed collection methods within the same group and actual hands-on practice.
Our "experts" (none of them would claim this title but I am unsure what else to call them!) include:
- Mike Robinson-Koss from Otway Greening
- Candice Parker from Greening Australia
- Stuart McCallum from Friends of Bannockburn Bush
- Trevor (Reg) Abrahams from Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Op/ Wurdi Youang
Jess Lill and Maddi Slingo of CCMA, Bron Merritt of Geelong Landcare Network and Dale Smithyman of Golden Plains Shire will also be available to move between groups adding their skills and experience.
Bookings are essential, double vaccination is also mandatory and all covid regulations must be adhered to. Masks are not required outdoors unless 1.5m social distancing is unable to be followed, which may be the case at times in this workshop as we surround plants. Bookings are to be made directly with me.
Please also indicate if you have any dietary requirements at time of booking.
Bookings to Jo Solomon 0438 828 042 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands Stewardship Program is supported by Corangamite CMA through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. This project will run until 2023.
Dung Beetles are the ultimate exponents of the circular economy!!
Have you ever wondered what happens to all the dung left behind by your
sheep, cattle, horses or in fact the native animals roaming the countryside?
Well, there is an army of little critters in the soil that not only remove it from
the surface but also help to reincorporate the nutrients back into the soil.
The Dung Beetle is one of these species…
What better example of reduce,
reuse and recycle!
Do you have dung beetles on your land?
Would you like to know more
about which species are present, whether they are fit for purpose for your
Registration ESSENTIAL for COVID Purposes by 4th November to Kaye Rodden
e: email@example.com or m:0438317499
The Friends of the Barwon has initiated a platypus monitoring project for the mid reaches of the Barwon River and its tributaries. This monitoring will provide quantitative base line data and add to the data recently collected in the upper reaches of the Barwon and the Moorabool river system.
Hosted by GLN, Friends of Bannockburn Bush, Ballarat Environment Network, Golden plains Shire and financial support from the Victorian Governments Community Activation and Social Isolation Initiative.
Full details in pdf below.
Since European settlement, the Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands have been reduced to less than 1% of their former distribution.
The fertile soils of the Victorian Volcanic Plain and the lack of dense tree cover meant these areas were ideal for agriculture. Intense grazing, pasture improvement, urban development and cropping are the main reasons why so little of these original grassy communities remain.
Geelong Landcare Network has partnered with the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and their Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands Project’ to deliver two information based, on site workshops about these Woody grasslands and the project, as well as a grasslands seed collection workshop in early summer.
Together we will support interested landholders to improve the condition, connectivity and extent of these critically endangered Woodlands.
The first workshop will be in Inverleigh on October 18th 1-3pm and the second in Sutherlands Creek (tbc) on October 30th 1-3pm.
Please contact Jo Solomon 0438 828 042 for details of these workshops.
If you would like to learn more about the Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands Stewardship project visit
This project is supported by the Corangamite CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
This project will run until 2023
A number of member groups of the Geelong Landcare Network are holding events for this years
National Tree Day (covid restrictions allowing)
Batesford Fyansford Stonehaven Landcare group is holding two events. The first for schools on 23rd July, working on the recovery and revegetation at each end of Red Gum Reserve, with added support from Golden Plains Shire Council.
The second event is planting out in the Dog Rocks Fauna and Flora Sanctuary at 95 Dog Rocks Road Batesford from 9.30am to 11.30am with Morning Tea to follow. This event is registered on the National Tree Day website.
The Dog Rocks Fauna & Flora Sanctuary is a Trust for Nature covenanted property which lies between the Moorabool River Reserve and the Dog Rocks and it has been one of the sites for recurrent work by Batesford, Fyanfrd, Stonehaven Landcare Group.
Friends of Bannockburn Bush are also holding two events:
1. Schools Tree Day with St Mary McKillop on Friday August 30. No more people needed.
2. Community Tree Day. Sunday August 1. Stephens Rd Bannockburn. 1-3pm Register via the FOBB Face book page https://www.facebook.com/events/187381606685931/?ref=newsfeed
Contact Stuart 0438 904 961
The Leigh and Districts group are meeting on Sunday 1st August, at 11am at the Murgheboluc Recreation Reserve
Free BBQ , finish 1pm
Please contact Susan Wishart 0438560870 if you wish to attend.
Friends of Cowies Creek are also holding an event . Contact Kaye Rodden 0438317499 for details
“The River Moorabool” film explains why this unique river traveling from the Wombat Forests near Ballarat to the Barwon River at Geelong is Victoria’s most flow-stressed river.
Commodity prices and seasonal conditions have been as good as they will ever get, but we know this won’t last. Now is the time to make changes that will take us into a brighter future.
By improving the ecological functions of our farms, we can:
• Sustainably manage our land in an increasingly variable climate
• Reduce our input costs without losing production.
In this forum keynote speaker Dr Wendy Seabrook (author of the 'Ecological Farming Handbook') will guide us through a review of our farming operations to include our ecological bottom line. Essential information for your future, whether you manage your land for primary production or lifestyle.
Join the discussion at our future proofing forum
Dr Wendy Seabrook farms outside Cooktown and has worked with farmers for over 20 years, supporting the adoption of ecological approaches to regenerative agriculture. Seeing the value of this approach in helping farmers achieve the dual outcome of reducing their costs and caring for country, Wendy featured on ABC Country Hour and Radio National Nights in New Zealand. She was also a finalist in the 2016 Australian Future Agro Challenge.
A free event proudly brought to you by the Geelong Landcare Network
Watch the recording of this event by clicking this link.
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