Whitewater Field Day
More than 30 graziers and industry representatives attended The Leucaena Network’s field day held at Tom and Christine Saunders’ ‘Whitewater Station’ on Tuesday.
The main outcome of the day was to showcase how Tom and Christine were utilizing leucaena to improve their grazing country, despite an inability to clear the land for improved pastures.
Normally planted on cleared country in evenly spaced rows, Whitewater Station’s leucaena is planted in the lightly timbered paddocks, in lines that accommodate established Ironbark, Gum and Bloodwood trees. Whitewater’s rich, volcanic red soil that is high in phosphorous, lends itself to pasture improvement with leucaena.
Tom was able to provide the attendees with an overview of the successes and challenges of the trial including the benefits of Whitewater’s soil and the challenges in planting into natural terrain including extensive rocks, boulders and trees.
Tom recalled “The planting went well, if a bit rough with the large basalt rocks, however a lack of predicted rain immediately after planting, resulted in 75% establishment.”
“That 75% establishment has continued to thrive though and is now a vital and productive part of Whitewater’s grazing system,” he said.
Attendees at the Field Day were also able to view DAF’s leucaena pasture variety trials on ‘Whitewater’ and the leucaena variety trials on ‘Pinnarendi Station’ and hear from other local leucaena producers as well as updates from MLA, the Rural Financial Counselling Service and a new industry leadership and development program ‘Advancing Beef Leaders’.
The formal part of the day concluded with paddock visits to the plantings, viewing the sale-ready cattle recently turned off the leucaena and Whitewater’s water medication system. As the day drew to a close, attendees enjoyed a barbecue of local beef brand Bingil Bay Beef’s steaks from cattle raised on leucaena, and very competently cooked by MLA representatives.
Thank you to all who attended, speakers, DAF, MLA for their support of the event, Bedrock Village for the delicious catering and especially Tom and Christine for hosting and making all feel very welcome.