The town of Narrabri lies in one of the richest agricultural regions in Australia.
The 13,000 square kilometer Narrabri Shire, in the heart of the Namoi Valley, is home to a divers range of agricultural enterprises. The fertile country north, west and south-east of Narrabri produces cotton, wheat , barley, oilseeds, and a variety of other crops, ranging from grapes to peanuts. Livestock production includes sheep, cattle and pigs.

The annual value of agricultural production is in excess of $330 million per year. This figure includes more than $200 million from cotton and about $60 million from wheat.

Irrigation farming, utilizing both surface water from the Namoi River (provided via a regulated flow from Keepit Dam) and groundwater, is a very important component of the Shir’s success. The success of the agricultural industries have resulted in the development of big storage and transport centres in the Shire.

The high volumes of agricultural commodities have led to the extablishement of big secondary processing industries such as the huge Cargill Oilseeds plant at Narrabri which processes about 250,000 tonnes of cottonseed each year.

The moder Canzac Pulse Processors Pty Ltd plant in Narrabri brings state of the art technology to the task of producing high quality pulse seeds for export. Other plants include seed grading, mixing and packaging operations.

The huge agricultural industries are in turn supported by a host of specialist supply, engineering, chemicals, and consulting firms.

Two world-rank research establishments are located in the Narrabri district; the I.A Watson Grains Research Centre (operated by the University of Sydney), and the big Australian Cotton Research Institute (ACRI) a shared venture between the CSIRO and the NSW Department of Agriculture.

Late 2005 saw the launch of the new Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre – based at ACRI. This new CRC will provide a multi-faceted approach to cotton industry research.

Narrabri is also home for the important Cotton Research and Development Corporation. The CRDC is a $15 million body funded by the Federal Government and industry to select and fund suitable research projects.

It was from humble beginnings in Narrabri that the Prime Wheat Growers’ Association was born.  This local wheat grower organization went on to encompass wheat growers across NSW before acquiring GrainCorp which now operates grain handling and other businesses in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Narrabri Shire’s growth and development is strongly tied to the success of its agricultural industries. Fortunately, district farmers are acutely aware of the need for the wise use of resources and sustainable farming methods. It is this knowledge and expertise which is driving the town and district forward to a bright, prosperous future.
 
No clarity as water study gets muddy

No clarity as water study gets muddy

Dec. 20, 2015, the Northern Daily Leader.

THE University of NSW has reaffirmed its position that the drop in groundwater levels around Werris Creek are in part caused by the Whitehaven Coal mine, despite an independent state government commissioned report claiming otherwise.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Water commissioned independent expert Noel Merrick to conduct a peer review of the UNSW study, which was done on behalf of Caroona Coal Action Group who have used water concerns at Werris Creek in a campaign against the proposed Shenhua mine.

Dr Merrick’s review confirmed there had been a drop in groundwater levels, but “found no evidence that the declines are due to the mine”.

Instead, Dr Merrick pointed to climatic conditions as the likely cause for the decline.


Sunday, 20 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Christmas warning for farm visitors

Christmas warning for farm visitors

Racing around on motorbikes, riding horses, swimming in dams and generally getting dirty is a dusty dream-world for the many children visiting farms these summer holidays. But they’re not always as aware of potential dangers as those who live there, so it’s important to set some rules and boundaries to keep everyone safe.

Children under 15 years old make up about 20 per cent of the on-farm deaths in Australia each year, and nearly one-third of those children are visitors, according to the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (ACAHS).

Historically the biggest risk has been drowning, but quad bikes are an increasing issue, with two deaths involving children recorded in the first half of 2015.
Friday, 18 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1856)/Comments (0)/
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Protesters tell Santos to hit the pause button

Protesters tell Santos to hit the pause button

ANTI-coal seam gas activists have followed up on their promise to continue disrupting Santos activities in the Pilliga forest by staging a road blockade at the gates of the energy company’s Leewood wastewater treatment yesterday morning.

About 20 people prevented contractors from entering the site for two and a half hours.

Construction started at the site last week, despite the facility being at the centre of a court battle over the legality of its approval.

Wilalla farmer Alistair Donaldson took part in the protest and said he was “deeply concerned” construction was under way before the outcomes of the court case were determined. “If I was in court about the legality of the development application for my house, do you think I’d be allowed to keep building before the case was determined?” Mr Donaldson said.

“If the court finds that Leewood has not been properly assessed, Santos will have to go back to the drawing board in the assessment process and all the work currently under way will have been completed without  valid approval.

“There’s double standards at play here and Santos should be required to press pause at least until it’s clear its approval is legal.”

Santos general manager of energy NSW, Peter Mitchley, said the protest activity at Leewood had no impact on Santos operations and the company had all approvals in place to undertake the work.

“The Leewood Phase 2 Project was approved following a rigorous and detailed assessment process which was carried out in accordance with the relevant regulatory guidelines.



Wednesday, 9 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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EYCI eases to 589.5c/kg

EYCI eases to 589.5c/kg

By KAREN BAILEY The Land

YOUNG cattle prices have eased slightly in the past week due to bigger yardings at some centres in NSW. 

On the back of last week’s near record prices, the prospect of a hot, dry summer had some producers opting to offload any surplus stock on Monday and Tuesday this week.

As a result, the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator slipped to 589.5 cents a kilogram (carcase weight) on Tuesday - back 5.5c/kg on the same time last week.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
Categories: AgricultureCattle
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Boggabri Coal lodges plans for groundwater bores

Boggabri Coal lodges plans for groundwater bores

By Kerrin Thomas ABC

The operators of the Boggabri Coal Mine, located in northern New South Wales, are seeking permission to extract groundwater from a site close to the existing mine.

Boggabri Coal's operators, Idemitsu Australia Resources, want to construct two new water production bores and four back-up bores, to complement two existing bores.

In an application before the Department of Planning and Environment, the company said it needs the bores to ensure the nine megalitres of water the mine requires per day can be sourced.

The water is primarily used for washing coal at the handling plant and for dust suppression.

In its application the company said the groundwater model developed for the proposal identifies the potential for a drawdown of the alluvial aquifers in the vicinity of the bores.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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