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.
 
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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Anti-mining groups and farmers claim hypocrisy over Pilliga gas well fire rules

Anti-mining groups and farmers claim hypocrisy over Pilliga gas well fire rules

By ALEX DRUCE The Land

FRUSTRATIONS are burning over a NSW Rural Fire Act exemption that allows mining companies to burn gas flares during intense fire conditions when farmers are forced to cease harvest. 

The Act says fires are not to be lit or maintained during a total fire ban.

But some mining activities are exempt, with companies allowed to burn gas exhaust through a chimney as long as sparks or incandescent materials can’t escape from the site. 

Anti-mining groups and landowners in fire-prone regions say the rule is hypocritical and potentially dangerous.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said its Special Hazards Working Group found the risk of bushfire from gas wells to be minimal. 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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Mature cow weight a balancing act

Mature cow weight a balancing act

By Shan Goodwin the Land

SAME BUT DIFFERENT: Non-genetic factors can influence mature cow weight. These two, six-year-old cows by the same bull were managed identically up until weaning, when the smaller was fed under drought-like conditions. The smaller cow weighs 505kg and has a fat score 1, the larger one 658kg, fat score 2.

MATURE cow weight and the impact it has on the profitability of beef operations is becoming a hot topic as thoughts turn towards herd rebuilding.

Determining the optimal cow size for an operation and whether there is more money in producing a larger number of lighter weaners versus less but heavier calves was a key topic at beef producers field day held at Casino last week.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
Categories: AgricultureCattle
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I live daily with the stress that farmers are powerless to refuse access to coal seam gas

I live daily with the stress that farmers are powerless to refuse access to coal seam gas

Sara Ciesiolka Opinion piece in The Guardian today

Farmers and traditional land owners are petitioning the Coag meeting of mining and energy ministers to control their livelihood, and their land

As a large scale food producer on the extremely valuable and productive lands just downstream from the largest of the State’s proposed gas hotspots at Narrabri, I live daily with the knowledge, and the stress, that ultimately we are powerless to refuse access for coal seam gas extraction on our land.

This is land that we have successfully toiled over for generations to build into a sustainable and productive enterprise capable of feeding hungry mouths both at home and abroad.

For our city cousins, it’s like someone knocking on your front door, demanding to be let inside, and taking up residence in your living room and making a mess. Sometimes they don’t even bother to knock.

The balance of power is skewed heavily in favour of the coal seam gas companies, who have all the rights, against individual landholders, who have nothing but risk.

On Friday there is a meeting of Council of Australian Governments (Coag) mining and energy ministers, and federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg has promised landholders that the issue of a farmer’s right to say ‘no’ will be on the agenda.

Seventy-nine farmers, landholders and traditional owners, including myself, from every state and territory across Australia have sent a letter to minister Frydenberg and the state ministers, calling on them to grant us this right.

The signatories include beef graziers, wine-makers, and landholders struggling in the centre of the Queensland gasfields, the coalfields of the Hunter Valley, and traditional owners from the Kimberley, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

In NSW, Santos and AGL have signed an agreement not to enter freehold landagainst the express wishes of an individual landholder. But this agreement only covers drilling activities, not the extensive range of critical infrastructure such as gas and water pipelines which are essential to coal seam gas extraction.&

Friday, 4 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
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North West Local Land Services Tree Give away

North West Local Land Services Tree Give away

Free trees available from North West Local Land Services

Yes, that's right - the ‪#‎TreeGiveaway‬ is here again!

If you are keen to plant a few native trees in our region, then take a look at the details attached.

Expressions of interest are being taken until 12 February 2016.


North West Local Land Services is seeking requests from landholders, nongovernment organisations,
government departments, clubs, schools and community groups for free trees.

• trees will be available for pick up in winter 2016
• all species are native to North West NSW and come in hiko trays
• over 30 different species available
• up to 1000 trees available per request
• to apply, complete all sections over page.

Requests must be submitted by the 12th February 2016

Thursday, 3 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (1429)/Comments (0)/
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