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Community & Business

13 March, 2021

First meeting of 2021 for Malanda Beefplan Group

TABLELAND farmers and graziers gathered on a property near Peeramon on Sunday for the the first meeting of the Malanda Beefplan Group for 2021.


Meeting host, Colleen McLucas chats with Michael Hoare and brand new member, Jo Murphy

BY SALLY TURLEY 

TABLELAND farmers and graziers gathered on a property near Peeramon on Sunday for the the first meeting of the Malanda Beefplan Group for 2021. 

A range of topics were discussed, including impending cattle feed price rises of 10% as a result of the impact of the Fall army worm, updates on feral pig, dog and rabbit management and an update on the Nevua Sedge situation.

Producers also heard about the first JBS grid of the year and listened to reports on the Dung Beetle project and the Leucaena and rye grass for beef, grazing trial.

Spokesperson for the Navua Sedge projects, Rob Pagano said good progress was being made with the development of both the biological agents and the auto weed sprayer. 

He said the group had been fighting sedge for 14 years on many fronts and funding received from Tablelands Regional Council, Cassowary Coast and Hinchinbrook Councils as well as the State Government had enabled them to work with experts to develop solutions. 

Though the projects were long term and quite complex, he said they had made a lot of progress. 

“Senior Principal Scientist with Brisbane DAF, Kunjithapatham Dhileepan has identified a couple of very promising biological agents which will hopefully be available for use in the next four years and there should be good data on the auto weed sprayer by the end of this spray season,” he said. 

A new weapon has been released in the war against feral pigs. After more than a decade, ACTA's new feral pig bait, HOGGONE has received regulatory approval and its S6 classification means it is available for public purchase through the usual rural product outlets.

It uses a unique form of sodium nitrite that is an approved food preservative, in low doses it kills pigs humanely in around two hours. The pig merely slips into an unconscious state before a pain-free death. 

It is a pig-specific bait that is safe for humans, so no license is required, but if domestic dogs are able to access the baits, it is recommended the HogHopper bait delivery system be used. HOGGONE breaks down completely in the soil, taking around 1 week in wet, tropical conditions and up to two months in drier areas. 

JBS Townsville resumed operations on March 2 and were still running Bdoubles from Malanda on Sundays throughout the season. 

Their grid opened at $6.80 for bullocks and $6.05 for cows. Livestock buyer Andrew Carcary said they were currently booked out until March 22nd. 

Malanda Beefplan's Chariman, Dave Andersen said the group had been running for over 25 years and met every two months on a member's farm across the Tableland. 

He said they also hosted training and information events throughout the year and raised funds for agricultural education and Tableland youth. 

Members came from all over the Tablelands and anyone interested was welcome to attend. 

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