Home' Smart Farmer : April 2013 Contents April 2013
Setting the Standard
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Barossa drumMUSTER quicker
BAROSSA Valley farmers and wine makers no
longer need to wait to recycle their empty and
clean agvet chemical containers, after some
recent changes to the local drumMUSTER.
For the past 13 years, the Barossa Council has
held two drumMUSTER collection days a year
to service more than 750 grapegrowers who
supply 200 wineries.
But thanks to new flexible arrangements to
the drumMUSTER site at Nuri Dump, growers
can now drop off their drums five and a half
days a week instead of twice a year.
South Australia drumMUSTER consultant
David Jesse said the new collection site would
be a great asset to local growers.
"Drums can now be delivered to the
Transpacific Transfer Station on Pine Drive in
Nuriootpa during normal opening hours," he
"This site is well known to local farmers as
they have utilized it for disposal of other waste."
David said local growers were no strangers to
recycling their chemical containers.
Since 1989, the Barossa Council has been col-
lecting drums for farmers, 10 years before
drumMUSTER was introduced in 1999.
"Since drumMUSTER has been serving the
region, more than 84,000 drums have been col-
lected," David said.
"That represents more than 105 tonnes of
material recycled into new things again."
Growers can drop off their drums at the site
during normal opening times, 8am to 3pm
Monday to Friday, and 8am to 11.30am on
Remember to rinse all drums and remove lids
before delivering. Pierce metal drums to allow
drying after rinsing.
Since 1999, drumMUSTER has collected
more than 21 million drums nation-wide. That
represents more than 26,000t of waste avoiding
landfill and being recycled into new and useful
things such as plastic cable covers, wheelie bins,
• Details: 1800 008 707, www.drummuster.com.au
or David Jesse 0409 834 113.
Biodiversity grows on trees in SA
South Australia will soon be
planting more than 530,000
Trees For Life native seedlings on
their properties to encourage biodi-
versity, for windbreaks, to combat
soil erosion or salinity.
Among them are Liam and
Madeleine Burns, who run their
Triple B Biodynamic Beef company
on two properties, one near Milang
and the other on the Finniss River at
The Burns are staunch believers in
native vegetation benefiting their
properties -- the land itself and sub-
sequently, the health of their cattle.
Since joining Trees For Life in 1990,
they have planted more than 13,000
tubestock and direct-seeded some of
their Finniss property.
Madeleine said they planted thou-
sands of trees on their first property
so were "quite happy when we pur-
chased the second property -- which
was bare except for one small row of
Platypus gums -- so that we could
create a different landscape to pro-
vide much needed windbreaks,
wildlife habitat, stock shelter and
improve the overall appearance of
In 2003, when they decided to
make "a huge lifestyle change" and
become certified biodynamic, tree
planting took on a whole new
dimension and became incredibly
important to them.
"The trees create a physical barrier
from neighbouring properties and
although they still have a way to go
before the stock will gain shade ben-
efits, they're already acting as wind-
breaks which is beneficial in the
winter months," Madeleine said.
"For our enterprise though, the
biggest advantage is the enormous
biodiversity we see in bird life. This
is so important to assist in insect
control and it really does make a dif-
Madeleine said that without help
from Trees For Life's volunteer grow-
ers, funding from the Goolwa to
Wellington Local Action Plan, and
help from a local Landcare group,
their success would not have been
"We received funding for fencing
materials, which meant we didn't
have to spend a fortune on fencing;
it's important for landholders to find
out about avenues like this as it can
help them greatly so they're not put
off tree planting for financial rea-
sons," she said.
The Burns' first property at Milang
now has 15-metre wide tree lines
along their boundaries and between
most of their paddocks and this has
increased biodiversity on the farm.
"After purchasing the Finniss
property in 2010 we had direct-seed-
ing carried out to three boundaries
with 15m wide rows. The fourth
boundary is the river and five acres
of riverfront land has been set aside
as a reserve with a local community
group planting 7000 plants includ-
ing reeds, grasses, shrubs and trees
with the aim of returning biodiversi-
ty to benefit the wildlife that use the
river - turtles, black swans, pelicans,
terns, ducks," Madeleine said.
"Creating habitat for indigenous
species at every level of the food
chain aids enormously in balancing a
farm as a whole and negates the need
to use chemicals to wipe out any
overburden of pests."
After many years of revegetation
work, do they have any advice for
other landholders looking at heading
down the same path?
"Don't hesitate to do it -- the bene-
fits are enormous," Madeleine said.
"But be sure that plantings are
properly protected from livestock
initially; prepare the site well (rip-
ping if possible makes the job so
much quicker depending on your
site) and if possible, have the ability
to water a few times for the first sum-
• Need to know more?
you are interested in ordering native
seedlings for your property, call Trees
For Life 08 8406 0500 or visit
Bird life booming
Habitat for indigenous species
Volunteer growers big help
A RECENT report by the Australian
Bureau of Agricultural and Resource
Economics and Sciences has found that
Australian farmers are playing a lead-
ing role in managing native vegetation
to boost production outcomes.
The report, Native Vegetation
Management on Agricultural Land,
found that 85 per cent of farmers were
gaining on-farm production or environ-
mental benefits; with most indicating
they wanted to do even more because
of the benefits they were gaining.
Under Trees For Life's Tree Scheme
Program, for just $100 -- which
includes one-year membership of Trees
For Life -- seedlings can be grown to
order by a volunteer grower over sum-
mer, ready for planting in Autumn
2014, or landholders can grow their
These seedlings are native to South
Australia, and local to the geographic
area they are revegetating, which
means they are water efficient, adapt-
ed to local conditions, occur naturally
and therefore have a higher survival
rate, pose no risk of becoming weed
species, provide homes for local fauna
and restore local ecosystems.
From mostly city backyards, more
than 1200 volunteers help repair major
environmental issues such as salinity
and soil erosion by growing seedlings
for South Australian farmers, local coun-
cils and other revegetation partners.
The Tree Scheme's ordering system
has been going for 31 years and choos-
ing plants is made easy with our species
lists. The list includes a height and shape
classification of each plant, what soil
type it is best suited to and a descrip-
tion of its possible uses, including wind-
break, shade, firewood or shelter.
This winter, rural landholders are
planting more than 620,000 seedlings
ordered last year through Trees For Life.
Need to know more?
Trees For Life's ordering season
opens May 1 and runs through to July
31, 2013. Trees For Life 08 8406 0500
Easy tree scheme boosts vegetation
The trees act as
windbreaks and double-up
as a physical barrier from
Australian Made applauds food labelling direction
THE Australian Made Campaign recently
applauded the Senate Committee for Rural
and Regional Affairs for its recommenda-
tions to Government on food labelling
laws, following an inquiry into amend-
ments to the laws in a Bill drafted by the
Greens party in 2012.
"If implemented, these recommenda-
tions will make it easier for consumers to
identify genuine Aussie products and build
greater confidence back into Australia's
food labelling system," Australian Made
Campaign chief executive Ian Harrison
The committee's recommendations:
• The Bill as drafted should not be passed
• The Government should consider devel-
oping a more effective country of origin
framework, including a more effective def-
inition of 'substantially transformed', which
better balances the interests of consumers,
primary producers, and manufacturers.
• The Government should consider creating
a 'negative list' for processes that do not
satisfy the 'substantial transformation'
• The Government should develop a public
education campaign for new CoOL guide-
At the hearing for the inquiry in February
this year Australian Made rejected the pro-
posed Bill as providing an acceptable alter-
native to the system in place, called for the
definition of 'substantial transformation' to
be restricted, and encouraged the use of a
'negative list' for processes that do not sat-
isfy the 'substantial transformation' test.
Trevor Bright is
who grows for
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