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A media release from Barossa Improved Grazing Group (BIGG)
MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 23 August 2016

Direct seeding benefits for watercourse rehabilitation


The Barossa Improved Grazing Group are studying the cost benefit of machine direct seeding for rehabilitating a watercourse in Moculta.

The group are comparing direct seeding with manual tubestock planting as part of a 25th Anniversary Landcare project with support from Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (NR AMLR) to investigate and demonstrate the benefits of watercourse rehabilitation.

A section of a degraded watercourse was fenced off in early 2015 and 640 plants were planted manually along a 250m stretch of the watercourse in July 2015. A further section of the watercourse is now being direct seeded to compare the two methods.

Trees for Life Direct Seeding Manager David Hein says there are many benefits of direct seeding.

“The process is very quick and producers can plant 25 to 30km in one day,” David said.

“The machine, which can be towed by a small tractor, quad bike or ute, can plant four to five species at once including eucalypts and acacias. The plants establish a very strong root system from direct seeding which means they will establish successfully as long as they make it through the first summer.”

Project facilitator Georgie Keynes says the revegetation site, along a watercourse on the property of dairy farmers Murray and Ben Klemm, will be monitored over a number of years to help producers learn about the benefits and investment involved in rehabilitating watercourses on their own properties.

“We already know there are significant benefits including an increase in ground cover, bank stabilisation and water quality, and the project has shown over the last 18 months that these benefits appear very quickly,” Georgie said.

“Now we’re investigating how producers can obtain these benefits with minimal cost and time outlay with a cost benefits analysis of direct seeding.”

Producers interested in learning more about the project can view the project video at www.biggroup.org.au or contact Georgie, 0409 287 261, georgie.keynes@biggroup.org.au.


ENDS
 
BIGG’s Brett Nietschke with Jamie Pook (Natural Resources Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges), Landholder Ben Klemm and David Hein (Trees for Life) with the direct drilling machine used for planting native trees and shrubs.

Click on the image for a higher resolution version.
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