Having trouble reading this email?  View it in your browser.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

5 March 2015


In this issue

A few words from the Regional Manager
March 20 deadline for NYNRM community grant applications
Pooling resources to beat African rue on the Broughton River
Unexpected parcel in Minlaton mailbag returned to sender
Friends of Innes National Park recognised for service
Quiet achiever receives award
Threatened daisy translocation profiled in Wetlands Australia journal
Get on track for Parks Week
Southern Flinders Outdoor Expo & Lifestyle Show happening this month
Nature Play Park of the Month - Hallett Cove Conservation Park
It's the right year to get smart about soil
Yacka Moorundie events
UNFS 'Farming Sustainably' Field Day
Getting The Crop In seminar kickstarts 2015 cropping season
GRDC Farm Business Update Clare
AgEx Calender - keeping up with what's happening around the region
Innovation and technology deliver benefits for farmers and NRM
What else is happening in March?
Welcome to the March issue of Yakka E-Newsletter

Yakka brings you news and stories from across the Northern & Yorke region.

Please share this newsletter with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and your networks.














March 6 last day to register for 'Getting The Crop In' seminar

Register now

A few words from the Regional Manager

Fire management is never far from our minds at this time of the year. DEWNR plays a key role in protecting communities and their assets in Northern & Yorke and other regions across our state.

After a decade of investment in people and equipment - specialised fire-fighting units and dedicated teams trained to operate in rugged, inaccessible country - we are really beginning to see some excellent results.

DEWNR's ability to deliver on the ground in rugged, rangeland country sets us apart. In recent major fire events, Bangor and Sampson Flat, the professionalism and dependability of DEWNR strike teams was widely acknowledged.

In late December 2014 the Southern Flinders Fire Co-operative (DEWNR, CFS, SA Water, Forestry SA) hosted an inspection of the Bangor fire footprint by the Member for Stuart, Dan Van Holst Pellekaan. Dan saw firsthand the benefits of DEWNR's prescribed burn program which resulted in the survival of key areas of wildlife habitat.

From my perspective it is essential that extensive areas of native forest on the main range of the Southern Flinders continue to be protected. Maintaining connectivity between the Telowie Gorge Conservation Park, SA Water lands and privately held land with important biodiversity assets, will be critical to providing pathways for species to adapt to climate change. The area of is huge significance for nature conservation and community recreation.

Debate continues within our community regarding the future of forestry in the Mid North following devastating fires in the Wirrabara and Bundaleer Forests in recent years. Board member Jacqui O'Reilly, who lives and operates a business adjacent to the Wirrabara Forest, is serving on a community reference group tasked with developing a range of options about future use of the Forestry SA lands. 

Northern & Yorke and Kangaroo Island Presiding Members hosted the most recent Presiding Members Forum in Adelaide, the theme of which was 'Sustainable Agriculture'. Our Interim Presiding Member Eric Sommerville, with Sarah Noack from the Hart Field Site Group, gave presentations that were well received and generated some in-depth discussions.

The region continues to face significant challenges and we are working with Biosecurity SA to develop strategies to combat the threat from buffel grass which has a strong foothold in the region.  The roadsides along Highway One, between Mambray Creek and Port Augusta, are now dominated by buffel grass and it’s essential that we don’t let it penetrate further into the region as the impact on areas of remnant vegetation will be disastrous.

Back to the top
March 20 deadline for NYNRM community grant applications

The 2015-16 round of Northern & Yorke NRM Board Community Grants will close on March 20. Up to $10,000 in funding is available to community groups, volunteer groups and schools, with $20,000 grants available to local government.

New 'bite-sized' grants of between $200 - $500 will be rolled out throughout the 2015-2016 financial year and can be lodged with Natural Resources Northern & Yorke (NRNY) from 1 July 2015.

“Application forms will be available online and have been simplified to allow small groups to have access to funding”, said Northern & Yorke NRM partnerships, evaluation, review and implementation officer John Peet.

The ‘bite sized’ funding initiative has been designed to help community, volunteer and school groups to apply for funding for small environmental projects within the Northern & Yorke region.

Applicants for both grants should consider the categories of Farmer First; Cities and Towns; Sustainable Development; New Impact on the Landscape; Soil; Community Voice; Next Generation; Pest and Weeds; and Water.

Applicants are required to succinctly describe what they hope to achieve, why they want to undertake their project and how it will be implemented.

Applications for the larger-scale Community Grants close on              20 March 2015.

Applications for the bite-size grants are available online at our website.

For more information or assistance with applications, phone the Natural Resource Centre on 8841 3400.

Back to the top
Pooling resources to beat African rue on the Broughton River

A short information session was held near Koolunga recently to discuss ways of combating African rue, a pest plant that is becoming established along the Broughton River.

Natural Resources Northern & Yorke (NRNY) Team Leader Landscapes, Grant Roberts, said the event brought together people with knowledge and experience in dealing with the pest plant.

“African rue is extremely hard to get rid of once it’s established and, potentially, may be more difficult to control than silverleaf nightshade,” Mr Roberts said.

“Being such a deep-rooted plant it needs repeated treatments over several years to be destroyed. We need to act now to stop it from becoming established across the Broughton catchment.”

A native of northern Africa, the Middle East and Tibet, African rue is equally at home in rural South Australia. A vigorous summer-growing plant, so unpalatable that even rabbits won’t eat it, African rue is mostly confined to the Broughton River and its floodplains.

“Our main concern is that some areas of the Broughton River are really diffcult to access and control can only be carried out on foot with knapsacks, so it poses a real threat to the river system,” Mr Roberts said.

African rue has properties that inhibit the growth of other vegetation, enabling it to out-compete native grasses and shrubs. The drought-resistant perennial is spread by seed, suckering and fragments of rootstock that are severed and moved during cultivation.

The aim of the Koolunga gathering was to improve identification skills, share knowledge about control techniques and to identify other locations where the plant has been observed.

“NRNY brought  information about control options and plant behaviour to the table,” Mr Roberts said, “but landholders had a much better idea of the extent of the African rue problem across the catchment.”


Back to the top
Unexpected parcel in Minlaton mailbag returned to sender

Mail sorter Jack May discovered an unexpected parcel last week when he emptied a private mailbag at the Minlaton Post Office. In the bottom of the bag was a tiny pygmy possum that had been unknowingly ‘posted’ from a property on Lower Yorke Peninsula.

“It was hard to know who got the biggest surprise – me or the possum,” said Jack. “I thought it was a mouse but after a closer look noticed it had big eyes and a curly tail, and it looked way too cute to be a mouse.”

Yorke District officers with Natural Resources Northern & Yorke (NRNY) later confirmed that the unstamped mail was a female pygmy possum.

The pygmy possum was cared for by NRNY staff overnight before being returned to where it came from.

Acting District Manager for Yorke District, Deb Furbank said it was helpful that post office staff had kept note of which bag the possum was found in as that meant the animal could be released back into its territory.

Anyone who finds a native animal in an unusual place requiring relocation should contact the Natural Resourcess Centre in Clare on 8841 3400.

To read the full story visit our website

Back to the top
Friends of Innes National Park recognised for service

Between them they have notched up 120 years of service and hundreds of hours of voluntary work, but a love of the Yorke Peninsula has been the common motivation for a group of eight Friends of Innes National Park recently presented with service awards for their efforts.

Among the recipients were Val and Trevor Lloyd (20 years each), Joyce and the late Peter Yeomans (20 years each), Geoff Leech (10 years), Wendy Marshall (10 years), Sam Zefara (10 years) and Brian Thomson (10 years).

The group were presented with their service awards at the Friends of Innes National Park annual general meeting on 10 February.

Natural Resources Northern & Yorke ranger-in-charge Mark Davison says the work undertaken by the Friends group is invaluable.

Outgoing Friends of Innes NP president Trevor Lloyd has been right there amongst it for the past 20 years, but he says the decision to become involved as a volunteer was an easy one having been born and bred at Inneston, the former gypsum mining village within Innes NP. 

"I just love the ruggedness of the coastline, the beautiful beaches, and good fishing. There’s been some hard work over the years as part of the Friends group, but some of it has been enjoyable too and the comradeship, and seeing the outcomes of our work makes it worthwhile.”

The Friends of Innes National Park meet on the third Tuesday of every month. Mr Lloyd says with the twelve members all now in their late 60s and 70s, they are keen for some new members to get involved.

For more information on joining the group phone Mark Davison on 8854 3205.

To read the full story visit our website

Back to the top
Quiet achiever receives award

Volunteer Greg Pech was recognised recently for services to natural resource management in Northern & Yorke region.

Wirrabara was chosen as the location for the February 2015 meeting of the Upper North NRM group, where Greg was presented with the NRM 'Quiet Achievers Award' for his past and continuing contributions. 

Greg has worked on many volunteer projects across N&Y Region including the removal of Aleppo pines from the Wirrabara township entrances and along the Rocky River.

Group Chair Geraldine Davis made the presentation after group member Paul Kretschmer spoke of Greg’s achievements.

“A lot of worthy people are not recognised because people don't take the time to nominate them”, Greg said on receiving his award.

Greg was invited to join the group for lunch and to attend the CAP group which followed.

Back to the top
Threatened daisy translocation profiled in Wetlands Australia journal

Spiny daisy, a critically endangered plant not recorded in the wild for almost 90 years has been reintroduced at Banrock Station, South Australia, to safeguard it from extinction.

An inspiring example of collaborative conservation, the spiny daisy project is profiled in Wetlands Australia: National Wetlands Update February 2015. Below are excerpts from the publication.

The spiny daisy (Acanthocladium dockeri) is a small whitish-grey shrub which grows up to 50cm tall with tiny yellow flowers. It was first collected on 28 October 1860 during the Burke and Wills expedition, by the botanist and doctor of the expedition, Dr Hermann Beckler, near Lake Pamamaroo, by the Darling River in central western New South Wales.

Along with another 1000 specimens collected by Beckler during the expedition, the spiny daisy collection was sent to Ferdinand von Mueller at the Herbarium in Melbourne, who described it as a new species for science in his series of papers Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae (1861).

The species was not seen again until 50 years later when a specimen was collected in 1910 at Overland Corner, three hours north-east of Adelaide in South Australia’s Riverland, across the Murray River from where Banrock Station is now situated.

No further sightings were recorded subsequently and by 1992, the spiny daisy was considered extinct in Australia.

The survival of the spiny daisy hinged on the conservation of the six known natural populations located in unprotected areas on the road sides of the Mid North.

In 2013, DEWNR conducted comprehensive surveys in the Riverland, which led to the Banrock Station Wetland Complex Ramsar site being selected as the site to reintroduce the species into its former range.

The re-introduction is a great example of positive partnerships between a conservation-minded private company, government agencies and an NGO dedicated to nature conservation.

The translocation has been funded by the Banrock Station Environmental Trust.

Use this link to read or download the full article.

Back to the top
Get on track for Parks Week

Free family activities will be on offer at many of South Australia’s national parks and reserves during Parks Week from Sunday 8 March  to Sunday 15 March 2015 .

From the coast to the desert, there will be plenty of opportunities to visit parks, connect with nature and learn more about our unique landscapes, plants and animals.

Whether it's bug hunting at Para Wirra Recreation Park, Bird Day Out at Naracoorte Caves National Park, a guided walk along the Wira Water Loop at Mambray Creel campground in Mount Remarkable National Park, or a walk through time with a geologist at Hallett Cove Conservation Park, there will be something for everyone.

Parks Week will culminate on Sunday 15 March with free park entry to all South Australian parks where vehicle entry fees apply. This does not include entrance to, or tours at, Cleland Wildlife Park, Naracoorte Caves, Tantanoola Caves, Seal Bay or Kelly Hill Caves.

Closer to home in Northern & Yorke there will be plenty to do at Innes and Mount Remarkable National Parks.

Mambray Creek

  • Friday 13 March - 'Meet the Park Ranger' Q&A, from 4pm  Mambray Creek Campground
  • Saturday 14 March - 'Mambray Creek Walk & Activity' guided walk, 5pm Mambray Creek Day Visitor Area
  • Sunday 15 March - 'Wira Water Loop Walk' with park rangers, 10am Mambray Creek Day Visitor Area

Alligator Gorge

  • Saturday 14 March - 'Alligator Gorge Walk' with park rangers, 10:30am Alligator Gorge Car Park

Innes National Park

  • Spot the endangered species, like the tammar wallaby, mallee fowl, heath goanna, western whip bird, and coastal raptors
  • Enjoy the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park, go surfing, catch a fish (not in the Sanctuary Zone!), or laze the day away on one of our many pristine beaches
  • Explore the Inneston historic village and associated walking trails, or book one of the heritage accommodation options
  • Get back to nature and camp in one of our bush camping grounds
  • Look for dolphins in Dolphin Bay

Parks Week: 8 - 15 March 2015

For details about what is on offer in parks across South Australia visit the Environment SA website.

Back to the top
Southern Flinders Outdoor Expo & Lifestyle Show happening this month

The Port Pirie Regional Council will be hosting the 2015 Southern Flinders Outdoor Expo and Lifestyle Show on Saturday 28 March.

The event will be held at Memorial Oval Port Pirie, with displays and exhibitions by businesses and organisations servicing the outdoors and recreation sector.

A range of community focused entertainment and interactive activities will also feature at the show, in what is expected to attract thousands from surrounding areas, including the Copper Coast, Mid North, Clare Valley, Spencer Gulf, and Upper North.

The event aims to benefit the local economy, while showcasing tourism and the recreational opportunities available in the Southern Flinders Ranges.

Activities will include demonstrations, product and technology reviews, interactive displays, food and wine tastings, Kooky Kidz markets, Ute Muster, and much more.

For more information contact the event organiser Rhys Millington.

P: 08 8633 8727

M: 0429 999 384

Email: specevents@pirie.sa.gov.au

Back to the top
Nature Play Park of the Month - Hallett Cove Conservation Park

Our beautiful South Australian parks provide countless opportunities for children and families to connect with nature and to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of playing, learning and being physically active through bushwalking, camping, fishing, swimming, cycling, surfing and exploring.

Nature Play SA’s Park of the Month showcases a different park each month where children and families can experience nature by taking part in fun nature-based activities.

Park of the Month for March is Hallett Cove Conservation Park, one of Australia’s most amazing geological and archaeological sites. It also has a great beach for swimming, beachcombing, kayaking and fishing.

March Events

  • Reef Ramble & Beach-combing for Families
  • A Walk Through Geological Time
  • Geological Talk
  • Coastal Sunset Walk
  • Guided Coastal Nature Walk
  • Explore, Discover & Create

Bookings are essential for some activities.

Sunday 8 March 2015    |  10.00 – 12.00
Sunday 15 March 2015  |  10.00 – 12.00 and 1.00 – 3.00
Sunday 22 March 2015  |  10.00 – 12.00 and 1.00 – 3.00
Sunday 29 March 2015  |  10.00 – 12.00 and 1.00 – 3.00

Use this link for more information about Nature Play SA's Park of the Month program at Hallett Cove.

Back to the top
It's the right year to get smart about soil

Soils experts Mary-Anne Young and Andrew Harding (PIRSA), will run a series of soil pit workshops across the NRNY region during March 2015, in what is International Year of Soils.

Participants will learn about the productive capacity and limitations of soils in their area.

These workshops have been well attended in the past so please book your place by ringing Mary-Anne or Andrew.  

Location details & dates:

Long Plains – Avon area                                                                      Thursday 12 March                                                                           9.00 - 12.30
Meet at Richard Fabry’s paddock, cnr Young & Nairn roads,                   2 km N of Calomba, 3 km SE of Long Plains
Contact Mary-Anne Young 0418 897 775

Wards Hill – Wokurna – Mundoora area                                 Wednesday 18 March
9.00 - 12.30                                                                                       Meet at Rogers’ paddock, Wards Hill old school and church site, Wards Hill Road
Contact Mary-Anne Young 0418 897 775

Halbury                                                                                            Friday 20 March
9.00 - 12.30                                                                                       Meet at Duncan Crawford’s paddock, cnr of Simons Road and Crawford Road, 6 km South of Halbury
Contact Andrew Harding 0417 886 835

Georgetown - Caltowie                                                                 Tuesday 24 March  
9.00 - 12.30                                                                                        Meet at Mark Crawford’s paddock, cnr Lyon’s & Pipeline roads,       5km SE Georgetown                                                                                  Contact Mary-Anne Young 0418 897 775 

Back to the top
Yacka Moorundie events

Stay in touch with coming events hosted by the Yacka Moorundie Landcare Group by visiting the goup's website.


Back to the top
UNFS 'Farming Sustainably' Field Day

Upper North Farming Systems will host a 'Farming Sustainably' field day on 26 March at Bowmans Park, Crystal Brook. The program will have two main themes:

  • Sustainable use of resources on farm
  • Managing a farm business within a variable climate to maximise productivity whilst minimising risk

Members: free

Non-members: $10

Venue: Bowmans Park - Crystal Brook

Date:  26 March 2015

Time: 10am - 5pm

Contact: Ruth Sommerville

Email: unfs@outlook.com

Phone: 0401 042 223

To visit the UNFS Facebook page use this link.

Back to the top
Getting The Crop In seminar kickstarts 2015 cropping season

Hart Group's Getting The Crop In seminar will kickstart the 2015 cropping season on 11 March, with international and South Australian experts providing information about the latest trends in markets, grain varieties and agronomy, as well as first-hand accounts of their own farming operations.

Speakers include:

  • Hart Field-Site Group research and extension manager Sarah Noack who will present the key findings and updates on the 2014 Hart Trials, including the official release of the 2014 Hart Trials Results book.
  • Sterling Liddell, Rabobank International Food & Agribusiness Research & Advisory, USA - "The impact of changes in American agriculture on Australian growers"
  • Nuffield Scholar Mark Modra, farmer, Lower Eyre Peninsula, SA - "Challenging the status quo". Mark and his family run a mixed farming enterprise across 2000ha at Greenpatch, North Shields, Eddillie, and Cummins/Yeelanna.
  • Malcolm Bartholomaeus, AvantAgri Australia Pty Ltd - "What is the market telling us to sow?"
  • Rob Wheeler, Senior Scientist, New Variety Evaluation, SARDI - "How did Mace perform - plus a full analysis of all cereal varieties and harvest quality issues.

When: March 11 from 8.00 to 12.30

Where: The Vines Christian Church, Stradbrooke Road, Clare (northern end of racecourse).

Following the seminar, GRDC will provide its Farm Business Update.

Separate registrations are required for the Hart and GRDC events.

To register for the Getting The Crop In seminar visit the Hart Field Site Group website. Registrations close on Friday 6 March 2015.

Back to the top
GRDC Farm Business Update Clare

The Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) will host a half day Farm Business Update in Clare on Wednesday 11 March. The event will follow Hart Group's Getting The Crop In seminar.

The Farm Business Update provides a unique forum for growers and advisors to learn from and network with leading industry professionals.


  • How to make good farm expansion decisions - presenters John Francis & Holmes Sackett
  • Farming systems - managing profitability and risks in a grain business - presenter Ed Hunt, Ed Hunt Ag Consultancy
  • Tips and tools for effective business communication - presenter Andrew Bayly, facilitator and communicator

Where: The Vines Christian Centre, Stradbrooke Road, Clare (northern end of racecourse)

When: 11 March 2015     1.30 - 4.30pm

This event if free.

To register or dowload a flyer click on this link.

Back to the top
AgEx Calender - keeping up with what's happening around the region

Keep yourself up-to-date with what is happening around the districts and beyond by regularly checking the Ag Excellenece Alliance website.

Use this link to go directly to the AgEx events calendar for dates and information about seminars, workshops, training events, field days and forums.

AgEx also has an excellent Apps Directory with Apps for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Phone platforms.

Use this link to access the Apps Directory where you will find descriptions and star ratings for several hundred Apps with the opportunity to download.

Back to the top
Innovation and technology deliver benefits for farmers and NRM

The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Sustainable Soils Team and SA No-Till Farmers Association will co-host an information event in May, promoting how innovations in agricultural technology can help to deliver natural resource management (NRM).

Greg Butler and Leighton Pearce from the SA No-Till Farmers Association will present cutting edge information, demonstrating how new technologies can benefit both farmers and the delivery of NRM.

Some examples:

  • Aerial drones can be used for monitoring crops and on-ground NRM works especially in difficult to access sites such as wetlands.
  • Soil moisture probes, GPS and soil mapping can be used to reduce fertiliser and pesticide leaching and optimise land management.
  • Australian native plants such as Eremophila glabra or tar bush, can be a useful drought feed and reduce methane production from ruminants when included in their diet.
  • The internet, smartphones, tablets, related apps and social media are growing as a major extension tool for production and NRM.

The recently updated Smartphone Apps for Smart Farmers will also be presented at the event.

More details will be available in the next edition of Yakka.

Back to the top
What else is happening in March?

Tuesday 10 March                                                                                YP Alkaline Soils Group, Annual Update, YPASG Office Minlaton

Monday 23 March                                                                         Minlaton Ag Bureau BBQ Meeting at Cooks Shack, Port Rickaby

Wednesday 25 March 5pm                                                              Laura Ag Bureau
Meet at paddock next to Carl Schmidt’s house for demonstrations West Terrace Laura west of Pub :

Michael Zwar             Weedseeker
Steve Norton              Weedit (croplands)
Michael Zwar             pH testing & field mapping
6.30 – 7pm                 Schnitzel tea @ Laura Hotel  ($14)
8pm                            Meeting & presentation :
                                   Andrew Harding & Mary-Anne Young
                                   pH maps
                                   Lime sources
                                   Decision making tool
                                   Trial sites

Friday 27 March                                                                           SANTFA Annual Conference, Tanunda

Friday 27 March                                                                           Goyder Line Sustainability Hub

For further details about any of these events please contact the Regional Landcare Facilitator Michael Richards on 0427 547 052.

Email: michael.nynrm@internode.on.net

Back to the top
What's on in Northern & Yorke?

Keep up to date about upcoming events, workshops, field days and volunteer opportunities by visiting Get involved on the Northern & Yorke website.


Contact us to submit your upcoming community events.

Visit our site
Contact us
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Government of South Australia
Like      Tweet