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Regional Landcare News | Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board

September 2022


Bridal rust fungus. Photo credit: CSIRO


Table of contents

Small Acreage Field Days - Echunga Oval - 24 + 25 September
New soil monitoring program launched
First Nations News: Wild South Coast Way smart phone audio tour shares Ngarrindjeri Nation stories
Dung beetles a hit with regenerative agriculture groups
The Very Fast Break - for September
Small Talk: Renovating pastures with seed - to treat or not to treat? That is the question
Regional weather station network
Landcare Australia News - National Award Winners
Local Landcare Legends – Friends of Charleston Conservation Park
Coastal News: Landcare Australia, Cricket Australia and 4 Pines Brewing revegetation project at Cape Jervis
Fleurieu Cooperative – reviving Strathalbyn’s abattoir
Australian Farmer of the Year Awards announced
Forum brings together regenerative agriculture farmers, Researchers and Community at Clayton Bay
Carrsview best in Royal Show with Murray Greys
Native Orchid Society of South Australia Spring Show
RCS Grazing for Profit School in SA
Australiasian Weeds Conference in Adelaide this September
Upcoming events for your calendar​​​

Spring weeds - Rust control for bridal creeper

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu is calling on landholders to be on the front foot to help control the highly invasive bridal creeper, and the control method is not what you think.

Bridal creeper is a herbaceous climber and has devastating effects in bushland, where it smothers native vegetation.

In 2000, a biological control agent called ‘bridal rust fungus’ was released. It infects leaves and stems drawing on the plant’s nutrients and stunting its growth. The rust can be identified by yellow/orange blotched leaves (cladodes) and orange spores on the back of leaves.

Bridal rust fungus is now widespread throughout the southern parts of Australia, but prior to its release, bridal creeper would grow high into the canopy of shrubs and small trees, smothering and weighing them down, blocking out light and limiting regeneration. At scale, this had detrimental effects on native vegetation.

There are ways we can help spread the fungus to unaffected bridal creeper plants, and effectively minimise the risk it poses.
Landscape Officer Lisa Blake said, “The best way to relocate the rust is to make ‘spore-water’ and to spray this onto uninfected bridal creeper."

“Just grab a large bunch of infected leaves and swish them around in a bucket of rain water to loosen the spores. Use a kitchen sieve to remove the plant material and then pour the spore-water into a clean spray bottle."

“If you don’t have access to rainwater, you can also fill a bucket with tap water and leave the vegetation submerged for a few days to let the chlorine dissipate.”

Application is best after rain, but not directly before, as it can wash the solution off, making it ineffective.

Landscape Officer Mark Fagan added, “Bridal creeper rust fungus will only infect bridal creeper, there is no off-target damage.”

“More comprehensive control of bridal creeper is required in some cases and Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu can advise on the best ways to manage it for your situation."

“This is a really difficult weed to control that requires good planning so you can control it in manageable areas. The red berries are spread by birds so doing your best to stop berries developing is a great start.”

“Keep an eye out for the bridal creeper leafhopper too. This sucking insect will cause leaves to whiten and leaves to drop, and is a useful beneficial insect in the fight against bridal creeper.”

Contact Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu for further advice and information about pest plants on 8391 7500 or visit our website here.  


The Small Acreage Field Days will be held on September 24 and 25 at Echunga Oval.. Photo credit: Web image

Small Acreage Field Days - Echunga Oval - 24 + 25 September

The Stirling Rotary Club, in partnership with neighbouring Rotary clubs, is presenting the Rotary Small Acreage Field Days at Echunga Oval on 24 and 25 September. The event’s target audience is small peri-urban land holders from the Hills and Fleurieu and Barossa regions - a total of 6,000 families, who live on small acreage properties.

The idea is to bring the products and services that these families need to assist them to manage their land responsibly to one location. Information about the latest equipment, services and products to assist them to enjoy their rural lifestyles responsibly will be supplied in the form of interactive displays, demonstrations and presentations.

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu will have staff present at our display area on the day as well as providing short presentations on our five key priority areas of land, water, nature, community and climate.

The theme of the field days is fire preparation and prevention. The field days are open to the public from 9am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Find out more here. 

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Soil extension officers at Beach Rd Wines check out soil samples. Photo credit: Jim Mead

New soil monitoring program launched

In some good news for land holders, farmers can access up to $10,000 worth of subsidies towards soil testing through the Australian Government’s new "Pilot Soil Monitoring Incentives Program." The subsidies can be used for agronomic soil testing or for baselining soil carbon. The subsidies cover the lab testing with landholders only having to pay for the sampling. To be eligible, landholders must have an ABN.

To find out more about the Pilot Soil Monitoring Incentives Program, click here. 

For more information, contact Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu's new Soil Extension officer John Butler on john.butler@sa.gov.au 

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Ngarrindjeri elder Mark Koolmatrie says the app honours the oral tradition of sharing stories in a way that connects with people in today’s world. - Photo credit: 5 MU

First Nations News: Wild South Coast Way smart phone audio tour shares Ngarrindjeri Nation stories

Hikers on SA's newest multi-day hike can now immerse themselves in local Aboriginal culture through a smart phone audio tour that shares the stories of the Ngarrindjeri Nation.

The interactive experience on the SA National Parks Tours phone app can be used while walking along the Heysen Trail's Wild South Coast Way walk between Cape Jervis and Vic¬tor Har¬bor.

The app showcases Ramindjeri and Ngarrindjeri stories, with contributors including Ramindjeri Elder Mark Koolmatrie, Ngarrindjeri linguist and artist Kyla McHughes and grandson of the late Ramindjeri Elder Henry Rankine, Jamie Rankine.

Together, they provide a traditional welcome and farewell to Ramindjeri Ruwi country as well as reflections and meditations on traditional life. The app also includes recordings of the Ngurunderi creation story of Kondoli: Keeper of Fire and the Wururi (huntsman spider) creation story. Read more about this story here. 

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Dr Bernard Doube presents at Inman Valley. Photo credit: Jim Mead

Dung beetles a hit with regenerative agriculture groups

August saw another great opportunity for on-farm discussion and learning for farmers in the Southern Fleurieu Regenerative agriculture group.

Dr Bernard Doube from Dung Beetle Solutions International was the guest speaker. Dr Doube has studied dung beetles around the world in his career as a scientist for CSIRO.

He explained the life cycle of the dung beetle, both native and introduced, and why species are seasonally active (ie winter active, summer active species etc) He also fielded questions and explained how dung beetles are able to increase organic matter and improve soil carbon through creating deep tunnels under dung piles and then moving dung into these tunnels.

The group walked out into the paddocks and dug around some cow pats to locate several beetles and to see how deep the tunnels went into the soil. Dr Doube’s extensive knowledge was well received by the group.

Dr Doube also presentewd to the Central Hills Regenerative ASgriculture Group in early September at a Woodside property.

Further information on the regenerative agriculture groups in the region can be found here.

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The Very Fast Break - for September

Dale Grey is back with his unique take on the seasonal climate drivers and outlooks.

To see the September outlook for SA, click here.


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A cover crop should have a diversity of species. Photo credit: Jeff Edwards

Small Talk: Renovating pastures with seed - to treat or not to treat? That is the question

Spring is here! Spring is a good time to start renovating your perennial pastures, or perhaps even sowing a summer fodder crop. 

Summer fodder crops are an extremely valuable out of season feed source for livestock. They offer a real benefit to farmers, with the potential to produce feed in a relatively inexpensive way, particularly during the dry months of January and February when feed is limited. 

Summer fodder crops provide more benefits than just livestock feed. By sowing summer fodder crops, landholders can:

• maintain vegetation cover on the soil (which retains valuable soil moisture and reduces erosion risks )
• improve water infiltration in the soil (by sowing a variety of species with deep roots that break through the sub soil layers)
• ensure green living plants and roots stay in the system for longer (this is great for soil biology, as soil organisms thrive on feeding on sugars from living plant roots).  All of these outcomes have the potential to build soil carbon.

Recently, the Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu Sustainable Agriculture team have worked alongside farmers from the Fleurieu Farming Systems Group to run a summer fodder crop demonstration on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  This initiative was supported through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and involved local agronomists from S&W Seeds and FPAG.

Farmers from five different properties were able to demonstrate several different techniques for establishing the multi-species fodder crops in local conditions. Knowledge was shared via a number of field days. A follow up webinar provided information and results to the wider community.

One common question was raised by the many farmers attending. “Should we be chemically treating the seed before sowing it or not?”

As with many complex decisions, there are pros and cons for these farming choices.

Many agronomists advise that applying a seed treatment to pasture seed is a very effective plant protection procedure, helping to ensure seedling establishment and early plant development. The first four to six weeks after sowing is a critical stage in the life of a new plant and this is when seedlings are most at risk from pest and disease pressure.  

Pre treated seeds: Seeds pre- treated with insecticide and fungicide have the advantage of being viable for longer in the soil, as they will less likely be predated on by pests or affected by disease.

Scientist and soil biology advocate Dr Christine Jones has a very different view and does warn against the use of insecticide and fungicide seed pre-treatments.

In June, Dr Jones visited the region and presented to over 150 farmers on the topic of regenerative agriculture and how implementing its principles can support a diversity of microbial life in the soil.

Her experience suggests that treating seed with insecticide and fungicide can kill good bacteria and fungi in the soil, having a negative impact on soil biology.

Bio- stimulants: Instead, she encourages the use of bio-stimulants for seed inoculation. Bio-stimulants are natural substances that can be applied to seeds, plants, and soils, for example, compost.

Dr Jones explained that, “A bio-stimulant is a substance or microorganism that, when applied to seeds, plants or on the rhizosphere, stimulates natural processes to enhance or benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient use efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress and can improve crop quality and yield”.

“They are full of auto-inducers (signalling molecules) that trick the plant into thinking and acting as if it is growing in a compost rich soil. They trigger the plants to release exudates that attract microbes, and the microbes provide the plant with nutrients”.

She further highlighted that, “Bio-stimulants can be used to coat seeds and improve plant growth in adverse conditions”. The idea is to stimulate soil biology rather than kill mycorrhizal fungi and soil microbes with chemical treatments, ensuring good, ongoing soil health.

Seed suppliers: Landholders can source summer fodder crop seed from local seed suppliers such as Yankalilla Seeds,(click here) S&W Seeds,(click here) FPAG (click here) or from interstate seed suppliers such as Victoria's Down Under Covers.(click here)

It is up to individual land holders to choose whether to use pre-treated or untreated seed. After considering the information above, land holders may want to arrange for a bio-stimulant treatment as another option.

For further information, see Dr Christine Jones’ presentations at our Lobethal events in June here.

For video case studies of local farmers implementing regenerative agriculture principles on their properties, click here.

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A regional weather station. Photo credit: Jeff Edwards

Regional weather station network

Did you know that Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu maintain and manage three weather stations across the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula?

The Landscape Weather Network website displays current and historical weather data from over 80 weather stations across the state, which are managed by a network of eight organisations including Landscape Boards and partners.

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu directly manage three weather stations located at Mt Torrens, Currency Creek and Mt Compass. They each provide 15 minute data updates and the data is tailored to provide climatic information relevant to spraying, spreading, harvesting and irrigation.

Landholders can select primary and favourite stations to enable them to regularly and easily view local weather information to best suit their property.

While each organisation manages its own weather stations and undertakes the necessary field maintenance and repairs, station data across the network is displayed collectively to provide a single point of access to users.

Landholders can access the data and find their closest station here. www.awsnetwork.com.au/

For those farming on the Fleurieu, Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu are supporting Fleurieu Farming Systems group by way of a grant to install a further six weather stations at Inman Valley, Middleton, Waitpinga, Sellicks Hill, Parawa and Hindmarsh Tiers. 

To follow the Fleurieu Farming Systems weather station network, visit here.

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Landcare Australia News - National Award Winners

Catch up on all of the National Landcare award winners and links to the Landcare conference presentation in the September version of Landlink.

To get the latest, click here.

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Friends of Charleston Conservation Park in action. Photo credit: Billy-Jo Brewer

Local Landcare Legends – Friends of Charleston Conservation Park

The September 2022 Local Landcare Legends are the Friends of Charleston Conservation Park (FoCCP).

Since 2013, the FoCCP have been caring for Charleston Conservation Park. The park is uniquely situated in a transition zone on the eastern edge of the higher rainfall area of the Adelaide Hills, supporting and conserving native flora and fauna common to both higher and lower rainfall areas. It receives an average of 700mm of rain per annum.

In 2017, the original 54ha park was doubled in size with the purchase of an adjacent grazing property to the east. Although cleared and grazed for decades, the park extension continued to harbour a rich mix of native plant species among the exotic pasture grasses. This area is also unique in that it straddles two water sub catchments. On the west side, rainfall collects in the Charleston sub catchment, whilst on the east side, rainfall collects in the Inverbrackie Creek sub catchment. The waters in each sub catchment take very different routes before they meet once again as the Onkaparinga River in Woodside.

The group has 12 active members who are kept inquisitive and busy with a range of activities that reflect the diversity of the park itself. In the original park, traditional bushcare activities associated with weed control and conservation are undertaken, along with long term vegetation monitoring.

In the new extension, the Friends Group works closely with ecologists and rangers from the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) on ecological restoration projects to restore the full suite of pre-clearance native vegetation.

The 2019 Cudlee Creek bushfire burnt the entire park with great intensity and caused significant losses as well unique ecological opportunities. The mature tree canopy in particular suffered great damage causing many trees to die. The silver banksia (Banksia marginata) population was aging and regenerating poorly prior to the fire, and extremely old trees were then killed by the fire.

In both the original and newer sections of the park, the fire promoted a great deal of much needed natural regeneration. In particular, fire driven natural regeneration in the newer section of the park did more for ecological restoration than human efforts alone could possibly do. Sadly, the iconic silver banksia did not regenerate well after the fire. Consequently, thousands of seedlings have since been planted in the hope of creating a stronghold for this species to counteract its decline in the region.

The Friends Group and NPWS are committed to “Bringing Back the Banksias” and have invested much time and resources in planting and maintaining seedlings. These efforts were recently rewarded with the first flowering of some of the planted seedlings in the last month. 

The Friends Group meet at the park on the first Friday of every month from 9.00am to 11.00am. For more information about working bees, contact Will on 0419 037 303 or Billy-Jo on 0457 505 612. New members are always welcome.

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The Cape Jervis site after planting and direct seeding. Photo credit: 4 Pines Brewing

Coastal News: Landcare Australia, Cricket Australia and 4 Pines Brewing revegetation project at Cape Jervis

Following up from our article in May about the site preparation for this project, Yankalilla Council and Green Adelaide Coastal Conservation Officer Corey Jackson recently worked with Landcare Australia to revegetate 44 hectares at Cape Jervis with the focus on providing habitat for the Glossy Black Cockatoo.  This project was sponsored by Cricket Australia and 4 Pines Brewing. 

Community planting events organised by Corey and the Fleurieu Environment Centre saw 2,000 local native seedlings planted and guarded at this site to complement the 44 hectares of direct seeding.

Seedlings for this project had been grown by volunteers at the Fleurieu Coast Community Nursery at Yankalilla under Corey's supervision and guidance. 

For more on this story, click here. 


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Cattle on the Fleurieu. Photo credit: Fleurieu Cooperative

Fleurieu Cooperative – reviving Strathalbyn’s abattoir

The Fleurieu Community Co-operative has been created to ensure a long-term, sustainable solution for meat processing and supply for the Fleurieu Peninsula community in South Australia, including through re-opening the Strathalbyn abattoir.

The importance of reopening the abattoir in ensuring the region's growth and prosperity has only become more evident. The re-opened abattoir will have a strong focus on serving the needs of the community by providing an efficient, quality, local service at a reasonable price. It will also be fully technology-enabled from the outset, to facilitate ease of booking and payment – and to enable ‘paddock-to-plate’- type offerings, and the creation of premium, local products and brands.

It will also operate on the basis of a co-operative model. The Fleurieu Community Co-operative will be run by the community, for the community. Anyone who will use the services of the co-operative, or supply goods or services to it, can apply to become a member of the co-operative, including agricultural producers, butchers, supermarkets and restaurants. There will also be a range of member benefits, including the opportunity to invest.
To learn more and to join the cooperative, click here.

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Michael Taylor is using regenerative agriculture on his family farm. Photo credit: - (ABC New England North West: Jennifer Ingall )

Australian Farmer of the Year Awards announced

The Australian Farmer of the Year and Young Farmer of the Year have been named!

The winners are Michael Taylor from the New England region of NSW and Brad Egan of Scadden, near Esperance in WA.

To find out more about why Michael won the award, click here.

To read more about Brad’s success, click here.

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The Clayton Bay Regenerative Agriculture Forum will be held at Clayton Bay on August 13. Photo credit: Weekend Notes

Forum brings together regenerative agriculture farmers, Researchers and Community at Clayton Bay

In August, over 70 people came together for a Regenerative Agriculture forum in Clayton Bay. Hosted by the Clayton Bay Nursery and Environment Group (CBNEG), and opened by Mayor Keith Parkes from Alexandrina Council, the conference brought farmers, academics and industry representatives together to focus on regenerative agriculture principles.

Ben Ryan, a farmer from the Fleurieu Peninsula, spoke of his journey through Regenerative Agriculture which was catalysed by his personal experience with depression during his time working with traditional farming methods. He realised he needed to work smarter rather than harder. He reduced chemical use and started working with nature rather than against it. See more of Ben’s story here.

Soil expert, Professor Tim Cavagnaro from Adelaide University explained the importance of soil complexity with abundant microbiota and fungi leading to soil health. He found vines were more productive and therefore profitable when under vine plants, preferably native, were present, rather than just having bare earth under vines. His studies have found that herbicide increases soil compaction and promotes moisture loss.

Past CBNEG manager, Carole Richardson, outlined the nursery’s involvement in community re-vegetation and weed control. The nursery provides a vital community service propagating and supplying native plants with timely planting advice.  She floated the idea of using native ground covers under vines, stressed the importance of attracting pollinators and the spoke of the emerging potential of native grasses.

CBNEG was a vital centre for local people wanting to be involved with nature. Forum participants were also led on a guided tour of the nursery during the lunch break.

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The Carr family were "Most Successful Beef Cattle Exhibitor" at the Royal Adelaide Show. Photo credit: Royal Adelaide Show

Carrsview best in Royal Show with Murray Greys

The Royal Adelaide Show returned to Wayville Showgrounds in 2022 after a few Covid 19 interrupted years.The Show is a great way for the country to come to the city to showcase all the hard work our farmers put in over the course of the year.

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu's very own Senior finance officer, Jo Carr and her family, (who run Murray Grey cattle at their Carrsview property at Mt Torrens), were worthy winners in a swag of categories in the "Beef Cattle Special Awards" section. 

They took out the award for "Most Successful Beef Cattle Exhibitor" for their 13 first places and several minor places.

The Royal Adelaide Show success follows on from the Carrs' successful trip to Sydney for the Royal Easter Show, where they won several awards.

From all of us at Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu, a huge congratulations to Jo and the Carr family!


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A greenhood orchid. Photo credit: Gardening Australia

Native Orchid Society of South Australia Spring Show

The upcoming Native Orchid Society of South Australia's (NOSSA) Spring Show will be held on September 17 and 18 2022. 

The show will be held at the Uniting Church Hall on the corner of  Township Road and Church Crescent Marion, with doors open to the public from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Saturday and 10:00 am - 3:00 pm on Sunday. The entry fee is a gold coin donation.

The show will be showcasing the conservation work of NOSSA, including information on their newest venture - a propagation facility for growing orchids from seed. There will be people present to help with orchid growing advice as well as orchids for sale, books and other related orchid items.

Also available for sale will be June Nieljalke's recently published, "Native Orchids of South Australia: A field guide."


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The RCS Grazing for Profit School is being delivered in Adelaide in October. Photo credit: RCS

RCS Grazing for Profit School in SA

The Farming and Grazing for Profit School - SA

RCS is offering their well known Farming and Grazing for Profit School in SA on October 19 - 25. RCS consultant Nic Kentish will facilitate the course. To find out more and register, click here.

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Australiasian Weeds Conference in Adelaide this September

The 22nd Australasian Weeds Conference (22AWC) will be held in Adelaide from the 25 - 29 September 2022.

22AWC will be delivered as an In Person event at the Adelaide Oval. A fantastic in-person conference is being planned, and we look forward to welcoming you there!

Unable to attend? For those unable to attend the conference in Adelaide, the On Demand Registration offers post conference access to a virtual platform containing recorded presentations from the 22AWC event. On Demand access will be available for 2 months post conference.

For more details on registration packages, please click here.

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farm walk for Rural Land Management course participants. Photo credit: Jim Mead

A field day at Inman Valley in August. Photo credit: Jim Mead

Upcoming events for your calendar​​​


Look out for our NEW Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu newsletter, Groundswell. The newsletter includes stories from across the board’s five priority areas of land, water, nature, climate and community. Join the subscriber list here.

• 22nd Australasian Weeds Conference (22AWC) Adelaide 25 – 29 Septr 2022 - for details click here.

Field days
• NOSSA Spring Show - 17 and 18 Sept 2022  - corner of Township Road & Church Crescent Marion
• RCS Putting Regenerative Farming into Action -  Mt Compass - 19 September - for details, click here.
• Rotary Small Acreage Field days  - 24 and 25 September, Echunga Oval – for details, click here.

Courses and workshops
• RCS Farming and grazing for Profit School - Adelaide - 19 - 25 October – for details, click here.
• Grazing Naturally Fundamentals workshop - Mt Beevor Station - 28 October - for details click here.

Nature Festival events
• Building resilience and profitability in vineyards Oct 6 - click here
• Building Bush for Bandicoots Oct 7 - for details, click here
• Fabulous Fleurieu Swamps Oct 11 - for details, click here.
• Help the Hoodies Oct 12 - for details, click here.
• Coastal Gardens workshop Oct 13 - for details, click here.

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If you have a story or event to promote, please email the Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator for the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board, Jim Mead, at jim.mead@sa.gov.au.

The Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Program is funded by the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.

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