Maitland, Australia
Maitland, Australia

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McPhee M.J.,University of New England of Australia | Whelan M.B.,Southern Cross University of Australia | Davies B.L.,NSW DPI | Meaker G.P.,NSW DPI | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2010

StockPlan is a computer software package that is distributed to participants at a workshop that assists cattle, sheep meat, and wool producers make management decisions either before and during seasonal dry spells or in the early stages of drought. The StockPlan software includes 4 decision support tools (DST): Drought Pack; Feed Sell Agist Pack; ImPack; and PlanPack. The StockPlan workshop encourages a pro-active approach to reduce environmental and financial impacts. © 2009.


Hinch G.N.,University of New England of Australia | Hoad J.,University of New England of Australia | Lollback M.,Formerly NSW DPI | Hatcher S.,NSW DPI | And 4 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2013

This paper reports changes in livestock weights recorded in a whole-farmlet experiment, which aimed to examine the profitability and sustainability of three different pasture and grazing management strategies. The assessment of liveweights was considered a key component of measuring the integrated effects of the farmlet-scale treatments. The three farmlets comprised a typical management regime, which employed flexible rotational grazing over eight paddocks with moderate soil fertility (farmlet B), a system based on the same grazing management and paddock number but with higher levels of sown pasture and soil fertility (farmlet A) and a farmlet with moderate soil fertility and intensive rotational grazing over 37 paddocks (farmlet C). Early in the experimental period, there were no significant differences between farmlets in the liveweight of any class of livestock. However, from the second year onwards, as the pasture renovation, soil fertility and grazing management treatments took effect, differences in liveweight between farmlets became more apparent and significant. The stocking rate, which was treated as an emergent property of each farmlet, reached a maximum annual average value after 5 years of 12.6, 8.5 and 7.7 dry sheep equivalents (dse)/ha on farmlets A, B and C representing 84, 113 and 51% of their respective target stocking rates which were 15, 7.5 and 15 dse/ha. The liveweights of ewes, both before joining and during pregnancy, varied with year and farmlet with those on farmlets A and B tending to be significantly heavier than those on farmlet C. From 2003 to 2006, liveweights were significantly (P < 0.001) affected by a wide array of factors and their interactions including: date, ewe age, green digestible herbage, legume herbage mass, proportion of farmlet grazed, stocking rate and level of supplementary feeding. The weights of lambs/weaners/hoggets, both pre- and post-weaning, were at times also higher on farmlets A and B compared with those on farmlet C and were affected by a similar range of factors to those which affected ewe weights. Similar relative differences also applied to the liveweights of the other livestock run on the farmlets, namely wethers and non-reproductive cattle. The results suggest that stocking rate was able to be increased towards the higher target of farmlet A due to the higher level of pasture renovation and soil fertility on that farmlet, which led to high liveweights per head as well as the higher stocking rate. However, as the stocking rate increased on farmlet A, the differences between farmlets in liveweight per head diminished and the need for supplementary feeding increased. In contrast, the intensive rotational grazing practised on farmlet C did not allow the farmlet to increase its stocking rate towards its higher target. It appears that the higher proportion of each of farmlets A and B grazed at any one time allowed all classes of livestock to reach higher liveweights per head than on farmlet C, due presumably to the greater proportion of those two farmlets grazed at any one time.


Hinch G.N.,University of New England of Australia | Lollback M.,Formerly NSW DPI | Hatcher S.,NSW DPI | Hoad J.,University of New England of Australia | And 3 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2013

As part of the Cicerone Project's whole-farmlet experiment on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, the fat scores and reproductive performance of ewes were measured to assess the effect of different management systems on these important production parameters over time. The three farmlets (each of 53 ha) included one (farmlet B) subjected to 'typical' district management consisting of moderate levels of inputs and a target stocking rate of 7.5 dse/ha, with flexible grazing management across eight paddocks. A second farmlet (A) was managed in a similar fashion to farmlet B with respect to number of paddocks and grazing management, but modified by high rates of pasture renovation and higher levels of soil fertility, with a target stocking rate of 15 dse/ha. The third farmlet (C) was managed at the same level of moderate inputs as farmlet B but employed intensive rotational grazing over 37 paddocks and also had a high target stocking rate of 15 dse/ha. The experiment was conducted over 6.5 years from July 2000 to December 2006. In spite of the fact that target levels of stocking rate were chosen at the beginning of the experiment, stocking rate, together with fat scores and reproduction were treated as emergent properties of each farmlet system. Joining took place in April-May and lambing occurred in September-October of each year. Over the first 2 years of the experiment, there were few differences among farmlets in ewe fat scores or reproductive performance. From 2003 onwards, while the percentage of ewes pregnant was similar between farmlets, the average proportion of multiple births (ewes scanned in late July, with twins) was 30%, 16% and 12%, respectively, on farmlets A-C. However, lamb losses were greater on farmlet A, with average lamb mortalities recorded on farmlets A-C of 29%, 10% and 19%, respectively. Over the duration of the experiment, ewes on farmlets A and B were more often above a fat score level of 3, and less often below 2.5, than were ewes from farmlet C. Differences among farmlet ewes in fat score were found to be significant in 7 of the total of 13 assessments over the duration of the experiment. A generalised additive model applied to whole-farmlet data showed that green digestible herbage, legume herbage, stocking rate, the amount of supplement fed and especially the proportion of each farmlet grazed at any one time all influenced fat scores of ewes. While fat scores and conception rates tended to be highest on farmlet A, farmlet B had slightly better reproductive outcomes due to less lambing losses, whereas ewes on farmlet C tended to have somewhat lower fat scores and levels of reproduction. These farmlet-scale findings highlighted the importance for livestock managers to focus not only on grazing management, stocking rate and stock density during lambing, but also on the availability of sufficient green, and especially legume herbage, and the difficulty of overcoming a deficit in quality herbage with supplementation.


Scott J.M.,University of New England of Australia | Gaden C.A.,Beaumont | Edwards C.,NSW DPI | Paull D.R.,CSIRO | And 5 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2013

The Cicerone Project was a collaborative effort by livestock producers, researchers and extension specialists, which aimed to explore the profitability and sustainability of grazing enterprises on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia. A major part of the Project was the creation of a moderate scale, unreplicated farmlet experiment. The process of selecting the farmlet treatments and the design of the experiment involved considerable negotiation over an extended period in order to achieve 'ownership' by all those involved. The farmlets were designed to compare a typical farmlet (B) as the control with a second farmlet (A), which received higher levels of pasture renovation and soil fertility, and a third (C), which employed intensive rotational grazing management with short graze and long rest periods. Management guidelines were developed for all soil, pasture, livestock and grazing management decisions on the three farmlets. Whole-farmlet data are presented for the pastures sown, fertiliser applied, supplement fed, the stocking rates attained and the pattern of graze and rest periods over the experimental period from July 2000 to December 2006. Over the first 4 years of the trial, pastures were renovated on 71% of farmlet A while 8% of each of farmlets B and C were renovated. The rates of fertiliser applied to the three farmlets varied according to soil test values and the different target values for soil phosphorus and sulfur. In the first year of the trial (2000-01), the annual average stocking rates on farmlets A, B and C were 9.5, 7.9 and 9.1 dry sheep eqivalents/ha, respectively, whereas by the fifth year (2005), the stocking rates were 11.2, 7.8 and 7.4 dry sheep equivalents/ha, respectively. This paper provides details of the general methods used in the farmlet trial, of relevance to a series of related papers which explore all aspects of the farmlet experiment and its findings. It also reports on the selection and definition of the farmlet treatments and describes how the guidelines evolved over the duration of the trial in response to the practical realities of conducting this complex, agroecosystem experiment.


Tan S.H.,Eh Graham Center For Agricultural Innovation | Tan S.H.,Charles Sturt University | Mailer R.J.,NSW DPI | Blanchard C.L.,Eh Graham Center For Agricultural Innovation | And 3 more authors.
LWT - Food Science and Technology | Year: 2014

Canola protein albumin fraction, globulin fraction, and canola protein isolate (CPI) were compared to commercial soy protein isolate (SPI) in terms of their emulsifying properties at various pH values. The globulin fraction had higher emulsifying capacity (EC), higher emulsifying activity index (EAI), and the droplet size of emulsions it stabilized was consistently smaller irrespective of pH compared to albumin fraction or CPI. In comparison to SPI, globulin fractions also had higher EC at all pH values tested, higher EAI at acidic pH, and smaller or comparable average emulsion droplet size at both pH 4 and 7. The stability of canola protein based emulsions were comparable to those of SPI based emulsions at most pH values (except the emulsion stabilized by the CPI at pH 4), with no significant (p<0.05) changes in droplet size during storage for up to 7 days at room temperature. These emulsions, however, experienced separation into the emulsion and serum phases after 24h storage at room temperature with the exception of CPI- and SPI-stabilized emulsions at pH 9. This study demonstrates the comparable emulsifying properties (forming or stabilizing) of some canola proteins to commercially available SPI, suggesting the potential use of canola proteins in food applications. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Cowie A.L.,University of New South Wales | Downie A.E.,Pacific Pyrolysis Pty. Ltd | George B.H.,UNE NSW DPI | Singh B.-P.,NSW DPI | And 2 more authors.
Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira | Year: 2012

Biochar has the potential to make a major contribution to the mitigation of climate change, and enhancement of plant production. However, in order for biochar to fulfill this promise, the industry and regulating bodies must take steps to manage potential environmental threats and address negative perceptions. The potential threats to the sustainability of biochar systems, at each stage of the biochar life cycle, were reviewed. We propose that a sustainability framework for biochar could be adapted from existing frameworks developed for bioenergy. Sustainable land use policies, combined with effective regulation of biochar production facilities and incentives for efficient utilization of energy, and improved knowledge of biochar impacts on ecosystem health and productivity could provide a strong framework for the development of a robust sustainable biochar industry. Sustainability certification could be introduced to provide confidence to consumers that sustainable practices have been employed along the production chain, particularly where biochar is traded internationally.


Herron G.A.,NSW DPI | Gunning R.V.,NSW DPI | Cottage E.L.A.,TecMAC Pty Ltd | Borzatta V.,Endura Fine Chemicals | Gobbi C.,Endura Fine Chemicals
Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology | Year: 2014

Spinosad has been widely used in Australia to control western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) but spinosad usefulness is now compromised by resistance. Here we studied a highly spinosad resistant strain of F. occidentalis to explore if esterases had a role in spinosad resistance. Enhanced esterase activity in pressured spinosad-resistant F. occidentalis was confirmed via PAGE electrophoresis and estimated to be approximately three times higher than that in a susceptible strain. Spinosad-esterase inhibition data in the resistant strain, showed a concentration effect with significant esterase-spinosad binding occurring at spinosad concentrations from 6.2× 10-7 to 1.5× 10-5M. Similarly, a spinosad-piperonyl butoxide (PBO) inhibition curve showed a concentration effect, with significant esterase-PBO binding occurring in the resistant strain at PBO concentrations between 3.3× 10-5M and 8.4× 10-4M. No binding of esterase to spinosad or PBO occurred in the susceptible strain. Results of bioassays in which spinosad resistant F. occidentalis were sprayed with a 4h delayed release formulation of cyclodextrin-complexed spinosad with immediately available PBO demonstrated that spinosad resistance was significantly reduced from 577 to 72-fold. With further development the PBO synergism of spinosad using a delayed release formulation, similar to that used here, may provide effective control for spinosad resistant F. occidentalis. Temporal synergism of spinosad may prove to be effective tactic for the control of spinosad resistant F. occidentalis where the main resistance mechanism involved has been confirmed to be esterase based. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | TecMAC Pty Ltd, NSW DPI and Endura Fine Chemicals
Type: | Journal: Pesticide biochemistry and physiology | Year: 2014

Spinosad has been widely used in Australia to control western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) but spinosad usefulness is now compromised by resistance. Here we studied a highly spinosad resistant strain of F. occidentalis to explore if esterases had a role in spinosad resistance. Enhanced esterase activity in pressured spinosad-resistant F. occidentalis was confirmed via PAGE electrophoresis and estimated to be approximately three times higher than that in a susceptible strain. Spinosad-esterase inhibition data in the resistant strain, showed a concentration effect with significant esterase-spinosad binding occurring at spinosad concentrations from 6.2 10(-7) to 1.5 10(-5) M. Similarly, a spinosad-piperonyl butoxide (PBO) inhibition curve showed a concentration effect, with significant esterase-PBO binding occurring in the resistant strain at PBO concentrations between 3.3 10(-5) M and 8.4 10(-4) M. No binding of esterase to spinosad or PBO occurred in the susceptible strain. Results of bioassays in which spinosad resistant F. occidentalis were sprayed with a 4h delayed release formulation of cyclodextrin-complexed spinosad with immediately available PBO demonstrated that spinosad resistance was significantly reduced from 577 to 72-fold. With further development the PBO synergism of spinosad using a delayed release formulation, similar to that used here, may provide effective control for spinosad resistant F. occidentalis. Temporal synergism of spinosad may prove to be effective tactic for the control of spinosad resistant F. occidentalis where the main resistance mechanism involved has been confirmed to be esterase based.


News Article | December 2, 2015
Site: phys.org

But the question is whether marine species can adapt at the rate at which these changes are occurring? The coastal waters of south-eastern Australia are a climate change hotspot, warming at a rate three to four times the global average. This is in part due to an increase in the strength and southward penetration of the East Australian Current (EAC), which carries warm water from the tropics down Australia's east coast. In response, numerous marine species have been documented extending their distributions polewards, affecting the functioning of coastal and marine ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. This will have knock on effects for local communities and fisheries, many of which are not well prepared. With so many species on the move and changes happening so quickly, scientists have enlisted the help of citizen scientists – such as recreational SCUBA divers and fishers – to help record when, where and how often species are sighted. Initiatives such as Redmap have helped scientists identify many tropical species shifting their ranges south. Another successful example of citizen science is the New South Wales state government's gamefish tagging program. This world-leading gamefish tagging program, established in 1974, asks recreational anglers to tag and release gamefish and provide information on the species, size, and release location which is sent back to the Department of Primary Industries (DPI). More than 400,000 fish from at least 20 different species have been tagged, and more than 7,000 recaptures recorded. This has enabled us to investigate whether there had been any geographical shifts in suitable habitat for the highly-mobile black marlin (Istiopmax indica) in the previous 16 years. The black marlin is one of the most keenly sought gamefish species targeted by recreational anglers in Australia, with more than 54,000 records of tagged black marlin within the NSW DPI's database. An annual aggregation of large adults, some weighing more than 500kg, occurs off the northern Great Barrier Reef each spring, forming the basis of a charter fishery that will celebrate its 50th year of operation in 2016. At the other end of the spectrum, juvenile black marlin from 15kg to 40kg undertake an annual migration southward along the east coast in association with the EAC. Anglers target these juveniles off Cairns and Townsville in late winter, south-east Queensland in late spring, and Port Stephens, NSW, in late summer. Depending on the behaviour of the EAC, juvenile black marlin may even extend as far south as Bermagui, NSW, in some years. But our research, published in October in Global Change Biology, aims to identify any changes in the distribution of marlin habitat through time. We used the release positions of black marlin in the NSW DPI database and satellite-derived data such as sea surface temperature and current velocity. The extensive spatial and temporal coverage of the tagging data allowed us to model the geographic distribution of black marlin habitat in the South-West Pacific for 192 consecutive months from 1998 to 2013. We found variability in the location of suitable black marlin habitat across months and years. On an annual basis, conditions favoured by black marlin occurred off north Queensland at the start of spring and gradually shifted south along Australia's east coast from October to April. This coincided with the peak availability of black marlin to recreational anglers and also to a seasonal pulse in the EAC. From May to August, suitable habitat retreats back towards the equator as cold water currents push north over winter. We also identified a strong effect of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with black marlin habitat extending up to 300km further south during La Niña phases. In addition to the large variability on shorter timescales, we also found that suitable marlin habitat has shifted south at a rate of about 88km per decade across all seasons, independently of the influence of ENSO. We found that habitat is shifting faster during summer months (111km per decade) in contrast to the rest of the year (77km per decade). This suggests that suitable habitat is extending south quicker than it is contracting at its northern edge. This result adds to the growing body of evidence showing that many species' habitat is shifting polewards in response to climate change. Considering that all highly mobile tuna and billfish species respond to a similar suite of environmental factors, numerous species are likely responding to climate change. What does this mean for Australian fishers, black marlin and similar pelagic species? These are questions that still need answering. What is clear from this study is that mobile fish species are not immune from the impacts of climate change, and that long term data sets from recreational fishers are valuable tools in discerning such changes. Explore further: Illinois town provides a historical foundation for today's bee research


Malcolm P.,NSW DPI | Barchia I.,NSW DPI | Holford P.,University of Western Sydney | McGlasson B.,University of Western Sydney
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

This paper examines the hypothesis that both high and low root zone temperatures (RZT) reduce growth in peaches and that peach rootstocks differ in their growth responses to RZTs. This hypothesis was tested by growing plants of five peach rootstocks, Fay Elberta, green leaf Nemaguard, Golden Queen, Okinawa and a redleaf Nemaguard at constant RZTs of 5, 13, 21, 29°C and a diurnally variable RZT of 29/21°C. For the pooled data, over the RZT range 5-29°C, the relationship between RZT and total growth (TG) could be described as bell shaped curve peaking near 21°C, with the mathematical relationship between the two being ln TG = 2.080 + 0.015RZT 2 - 0.0004RZT 3 (r2 = 0.82, p<0.001). The growth of plants whose roots were exposed to the diurnally variable RZT was similar to that of plants exposed to a constant RZT of 29°C; the reduced growth in both groups being attributed to exposure to unfavourable RZTs for part or all of the day. Significant differences in RZT induced growth responses among rootstocks were observed. These trials demonstrate that both sub- and supraoptimal RZTs, independently of air temperature and light intensity, reduce growth and that peach rootstocks differ in their responses to RZTs. This research has implications for future rootstock development and selection, orchard management practices and for the development of models examining peach tree growth and development, particularly with respect to the effects of potential changes in the global climate.

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