The final 3 North Queensland case studies under the Rural Water Use Efficiency Irrigation Futures (RWUEIF) program supported by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines have been completed and added to the Turf Queensland website. This makes a total of 6 case studies including the 3 Southeast Queensland studies that are already up on the website. These can be accessed under the fact sheet tab. This program identified issues covering water efficiency, energy efficiency, fertiliser efficiency, productivity gains and waste reduction. This program has been extended for another 12 months to June 2018. Case Study Farm 4 Cairns Final Jul2017 Case study Farm 5 Townsville Final Jul2017 Case Study Farm 6 Mackay Final Jul2017
Draft Australian Standard for Public Comment “USE AND INSTALLATION OF TURF AS AN EROSION, NUTURIENT AND SEDIMENT CONTROL MEASURE:
The Australian Standard provides requirements for the use and installation of turf as an erosion, nutrient and sediment control measure, and guidance to specifiers on turf species selection and disposal. This Australian Standard requirements for: a) The consideration of site and use characteristics b) Turf installation, monitoring and maintenance c) Contract sign offs related to turf installation by contractors Draft for turf of a form of erosion control
Healthy Waterways and Catchments Report Card Released Turf Queensland attended the release of the 2016 healthy waterways report card for the southern area in Tambourine which covered the total of Southeast Queensland and has now been released. Find out the conditions and benefits of your local waterways now by clicking on the links below. NB: It was interesting that this organisation has promoted the fact it has done well with all catchments improving, but then on the other hand also advised that the rainfall being down 70% assisted with the lack of run-off improving the various creeks and rivers and catchments. Generally they advise that the main problem and source of sediment/nutrient pollution is from: Urban Catchments through exposed areas such as roads, construction sites and newly cleared areas. Rural Catchments through channel erosion, including stream bank and gully, particularly in areas with less riparian vegetation and those with highly erosive soils Obviously this will play into the hands of the turf producer/supplier as natural turfgrass is a proven erosion control product that should be backed up by the Australian erosion control standards when they are completed shortly.
Adult black beetles invade turf environments during spring every year. They do some damage by feeding on the stems and roots of the grass plant, but generally this damage is not severe enough to warrant a beetle spray to control. When the moisture in the soil is suitable, the Beatles mate under the surplus and the female lays up to 80 eggs, about 25- 30 mm below the surface. Timeframe This usually occurs between the 3rd week in October and the 2nd week in December. They begin feeding on organic matter in the root zone, initially near the surface then moved deeper as they grow. Damage Most significant damage is caused to turf during mid-summer by the 2nd and 3rd instars. They damage roots, limiting the plant’s capacity to take up water and nutrients and extensive areas may turn Brown and die off, particularly if moisture is less than adequate. Treatment There are a number of control options and should be discussed with your local Turf Queensland producer or chemical supplier.
Traditionally, we see more lawn grub activity during the warmer months of October through to March and the greenest, healthiest lawns are the ones most likely to be attacked. If you have a Couch, Fescue or Kikuyu lawn you do have a greater chance of a grub attack, if you have a buffalo lawn –then we normally find that the damage is minimal and the lawn quickly recovers. Increased bird activity on your lawn One of the most easily spotted symptoms is an increase in bird activity on your lawn as these grubs make a great snack. Greyish-brown moths Small, greyish brown moths fly around looking out for the healthiest lawn to leave their eggs on, giving their larvae the best chance of survival. These moths can be seen flying around just above the grass normally around dusk. These moths lay their eggs en masse, and in 2–5 days these eggs become grub larvae. These caterpillars are the critters doing the damage as they spend between 18–24 days chewing through your beautiful lawn before becoming pupae and around 5–8 days later moths and so the cycle begins again! Brown patches in your lawn As your lawn recovers from the winter chill and spring sees your lawn becoming greener, especially after your spring fertilising, keep an eye out for brown patches that stay brown. You can lift some of the grass in the patched and if lawn grubs are the culprit you’ll find that the grass will roll up like a carpet, as it has no roots. Now the important bit: How to treat lawn grubs So how do you fix it? If you suspect you have lawn grubs there are various treatments available. There are plenty of pest controls available on the market. It’s good to keep in mind that it can take a while to break up the cycle so you want to look for something that is going to remain in the soil. With other treatments a second application may be necessary. Our thanks to Lawn Solutions Australia for this information.
As of 1 July 2016 the Biosecurity Act 2014 (the Act) and the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 (the Regulation) will come into effect. The new Act will improve Queensland’s biosecurity preparedness and response capabilities to focus on the biosecurity risks that impact our economy, our agricultural and tourism industries, our environment and our lifestyle. Under this new legislation, individuals and organisations whose activities involve the movement or storage of fire ant carriers such as soil, mulch, animal manures, baled hay or straw, potted plants and turf, will have a general biosecurity obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure they do not spread fire ants. There will be three fire ant biosecurity zones in Queensland that will replace all previous versions of the fire ant restricted areas. These zones will be in place to restrict the movement of materials that could spread fire ants. A map of the three zones is attached and will be available on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ website on 1 July 2016 at www.daf.qld.gov.au/fireants. The suburbs/localities that fall within the biosecurity zones in your local government area are listed below. Please see attached information about what the legislation changes will mean for you and your business; and what you can do to fulfill your general biosecurity obligation. The Regulation prescribes procedures that must be followed when moving or storing fire ant carriers from within the biosecurity zones. More information about these procedures can be provided upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following case studies are the result of three pilot turf farms in South East Queensland, undertaking the RWUE-IF farm assessments and improvements from recommendations provided as a result of irrigation, energy, fertiliser assessments, farm mapping, moisture monitoring and scheduling irrigation processes undertaken on the three farms. Initial base line data was gathered at the commencement of the project. Uptake of recommendations implemented in line with farm management plans. Some recommendations were undertaken outside of the initial time frame. Benefits to the three farms can be seen within the case studies. Three more pilot farms are currently being assessed in northern Queensland (Cairns, Townsville, Mackay) . Due to variations in climate, soils and species. This project is due for completion June 2017. This program is supported by the Queensland government department of Natural Resources and Mines.
The turf production industry over time has undertaken extensive research that clearly indicates consumers value the many benefits of natural turfgrass and that the majority of consumers are willing to pay anywhere between $10 and $20 per metre for the supply of good quality turfgrass. The following survey on current pricing has been undertaken and of value to Queensland producers.
TURF PRODUCERS AS A PRIMARY PRODUCER Some years ago we had the turf producer status as a primary producer confirmed. Below are the details that were sent out in November 2011 for confirmation. The Turf Queensland board has requested investigation into the position of the Turf Production Industry in Queensland to be recognized as a “Primary Producer” which will assist financially in many ways. Ian Rickuss MP the State Member for Lockyer has undertaken some investigation for us with the Queensland Parliamentary Library and the result of that enquiry is attached for your information and backup evidence for any action you may wish to take. Personally I believe this clarifies the situation from a Federal government perspective (ATO) in a positive fashion for industry and therefore the State government should follow suit. The Queensland Turf Production industry cultivates or propagates plants/seeds and therefore should be covered under the following ruling. Please seek your own advice and confirmation on this. The ATO notes under a heading titled ‘Who is a Primary Producer?’ A Primary Producer is an individual, trust or company carrying on a primary production business. You are a primary producer if you carry on a business of:- Plant and Animal Cultivation – Cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts (including seeds, spores, bulbs and similar things) in any physical environment. http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/content.aspx?doc=/content/33519.htm&pc=001/003/015/001/009&mnu=0&mfp=&st=&cy=
Australian Bureau of Meteorology Issued on Tuesday 20 May 2014 · The tropical Pacific Ocean continues a general trend toward El Niño, with just over half of the climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggesting El Niño thresholds will be exceeded by August. An El Niño ALERT remains in place, indicating at least a 70% chance of an El Niño developing in 2014. · The tropical Pacific Ocean surface has warmed steadily since February, with sea surface temperature anomalies increasing by 0.5 to 1.0 °C. For El Niño to be established and maintained, the sea surface needs to warm further, and be accompanied by a persistent weakening of the trade winds and a consistent increase in cloudiness near the Date Line. In the past fortnight, trade winds have generally been near normal, though have weakened once again in recent days. · El Niño has impacts on many parts of the world, for example, below-average rainfall in the western Pacific and Indonesian regions and increased rainfall in the central and eastern Pacific. For Australia, El Niño is usually associated with below-average rainfall over southern and eastern inland Australia, with about two thirds of El Niño events since 1900 causing major drought over large parts of the continent. · The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. Model outlooks suggest the IOD is most likely to remain neutral through winter, with two of the five models surveyed suggesting a positive IOD may develop during spring. Positive IOD events often coincide with El Niño and are typically associated with large parts of southern and central Australia experiencing lower rainfall than usual. INTERNATIONAL EL-NINO FORCASTS May 8 2014Commentary from Michelle L’Heureux, NOAA Climate Prediction Center Much media attention has been directed at the possibility of an El Niño brewing this year. Many outlets have drawn comparison with the 1997-98 super El Niño. So, what are the odds that El Niño will occur? And if it does, how strong will it be? To track El Niño, meteorologists at the NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center (CPC) release weekly and monthly updates on the status of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society partner is part of www.climate.gov (co-sponsored by the NOAA Climate Programs Office). As far back as November 2013, the CPC and the IRI have predicted an elevated chance of El Niño (relative to historical chance or climatology) based on a combination of model predictions and general trends over the tropical Pacific Ocean. Once the chance of El Niño reached 50% in March 2014, an El Niño Watch was issued to alert the public that conditions are more favorable for the development of El Niño. Current forecasts for the Nino-3.4 SST index (as of 5 May 2014) from the NCEP Climate Forecast System version 2 model. More recently, on May 8th, the CPC/IRI ENSO team increased the chance that El Niño will develop, with a peak probability of ~80% during the late fall/early winter of this year. El Nino onset is currently favored sometime in the early summer (May-June-July). At this point, the team remains non-committal on the possible strength of El Niño preferring to watch the system for […]