Healthy farm dam workshops for improved water quality

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Logs, rocks and other forms of structural complexity give places for beneficial things to hide, creating natural systems that will keep water clean and healthy.

‘Mess is best’ – that’s the secret to a healthy farm dam according to Alison Elvin, farmer and rural educator.

Alison has been presenting a series of healthy farm dam workshops across the Central West in partnership with Local Land Services.

Gilgandra and Narromine farmers will also have the chance to see first-hand how to improve their farm dam water quality and achieve better livestock and environmental health at workshops on 28 June (Gilgandra) and 29 June (Narromine).

The workshops are supported by Central West Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and Catchment Action NSW.

Alison’s workshops are based on current research and her practical on-farm experience. She has been showing farmers how to implement simple and practical measures to improve water quality for productivity and biodiversity.

Her main message is to keep things messy down at the farm dam.

“Logs, rocks and other forms of structural complexity give places for beneficial things to hide, creating natural systems that will keep water clean and healthy,” Ms Elvin said.

“They also allow the native wetland plants to re-colonise around your dam and filter the in-flow.”

Landholder Ivor Speirs, from Rabbett Pastoral, attended the damp Eumungerie workshop and enjoyed both the event and the rain on the day.

“It was a very interesting field day – it was quite an eye opener to get the very professional presentation of the benefits of clean water to livestock and the ecology,” Mr Speirs said.

“I also appreciated the insight of Daniel Galea of SafeworkNSW.”

The workshops already held in Dubbo, Mendooran and Wellington this month were well received, with 48 farmers attending across the three events.

The Narromine and Gilgandra workshops will include a presentation from SafeWork NSW about farm dam safety, quad bikes and the $500 rebate to support farm safety. Local Land Services staff will also talk on pest animal and stock health issues.

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