November 18, 2018

Here’s to the pollinators. 

Pollinators are just so important to not only flowering plants but also agriculture. 1 out of every 3 bites of food that you eat is there because of pollinators. 

This week the Wild Pollinator Count has been calling for citizen scientists to submit a count of native pollinators. It only takes 10 minutes to get involved. 
Hurry. Last day today to submit your count.


November 16, 2018

The Kurrajongs are flowering early & prolifically. 
Is this a sign of something for the coming summer I wonder?


November 12, 2018

With still no water allocation and the price of temporary water continually rising we have had to abandon this new stand of lucerne.


November 9, 2018

Baby chicks

An update on October 15th post about the nest of Masked Lapwing’s eggs. You may recall the nest was in the middle of the yard where we were stacking hay on a neighbour’s property.  

Well... they have all hatched. 

Here’s what our neighbour said “Funnily enough the four eggs had two sets of parents with all of them guarding the nest. The first set of chicks hatched 3 days before the latter two. They all survived, I pick the last two chicks up and moved them to a safe place. The two parents were NOT happy but they mothered up and guided the chicks down the lane and away from where we were loading the trucks. Happy days” 

Thank you to the Urquhart family for the update and photo.


November 8, 2018

Some dryland lucerne doing surprisingly well with a little rain.


November 7, 2018

Scientists and students

Each year we host Moruya High School’s Agriculture and Earth & Environmental Year 11 students. Moruya is on the south coast of NSW, some 650kms east of us on the other side of The Great Divide. They come out west to the “flatlands” for a science field trip. 

Fortunate for them today was also the day that the team from the National Oat Breeding Program were inspecting their trial plots.  

Scientists working in the field talking to Agriculture and Earth & Environment students... what a wonderful combination.



November 1, 2018

Little stacks. 

P.S. I have finally got my email notifications for comments working again. It has been a frustrating 6 months without them. Is anyone else on blogger still having this issue? To those that have left comments, particularly a few days after posting and you haven’t got the response that you were expecting from me then I do apologise. 


October 29, 2018

Using Berrima Rakes new Multi-Ted in oats.

Berrima Engineering is a local business (only 70kms from us) who specialise in the manufacture of hay rakes. We are lucky to have such a dedicated business so close.


October 28, 2018

This week has been National Bird Week and today is the last day to submit your count for the Aussie Backyard Bird Count. It’s not too late and it only takes 20 minutes. 

For the record I counted 13 species and 29 birds in our backyard including this colourful Red-rumped parrot.


October 25, 2018

Here we take safety very seriously and is one of the reasons why we invented the Hay Caps 11 years ago. Personal safety of you and those around you should always be first and foremost... whatever you are doing.


October 22, 2018

The Black Kites seem to be pleased that we have started mowing lucerne.


October 20, 2018

The difference that water makes, 
outside the pivot vs inside the pivot, 
non-irrigated vs irrigated, 
dead vs alive.



October 16, 2018

A wet verandah to greet the sunrise… can’t get better than that.


October 15, 2018

This Masked Lapwing’s nest was in the middle of yard where we were stacking hay yesterday… put bales around it for the day so no-one would accidently run over it.


October 12, 2018

Another 8mm for the lucerne seedlings. 

Weekly evaporation at the moment is about 40mm, rainfall 0mm... no wonder this paddock is dry.


October 11, 2018

Sunrise over the oats. 

Yesterday’s photo was a paddock of dryland oats that we were going to cut for hay. With only 10mm rain in the last 2 months they are just hanging on. 

In contrast these oats have been irrigated... which is a very expensive exercise at the moment with a 0% water allocation. 

These oats are special… they are next year’s seed.


October 7, 2018

We missed the rain this week so gave our little lucerne seedlings a much needed 8mm overnight.


Sheep Stations & National Parks

Last weekend we went for a drive west to visit two of our state’s newest National Parks. 

Yanga National Park may be located on the main highway between Sydney & Adelaide but it is really quite isolated.

Yanga Station homestead

Yanga Station was once a 240,000 acre sheep station, first settled by explorer William Wentworth in 1843. It ran 80,000 mostly Merino sheep for wool production. In 1974 30,000 acres was donated to the local council for use as the Yanga Nature Reserve. In 2005 the NSW government purchased the station for its natural, cultural and historic values with the aim to protect the Lowbidgee Floodplain, an important wetland ecosystem & breeding site for water birds during flooding and also an important habitat for wildlife including the endangered Southern Bell Frog.

The Yanga homestead was built in 1862 mainly from Murray pine using ‘drop log’ construction with bark still intact. 

Galvanised roof iron now covers the wooden shingles which can still be seen from below. 

The gardens, which are maintained by volunteers, overlook the Yanga Lake. 

The stables

Yanga Station woolshed

The Yanga woolshed was once the largest and most modern woolshed in the district with 40 stands and could house 3,000 sheep.  

The 100m long woolshed was built in the late 1850’s alongside the Murrumbidgee River and used paddle steamer transport to get the wool to market. 

Murrumbidgee River

  Camping in Yanga National Park.

Shingleback Lizard 

200kms east near Carrathool is Oolambeyan National Park. It was a 55,000 acre sheep farm before it was purchased by the state government in 2001. 

It was deserted when we visited apart from hundreds of kangaroos.

Oolambeyan Station homestead

The old windmill shrieks and groans eerily above the empty homestead, the garden is kept well-trimmed by the wildlife, the prized roses long gone. 

Outlook from homestead

Oolambeyan Station was purchased to protect a significant area of native lowland grassland & the habitat of the endangered Plains-wanderer, a small quail like bird. Ironically the Plains-wanderer requires habitat that has been grazed, so sheep are sometimes agisted onto the national park to ensure the pasture is at the optimum height for the Plains-wanderer. 

When we were there it was a haven for kangaroos, both red & grey kangaroos and ironically again for a national park - the kangaroos are watered via windmills and troughs.