Working together in agriculture

Category: News

Spring on the Sandplain

Start with the harvester! This is the recommendation that eastern states farmers would give to growers looking at getting into controlled traffic farming. The lessons learn from our eastern states counterparts was just one of the topics covered at the combined Liebe Group/NACC field walk on 26th of September 2012. 50 people arrived on a windy day to explored soil pits and trials around the Buntine/Maya area.

Exploring soil compaction and controlled traffic farming


The first half of the day revolved around soil compaction and controlled traffic farming. Andrew Whitlock, a precision agriculture consultant based in Victoria, explained there are a number of steps involved in getting into controlled traffic. The first step is to decide on an operating width (typically 9m or 12m). Then develop a machinery investment plan because the change to controlled traffic won’t happen overnight and it’s important not to overcapitalise. Glen Riethmuller of DAFWA has been keeping an eye on the new machinery releases on 3m centres. He found New Holland has a T9 670hp tractor with 36” wide ATI tracks.

September 2012.

Flexibility is the key to making controlled traffic system work on farm according to Maya farm manager Dave Jolly. Dave and the team at Elserae Agriculture have been using controlled traffic for many years and see benefits in fuel costs and soil compaction. They admit they system is not perfect for example at harvest the chaser bin ducks off the trameline to unload the harvester.

Four large soil pits were used to demonstrate compaction, effects of deep ripping, soil acidity and impacts mouldboard ploughing. The soils were skilfully explained by Steven Davies of DAFWA, Geraldton, Adriaan de Waal of Soil Fertility Management, Wongan Hills and Glenn McDonald of DAFWA, Katanning.

The wealth of information shared throughout the day was then debated over a BBQ dinner.

Farmers discussing Controlled traffic , Buntine Western Australia

After event drinks were sponsored by Summit Fertiliser.

This event was a joint collaboration between NACC, DAFWA and the Liebe Group and was funded by the federal governments Caring for our Country initiative.

Growers explore new ideas with Liebe Group in deep yellow sand, Buntine WA

Everything from wild dogs to wild radish at Spring Field Day

The Liebe Group Spring Field Day was held on the 13th September on the Mills property east of Dalwallinu with around 230 people attending making the day a huge success.

Although the site had received only 115mm since April the trials looked great with some good visual differences between treatments. There were 16 trials on the site complemented by 10 different marquee presentations, offering something to appeal to everyone.

Amongst the attendees were the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Western Panel members with Jan Edwards giving a brief overview of what GRDC are up to and how their spring tour was progressing.

The initiation of a Livestock tent provided some more information for sheep breeders and an insight into how real the wild dog problem is becoming. Simon Kniveton from DAFWA discussed the increasing problem with farmers around Goodlands district losing 377 sheep this year. A further 137 sheep have been killed in the Perenjori shire with sightings of dogs becoming increasingly common from Morawa down to Koorda.

The day finished up with Glenn Mitchell capturing the crowd, his delivery of such a serious topic was excellent and had everyone laughing throughout. It left attendees with an important message, to look out for yourself and your mates particularly for signs of mental illness.Liebe Spring Field day

This day’s success is due to all the help and input the Liebe staff received from the group’s members and all other helpers.

A huge Thank You must go to the Noel, Aaron, Damien and family for the amount of time and effort spent throughout the year to make this event possible and being very helpful and approachable. Many thanks to the R&D and Spring field day 2012 aManagement committee who are ‘the brains’ of the operation and always offer advice and a helping hand.



Ladies Spring Tour at 2012 Spring Field Day

The Liebe Group is excited to announce that this year they will be conducting a Ladies Spring Tour within their annual Spring Field Day held on Thursday 13th September.

The tour will provide;

– an introduction to soils – with a soil pit

– wheat & lupin plant structure

– information on rotations

– information session on grain end products

– canola plant structure and decision making.

For more information click here.

Should I mouldboard this paddock? The answer is on the way

Should I mouldboard this paddock? The answer is on the way

How to set up a mouldboard plough,Trialling Mouldbard ploughing, Buntine WA wheatbelt the risks with Spading and the return on investment of these tillage practices are just some of the questions which will be answered by an upcoming decision tool and factsheets to be produced by the Liebe Group and Stephen Davies of DAFWA as part of ongoing research and development of stubble and soil management practices.  This research and associated publications is funded by the GRDC and will be available at the end of the year.

Women’s Field Day an Inspiring Day

The 2012 Liebe Group Women’s Field Day attracted 150 women from throughout Western Australia.

The day featured an abundance of great speakers, with ladies shocked by Annimac’s futuristic predictions, awed by Kathy Barrett-Lennards tales of women’s struggles around the world, empowered by Catherine Marriott’s life story and development of ‘Influential Women’, and inspired by Gabi Hollows wonderful work in keep the Fred Hollows dream alive. Peter Newman from DAFWA even sung a song to demonstrate his passion for weed management!

The day could not be possible without the wonderful women on the Liebe Women’s Committee who organised such a wonderful day, along with the sponsorship of CBH.

Planning for the 2013 Liebe Group Women’s Field Day has already begun, with the committee already meeting to give feedback and plan speakers for the event.

Women’s Committee members Carmen Stanley (Left) and Kate Keamy (Right) with RIRDC WA Rural Woman of the Year and co-founder of Influential Women, Catherine Marriott.

 Liebe Group Members Sue Waterhouse, Kerry Butcher & Ruth Bateman with Annimac (centre right) futurist and Life Coach.

The Liebe Group Women’s Committee.

Liebe to start new carbon and nitrogen project

The Liebe Group has been successful in obtaining $519,200 worth of funding as part of the federal governments Carbon Farming initiative. Project ends in June 2015.

The project is about demonstrating innovative carbon storage and nitrogen management strategies and involves the following activities:

  • The practice for profit trial to demonstrate the effect of rotation crops on nitrogen strategies
  • Minimum of 4 demonstration trials to be developed by the committee focusing on soil amendments.
  • Demonstration of the new perennial shrub – Tedera
  • Benchmarking Program to measure soil carbon levels under different management practices, re-visiting sites tested over 5 years ago through the program.
  • Plus more


Any members who wish to be involved should contact the office on 9661 0570

Gabi Hollows to speak at Womens Field Day

The Liebe Group is pleased to announce that Gabi Hollows will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Womens Field Day on the 19th of June 2012. Gabi is the wife of the late Fred Hollows, and together were made famous through their philanthropic work towards providing medical assistance to those with eye problems. Gabi is well known for her work with remote indigenous communities and is a driving force behind the Fred Hollows foundation. Watch for more information about the Women’s Field Day and a new look agenda format which will be coming out in the next few weeks.

Burning Season

What to do when you have a fire get away

If you have a situation where you have a fire get out of control you should:

  • Do Not Panic!
  • Call ‘000’. Remember to give accurate directions (nearest crossroads etc) and a contact number if possible (to allow us to verify details with you).  There can be more than one call about the fire   from more than one source and these can be confusing at times.
  • In the Dalwallinu Shire this will result in FESA communications ringing Gary Butcher (Chief Bushfire Control Officer) or the Shire to coordinate mobilisation of resources.
  • We will then mobilise one (or more) of the Bushfire Trucks nearest to your location (Dalwallinu, Wubin, Buntine or Kalannie) and arrange for farmers to respond in your area. We are also able to get assistance from the Fire and Rescue Units based in Dalwallinu.
  • Of course, ring your neighbours to give immediate assistance, but this is not always possible in the heat of the moment.

Other Shires may have different levels of FESA supplied equipment but the ‘000’ system operates to get local help in your area to the fire as quickly as possible.

We would rather turn out to a fire that is still small or turn back if the locals have control early than you wait too long before calling for help and it becoming bigger due to lack of resources or slow response time.

If fighting a fire you should ALWAYS use protective pants and coat that can be supplied by your local Government (paid for by your FESA levy). Sturdy boots are a must (No thongs or shorts).

Have a safe burning season and contact your local Government office for more local information.

Gary Butcher (CBFCO)
Dalwallinu Shire

Wongan Hills R&D Meeting

Growers in the Wongan Hills district recently got together to discuss the farming issues affecting them and what R&D is required to address these issues.

The forum was facilitated by Liebe Group staff members Merrie Carlshausen and Chris O’Callaghan, with contributions from Imma Farre from DAFWA, Dave Minkey from the WA no till farmers association and Peter Newman also from DAFWA.

Some of the issues that were raised in the meeting were with crop establishment and the impact of non wetting soils in canola in particular. Weed control and herbicide resistance was a big issues for the group as well as soil health issues such as sodicity and aluminium toxicity. Other issues included crop nutrition decisions around Nitrogen application as well as the longer term implications of running down nutrients particularly trace elements.

As a result of the meeting a few trial and demonstration ideas were developed including variety demonstrations of wheat and barley under different nutrient regimes, longer term implications of running down trace elements, soil inversion for weed control and lime incorporation and the extension of the crop modelling tool Yield Prophet to assist with nutrient decisions.

A small reference group was identified to assist Liebe Group staff with the development of the small R&D program with the aim to establish at least 2 of the demonstration ideas in 2012.


More information to follow.

Successful Business Management Workshop

The Liebe Group held its Business Management Workshop on Wednesday 21st March at Wubin Sports Club.

There was a great turn out with 26 people including members, staff and presenters.

Speakers inlcuded;

Simon Bedbrook – Bedbrook Finance – “7 steps for successful off-farm investment & retirement”

Stephen Park – Pacer Legal – “Buying, selling or leasing farmland or investing in off-farm assets?”

Judy Snell – RSM Bird Cameron – “Want an overview of how budgets should be prepared in order to satisfy the most rigorous of reviewer?”

Crawford Taylor – Rabobank – “Banking in the 21st Century – back to the old”

The Liebe Group would like to thank all those who participated in the workshop.