Welcome back to another episode of Getting the Upper Land, where you get a rundown of some of our top stories.
Making news this week:
Residents of Cassilis in the Upper Hunter say the cumulative impact of proposed renewable energy projects have not been properly considered and say their voices have not been heard due to poor consultation processes. While the immediate concern is a proposal by EnergyCo to develop a workers camp and travel through the village during the construction phase of a major transmission project, community members also worry renewable energy projects around the state are being assessed in isolation, and not collectively.
'Redundant' consultation processes have also been flagged by the National Farmers Federation in its submission to a federal review. The Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner's community engagement review, announced in July, is part of the process through which the government hopes to improve consultation for transmission lines and energy infrastructure.
Researchers looking to educate producers on the risks of sequestering carbon have pointed to a NSW study where soil carbon gained over a 12-year period was lost just three years later. Researchers say some methods measuring carbon do not account for environmental variation, and the relatively short length of many studies can also affect the results.
Producers are warned to look out for toxic weeds as stubble crops begin to show regrowth following summer storms. Hairy panic and heliotrope are a concern this time of year, along with other potential toxins such as nitrate poisoning and lupinosis for both sheep and cattle. Consultants recommend producers monitor stock body condition regularly to stay on top of any issues.
An unexpected bumper crop was recorded in the Wurrumbungle region despite hail, minimal in-crop rain and a dry finish. The Cook family of Barana, Coolah, planted 277 hectares of Lancer wheat in May, which went on to average 5.3 tonne per hectare overall, with one area of long fallow close to 7t/ha.
Graziers have been spurred into action following a lift in the cattle market, which has resulted in a big influx of stock into saleyards just weeks before Christmas. The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator has lifted about 170 cents a kilogram (carcase weight) in the past month, while NSW restocker yearling steers are about 90c/kg (liveweight) dearer across the same period. It's been about four years since the supply of cattle in saleyards has peaked as it did last week.