Bob Harris is a grazier on Glencoe Station, a 2,400 ha cattle property located just south of Bowen in the Eden Lassie subcatchment (northern section of the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac NRM region). Glencoe runs approximately 700 head of mixed cattle which meet local abattoir and live trade markets. Pasture on Glencoe consists of mainly native grasses, with the addition of stylos to increase soil nitrogen levels and forage protein levels.
Since purchasing Glencoe Station in 2000, Bob has been making changes to his property focusing on grassland management principles. Bob has been a recipient of funding from the Australian Government Reef Programme Grazing to assist him to implement on ground works to improve water quality runoff to the Great Barrier Reef. He is also an active member of the regional grazing working group that promotes best management practice to the local grazing community.
During 2014-15 Reef Catchments provided co-funding to help Bob install 6.2 km of land type fencing and five land type watering points. Sloping country was fenced off from the flats and plains to enable better stock rotation and more even grazing of pasture. The land type fencing and watering points helped prevent stock overgrazing favoured areas, and reduced soil erosion by maintaining greater groundcover. Since installing the land type fencing, Bob has noted a marked improvement in pasture cover in previously overgrazed areas and better utilisation of pastures on slopes. Bob also received funding towards 1.1 km of riparian fencing and an offstream watering point to control stock access to a series of gullies. The control of stock access to the gullies means less bank erosion, restoration of vegetative cover and better water quality outcomes.
In addition to work completed in partnership with Reef Catchments, Bob has installed at his own cost a further 23 km of mainly land type fencing. Bob recently achieved grazing best management practice accreditation and has a particular passion for grazing holistic management. Bob believes one of the most important benefits of working in partnership with Reef Catchments to trial new activities is that it provides the impetus, support and tools needed to get things going.
Bob has attended workshops and field days focused on holistic grassland management, and is very interested in implementing these methods, with a strong emphasis on improving soil health for both environmental and economic sustainability.
Bob will continue to utilise fencing to more tightly control the movement of cattle, dividing the property into segments and enabling longer rest periods between grazing events to help achieve optimum pasture utilisation and maintenance of groundcover.
This case study is an example of one of many projects made possible due to Reef Programme Water Quality Grants.
Monitoring Organisation Reef Catchments
Name Katrina Dent
Phone 4968 4207
Position in organisation General Manager
Activity Type agricultural projects (e.g. projects to improve water quality and/or soil health)
Activity Indicators water quality in freshwater river basins
Activity location Proserpine catchment
Frequency of monitoring
Monitoring Start Date 01/07/201530/06/2016
Location of monitoring data
Date quality / confidence
Website URL http://reefcatchments.com.au/land/reef-rescue/
Collaborators Australian Government
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