Strategic fencing helps grazing management on fragile areas

[October 2015]

Mia Mia Station in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region, south-east of Coral Bay and about 100km north-east of the Minilya Roadhouse on the North West Coastal Highway has benefitted from a fencing project to assist the strategic grazing of cattle.

The project, supported by Rangelands NRM, with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, is enabling station owners Jim and Lorraine Dorrell, to improve soil condition and reduce erosion into the Lyndon River system.

Over the past six years, the management of this area has been by controlled grazing with accessibility of water points. 

During this time, the country made a marked recovery, and groundcover and forage increased. 

To continue the recovery and further improve management of this area now that available forage is increasing, fencing has been installed to the station’s Five Mile Paddock to better manage stock movement. 

“During the early part of mustering, the first eight kilometres of fence that we’d managed to get up prior to mustering, paid for itself in a matter of hours. It was a much quicker muster,” said Mr Dorrell.

Over the past six months, around 36km of fencing has been installed and sieve structures have been placed at strategic locations within the paddock to slow water flow and capture sediment.

Mr Dorrell said management of total grazing pressure with fencing and grazing management is vital for the protection of the fragile, degraded soils and improved land productivity.

“We are aiming for improved vegetative cover by periodically resting areas from stock grazing. With maintenance of groundcover there will be further regeneration of forage species,” he said.

The increased groundcover will also reduce erosion and the downstream impacts of sediment in the Lyndon River system.

Notes:

Mia Mia station is located south-east of Coral Bay and about 100km north-east of the Minilya Roadhouse on the North West Coastal Highway. 

Images:

1.      Mustering – the new fencing saved several hours to muster around 800 head of cattle in one day.

2.      Jim Dorrell putting the wire on the new fence. 

3.      Bunds were built to divert water and reduce erosion.