“Promotes the responsible establishment and management of combined leucaena grass
Andrew Lawrie, The Leucaena Network – President
Andrew has been involved with the Leucaena Network since 2004 and has held
executive positions for 5 of those years. He currently lives on and manages
Moora Plains at Gogango with the help of his wife Meagan and three children
Jess, Alex and Sam.
His involvement in the rural industry recommenced as recently as 2000 when he
moved back to his family’s property after working in the heavy equipment
industries for 15 years. He is an avid proponent of intensive livestock grazing as
a method of land regeneration.
John Playford Branch Manager – Rabobank Rockhampton
John was born and raised in Hughenden Nth West Qld, attended College in
Charters Towers and has completed a Bachelor of Business (Accounting and
Banking and Finance) via external studies with USQ Toowoomba in 1998. Joined
Rabobank in Longreach in 2005 after 29 years with a major Bank serving in
many regional rural centre’s in Qld which allowed him to gain experience in a
diverse range of rural industries.
John is currently Branch Manager of Rabobank Rockhampton after having
moved to the Beef Cattle of Australia in December 2007. John enjoys meeting
and working with rural clients and prospects ‘on farm’ to assist them build their
wealth and achieve their goals and is looking forward to building on his rural
knowledge base in Central Queensland.
Melissa Martin – Queensland Country Life Journalist, Forum Chair
Melissa is a senior journalist with Queensland Country Life, based in
Originally from Central Queensland, Melissa has been a rural journalist for 14
years. During that time she spent 10 years working in New South Wales writing
for various Fairfax publications including The Land, before taking 18 months off
from the media to work in the Northern Territory at Consolidated Pastoral
Company’s Newcastle Waters Station.
She returned to Queensland at the start of 2008 to return to Fairfax and write for
Queensland Country Life.
Session 1: Grazing Nutrition and Managing Leucaena
Maree Bowen – Principal Scientist, Ruminant Nutrition. Agri-Science Queensland,
Title of presentation: The economics of leucaena compared to other forage options:
findings from the project “High-output forage systems for meeting beef markets”.
Coming from a rural background and growing up on a family cattle property west of
Mitchell, Maree has a keen interest in the beef industry. Maree completed an
undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science at the University of Queensland in 1997
and worked as a dairy nutrition consultant with BEST-fed Nutrition in Victoria before
undertaking a PhD degree in the field of beef cattle nutrition through the University of
Queensland and the Department of Primary Industries. Following this, Maree completed
a 3-year post-doctoral appointment with the Sheep Co-operative Research Centre,
based with the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries at Longreach, leading
nutrition research projects at a state and national level.
Maree is now based in Rockhampton and is currently completing the final report on a 12-
month, desk-top study, co-funded by MLA, called "High-output forage systems for
meeting beef markets". This project collated and reviewed best-practice agronomic
information and animal production responses for cattle grazing high quality forages in
central and southern Queensland. The study included detailed economic analyses of
key forage options at selected sites.
Phase 2 of this project is set to commence in January 2011 and will involve gathering
objective data from commercial property case study and demonstration sites to
benchmark production systems and allow validation of the optimal forage systems and
expected animal production and economic performance determined in the desk-top
Dr. Rob Dixon, Principal Scientist, Beef. Agri-Science QLD DEEDI
Title of presentation: What are the nutritional limitations to growth of cattle grazing
Leucaena pastures? by Rob Dixon, Stuart Buck, Maree Bowen and Stu McLennan
Rob Dixon is a graduate of the University of New England, with a Rural Science degree
and a PhD in ruminant nutrition. Rob worked in universities in Canada and Latin
America, and then in the University of Melbourne. He joined the Queensland DPI in
He was based for a number of years at Swans Lagoon Research Station in the Burdekin
before later moving to Rockhampton.
Most of Rob's research has been in ruminant nutrition and ruminant production systems.
In recent years his research has focussed on the development and improvement of
faecal NIRS technology and the application of nutrition to grazing cattle in northern
Australian pasture systems.
Rob also holds an honorary Adjunct position as an Associate Professor with Central
Queensland University. Rob will shortly be transferring to the new institute QAAFI
(Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation) being formed as a joint
initiative of DEEDI and the University of Queensland
Gordon Twiner Rural Lands Coordinator Banana Shire Council
Rural Services Coordinator for Banana Shire Council approx 17years service
Worked in Pastoral industry in North west QLD (Mt Isa area and still regular muster
Gordon is the holder of a Diploma and an Advanced Diploma for Conservation and Land
Management (weeds and pest animals). He owns and operate small Brahman stud with
his wife and 3 boys at Mt Murchison area and finish cattle on Leucaena which go into
Teys Bros Meatworks.
Sid Godwin “Tanderra” Springsure
Sid owns and operates "Tanderra" station south of Springsure where he has a Brangus,
Santa, Drought Master cross beef cattle operation. Sid purchased a Leucaena Block in
2006 to create a fixed cost turn over.
Session 2: Development, Outcomes & Grazing Management
Justin MacDonnell – Cattle Council of Australia and AgForce Cattle Board
Justin is a young cattleman from the Arcadia Valley in Central Queensland. Justin and
his wife Pauline are part of a family operation, ‘Brigalow Beef’, that run 3000 head of
crossbred cattle on two adjacent properties.
Brigalow Beef proudly produces ‘MSA Graded’ grass finished cattle for the export and
domestic market under a cell grazing regime.
Justin is a director on the AgForce Cattle Board and is also a councillor on the Cattle
Council of Australia. He represents the Australian beef industry on both the Marketing
Taskforce, which oversees MLA’s marketing budget, and the Environmental Taskforce
which develops the beef industries environmental policy.
Justin has been heavily involved with Cattle Council’s work on developing a standard for
Grass Fed Beef. He will provide an update on the development of the standard and the
criteria underpinning it. He will also outline the reasons behind Cattle Councils
enthusiasm for developing the standard as well as some of the market opportunities that
exist for a certified Grass Fed product.
David Moreny, General Manager – Bundaberg Mobile Equipment & Engineering Pty Ltd
David Moreny has been with Bundaberg Mobile Equipment & Engineering
(BME) since it commenced in 2005. David started his employment as an Apprentice
Fitter and Turner for Austoft Industries and over the ensuing 20 years successfully
gained invaluable experience across the sugar industry within the manufacturing and
David worked through various sections of the organization and partnered with his formal
qualifications became part of the management group of Case/Austoft. When Case
ceased manufacturing in Bundaberg, David was chosen to manage the larger facility
(Bundaberg Technology Park) and develop and operate as General Manager of BME
once it commenced operations in 2005.
David McLean, Resource Consulting Services
David is a highly valued member of the Resource Consulting Services or RCS
team. David has completed his Bachelor of Agricultural Science (hons) at UQ
Gatton as well as spending two years working at-a-hands on level managing
grazing cells on a property in north western Queensland.
David is a member of a grazing family from western Queensland. His immediate
responsibilities include teaching the RCS Applied Grazing Course as well as
managing and teaching the Stage 1 of Executive Link. In 2009, David took on the
additional responsibility of managing the RCS proprietary economic
benchmarking program, Profit Probe. David also co-ordinates the on farm
consulting for clients. He is currently based in Yeppoon.
Conference Dinner at the Biloela Anzac Memorial Club to
commence at 6.30 pm:
Terry Nolan is a Director of Nolan Meats Pty Ltd a family–owned vertically meat
processing company situated at Gympie in SE Qld. The company holds a strong
focus on delivering to the Australian and International consumers, a consistent
supply of high quality beef products.
Apart from his role in the family business, Terry holds the following positions:
• Chairman of the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC),
• Chairman of the National Meat Processors Council (NMPC),
• Chairman of Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) Domestic Marketing
• AMIC’s Representative on the Safemeat Partnership
• Member of the Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC)
• Member of the Australian Meat Industry Language and Standards
Terry endeavours to be an active participant in as many industry groups as he
can, which have a charter of both advancing the status of the beef industry and
improving the consumers’ perception of our products.
Pip Courtney – ABC Landline Reporter
Pip Courtney grew up in Tasmania and studied politics at the University of
After graduating she joined the ABC in Hobart in 1986, where she worked in
radio and then television news.
Pip joined ‘Landline’ in 1993 working out of Canberra and then Melbourne. In
2000 she defected to the 7.30 Report, but came back to the Landline stable in
2001 when she moved to head office in Brisbane.
Pip’s won awards for rural, business, environmental, medical and education
In 2007 Pip and former Landline presenter Sally Sara were named Queensland
journalists of the year for a feature story on depression in the bush called “Black
Session 3: Research and Carbon
Kathryn Conrad, PhD Student from the University of Queensland
Kathryn Conrad grew up in Brisbane and completed a Bachelor of Environmental
Science with Honours at the University of Queensland. After taking a year to
travel and work overseas, Kathryn returned to Brisbane to further her career in
Environmental Science, firstly as a research assistant and then as a PhD
Her PhD is on the sequestration and turnover of carbon in subtropical Leucaenagrass
pastures. It forms part of a larger project undertaken by Dr Ram Dalal and
his research team at DERM, which aims to optimise sampling methodology and
quantify carbon stocks in grazing lands of Northern Australia. Federal funding
was obtained from the Climate Change Research
Max Shelton – Associate Professor, Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and
Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland.
Dr. Shelton has thirty years experience in teaching and research in tropical pastures and
agroforestry. He has supervised more than 20 Masters and PhD research students and
many undergraduate student projects.
RESEARCH AND EXTENSION:
Recent research activities have focussed on the issues of (a) subclinical toxicity in
ruminants fed leucaena around the world; (b) development of new leucaena cultivars for the
grazing industry; (c) long-term sustainability of grazed leucaena pastures; and (d) the use of
coal seam gas water for irrigating pastures in western Queensland.
His research and development approach has been participatory with the grazing
industry. This has ensured a high level of dissemination and adoption of research
MANAGEMENT OF RESEARCH PROJECTS:
Dr Shelton has been Chief Investigator of many projects valued at more than
AUD$5M, with funds obtained from both national (e.g. Meat and Livestock
Australia) and international (e.g. ACIAR) agencies. Most recently he is Chief
Investigator of five MLA supported projects valued at $1.2 M. He is therefore
extensively experienced with the management of research projects and is skilled in
the process of team building.
Publications include 5 books (joint editorship), more than 140 papers published or
submitted to refereed journals or in edited chapters of books or proceedings,
conference papers, and monographs. Dr Shelton has been involved with the
release to industry of 3 new cultivars of tree legumes.
Session 4: World Markets and Measured Responses
David Macfarlane has worked with the Santos Treated CSG Water Irrigation
Program since August 2008. For the first 12 months he was Team Leader
focused largely on development and early stage operations of the Fairview
Irrigation Project Stages 1 and 2 (1300 ha drip irrigated Chinchilla White Gum
receiving amended CSG water) and 234 ha of centre pivot permeate irrigation of
leucaena dominant forages integrated with a surrounding 500 ha dryland buffel
grass grazing resource.
Since October 2009, David has been focused on strategic planning, technical
advisory services to operations, research, negotiating new approvals to
beneficially use treated CSG water on Santos land and the properties of other
Landholders. He has responsibilities for environmental monitoring and advising
on management adaptation in response to system performance. He also has
esponsibilities in compliance reporting and with stakeholder engagement.
David was raised on a dairy / grain / beef property at Harrisville. Since graduating
from University of Queensland in 1975 in Agricultural Science he has farmed on
his own account, consulted in Australia and has spent 24 years working as a
researcher, extensionist, consultant, project manager or project director on about
40 agricultural and rural development, natural resource management,
agribusiness development projects in 19 countries in East Africa, Middle East,
South Asia, SE Asia and the Pacific.
Some of his most significant achievements pre-Santos have included
establishing practical, research based guidelines for sustainable agroforestry in
the Solomon Islands, leading a project which was the main driver of a 64%
increase in beef production and up to 300% increase in household incomes in
Vanuatu through pasture improvement and better grazing system and market
supply chain management, privatisation of agricultural extension services in Sri
Lanka and establishing user pays rural training services in Papua New Guinea.
Brad James, Regional Manager Central Queensland for Rabobank Australia Ltd.
Brad was educated and reared in Queensland. He has worked his way through
the ranks as a grass roots banker who shifted his focus from corporate and
commercial banking to a specific focus on agriculture some 20 years ago.
With the exception of brief sabbatical acting as a financial controller of a large
corporate agricultural operation, Brad’s total banking experience spans 30 years.
He takes an active interest in the key drivers of the global agricultural economy
and is passionate about the development of youth in agriculture. His areas of
expertise include beef cattle and sugar.
Brad also has a strong belief in the core values of his employer…..sustainability,
flexibility, tolerance and integrity.
Peter and Simone Lawrie “Esher” Westwood
Peter and Simone Lawrie own and operate a cattle grazing enterprise 50 klms
west of Rockhampton. Their aggregation consists of 4856ha, which includes
1600ha of rotational grazing and 81ha of irrigated leucaena.
Peter and the Simone will share with you their experiences in managing a high
density leucaena operation, the benefits of matching stocking rate to carrying
capacity, rest periods and recovery time of plants and management and nutrition
Over the past 6 months they have been pleasantly surprised with the outcomes
they have achieved both in animal performance and the improving health of the
soil and pastures.
Stuart Buck, Senior Agronomist (Pastures) Agri-Science QLD, DEEDI Biloela
Stuart Buck is a pasture agronomist based with DEEDI in Biloela. He is involved
in a number of forage projects, but spends most of his time coordinating DEEDI’s
‘Accelerated Adoption of Leucaena’ project. In this project Stuart works closely
with The Leucaena Network to meet the expanding needs of the Leucaena
industry across northern Australia
Stuart has a key, plant agronomy role in the joint MLA and DEEDI project titled
‘High-output-forages for meeting beef markets’. Stuart provides technical
agronomic information and has assisted to formulate economic case studies and
the soon-to-be released Best Management Guide.
Stuart also coordinates a Caring For Our Country project on the eastern Darling
Downs which is fostering the incorporation of perennial legumes into grasspastures
to improve ground cover and soil carbon, while reducing erosion.
Prior to his current role, Stuart has held technical and extension roles aiming to
improve the productivity and profitability of dryland cropping systems. He has
facilitated a number of grower groups for close to 10 yrs and has coordinated onfarm
trials investigating row spacing and population dynamics in wheat and
sorghum, crop response to various fertilisers, impacts of soil constraints to crop
root depth and yield, and impacts of ley-pastures on soil health, animal
productivity and subsequent grain crops.
In his spare time, Stuart is father to 3 young kids and manages a small cattle
enterprise south of Rockhampton.
Craig Thornton, Natural Resource Management Officer, DERM
Originally from Brisbane, Craig completed a Bachelor of Land Resource
Management at the University of Queensland in 1998. The following year he
accepted a position at Biloela as a Technician working on both the long-term
Biloela Tillage Trial and the even longer term Brigalow Catchment Study.
In 2008 Craig took over as Project Leader for the Catchment Study and
continuing to build on the work of others, succeeded in having the Study
accepted as a member of the Australian and International Long Term Ecological
Research Sites Network. Craig has also forged strong links between the Study
and Universities, resulting in a number of PhD students currently collecting new
data and working on historical Study datasets.
In his spare time and when Biloela’s Callide dam has any water in it, Craig is an
avid fisherman, and also enjoys 4WD and camping forays all over the state as
long as he can wet a line along the way.
Session 5: Leucaena Field Tour
Stuart Barrett “Drumburle” Thangool
‘Drumburle’ is a 7000ha open forest grazing property that has been in the family since
the 1870’s. It’s run in conjunction with ‘Lawgi Station’, an 800ha scrub block closer to
Thangool. Drumburle usually runs about 600 breeding cows and younger weaners up to
12-18 months while Lawgi usually carries dry stock including CFA and empty cows and
heifers and steers sold at various ages right through to prime.
We first started planting Leucaena in 2008 due noticing others in area having success
with it, plus myself wanting to develop further. I had no experience with Leucaena and
little cropping knowledge so I did my own research before the first planting in March
2008 and then went to a LFP course later that year in Rockhampton. Through work
undertaken with the Biloela CQ Beef Group I have identified Leucaena as a useful tool
for increasing turnover, and have implemented a program to plant between 50-100 acres
Stuart Buck and I believe that the main significants of the site was that the soil was light
and marginal and agreed that if Leucaena could be established it would be provide
valuable protein where it was really needed. The Drumburle PDS Trial started as a
disagreement between Stuart Buck and me over the role of deep ripping, which has
played a major part in pasture renovations on Drumburle and Lawgi over the last 20
Details of the paddock-
40 acres of Leucaena was planted late January 2009 in an approximately 200 acre
paddock of light soil creek flat backing onto stony ridges. The paddock is usually used
for growing out weaners.
The paddock was not previously cultivated and was laid out with approximate 6m
centres, cultivated lines 3m wide with one section running on contour of creek and one
section straight lines.
• 2x Yeomans tynes, July 2008 (5 tynes, ~3-4km/hr)
• 2x Yeomans tynes and sweeps, August 2008 (5 tynes and sweeps ~3-4km/hr)
• 2x offset disc, September 2008 (~5km/hr)
• 1x spray (glyphosate 1.2L/ha & 2,4-D standard rate), October 2008 (~8km/hr)
• 1x deep rip D5 ripper, November 2008 (~3 km/hr in D5B)
• 1x scarify and harrow, January 2009 (~6km/hr)
All treatments except for deep ripping one with D5 ripper done with 90hp fwa tractor to
cover the 3m part of line only. Deep ripping at 60-80cm with 2 rippers one meter apart (in
line with seed bed)
Planting & post treatment
Lorsban powder on seeds, pre emergence spray of spinnaker and Glyphosate (Gly @
1.2L/ha, Spinn @ 140g/ha), post emergence beetle bait with Lorsban (1 Litre, 40kg
cracked seed, vegetable oil), weed control only once with verdict to control grass only
(Verdict @250ml/ha, ~8km/hr), no mechanical weed control
So far the results of the trial have indicated that deep ripping gives considerable
advantage to developing plants and all future plantings will now include deep ripping.
Frost has affected most of the low lying plants but they are the strongest due to better
soil. It’s also notable that the far eastern area has had very poor results due to marsupial
attack/other pests which I find consumes at least 20% of establishing Leucaena.
Scott and Judy Smith “Prospect Valley” Thangool
Judy and Scott own and operate three properties in the Biloela and Thangool
area. Their operation involves buying and fattening, using female cattle.
They first planted 40 ha of dry land leucaena on “Glenlivet” in 2001. By keeping
good grazing records on this leucaena paddock, some fantastic production
So on this they purchased “Prospect Valley” to grow irrigated leucaena in 2004.
Planting started pretty well straight away and finished in 2007. In this time they
also developed the whole property with new underground mains, stock water and
fencing. There are 74 ha of Cunningham leucaena with mainly Callide Rhodes
grass and divided into 10 paddocks. Durning the growing season we work on 60
day rest and the non-growing a 120 day rest.
The leucaena is used to finish cattle. On the irrigation side we use a hard hose
irrigator to top-up the profile during the growing season. After we have had good
rain at the start of the season.