Meliora Park – Beginning Takes one Step – A GRASS project

Luke Crumblin and Kristy Herrod are the proud new owners of Meliora Park, a 470-acre grazing property in Cawarral, central Queensland.

To learn more about best land management practices, Luke reached out to FBA where he was put in contact with Land Management Coordinator, Reece Brooks.

Through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, Reece conducted a one on-one property visit in May 2022 and talked Luke through the ins and outs of sustainable property management.

The ‘Creating resilient, profitable and sustainable agricultural businesses’ project that funded the visit aims to improve management of soil, biodiversity and vegetation within the Fitzroy region.

The program enables FBA to work directly with landholders to increase awareness and adoption of land management practices that protect and enhance their agricultural business sustainability, resilience and profitability with significant sediment savings and water quality improvements to the Great Barrier Reef.

“We are so grateful for programs like this,” said Luke.

During the property visit, Reece took note that the land type on Meliora Park is predominately Blue Gum Flats and was currently in C land condition due to the presence of non preferred grass species.

“We learned a lot from Reece that is going to help us with not only profitability and productivity, but Reece also explained how these best management practices help to reduce sediment run-off that affects the reef and we’re proud to start doing our part in that,”

Luke Crumblin – Property Owner

The first suggestion made was to focus on the properties carrying capacity. By decreasing the number of cattle on the property it provides the opportunity for grass and soil to rest and regenerate and allows native grass species time to reestablish dominance. Starting out as a herd of 21 head, Luke and Kristy are now running only 13 head to match the current carrying capacity of the land.

“Reece showed us the land couldn’t comfortably carry the number of cattle we had, it was an easy starting point to sell off some steers, “said Luke.

Reece also explained fencing and property planning options that will allow for rotational grazing across the property. Reece noted planning infrastructure was not an easy task due to the property being heavily timbered. However, despite the challenge, Luke and Kristy were quick to adopt this advice and have begun discussions with Council about their land zoning to allow them to install internal fences.

Luke and Kristy look forward to seeing the changes on their block once they have finished all their intended work and are excited to unlock the future potential the property holds for them. FBA will continue to work with Luke and Kristy as they journey towards best management practice.

This project is supported by Fitzroy Basin Association, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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