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Agricultural Projects

Please see below ongoing projects within the Department of Agriculture.

Grazing management is nothing new to the islands - there are many examples in the past of rotational or managed grazing systems that have beengrazing successful. But now with the advent of reliable electric fencing systems two and three wire electric fencing can now be used to split up camps more cheaply and make better use of the feed on offer.

Farmers utilising available funds through the DOA Farm Improvement Programme are progressing with the sub-division of improved pastures and/or the sub-division of larger native camps.

A simulated grazing trial carried out at Fitzroy has demonstrated over several years that managed grazing can lead to 2-3 times as much dry matter production as a set stocking system in the Falkland Islands.

The main focus of the managed grazing is to increase the productivity of fine grasses that are already present in the camp. In some cases positive changes in botanical composition are also being seen.

 

 

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Although much of the farmland in the Falkland Islands is extensively grazed and free from chemicals, to obtain a market premium for wool or meat produce, farms need to be organically accredited.Australian-Certified-Organic

The Falkland Islands Development Scheme (FIDC) set up a locally accredited organics scheme in March 2001, which a number of farms joined up to. However, in order to be internationally recognised as organic, farms would need to sign up to an international accreditation scheme.

Following investigation, it was found that the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) provided a scheme that would adapt easily to the Falkland Islands, as it was designed to cater for a similar extensive or rangeland grazing management system.

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Sheep production in the Falkland Islands is based on a self replacing flock producing meat and wool. In the past the key focus wasNational Stud Flock rams on wool production with meat (mutton) being a secondary product sourced from older animals.

A number of sheep breeds have been used over the Islands' 150 year plus farming history. For much of this time, the Corriedale was the breed that was considered the best fit for the climate and extensive grazing system of the Falkland Islands. First developed in New Zealand, the Corriedale is a Merino crossed with a Lincoln.

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The National Beef Herd (NBH) which is kept at Saladero Farm is a herd of approx 25 Angus cattle. The NBH evolved from a composite of breeds and types NBH Bullsof cattle from all over the Falklands to a line of mostly purebred Angus cattle. In 2008 seven Angus heifers were purchased from the Bold Cove herd on West Falkland and along with 10 heifers by Turihaua Campbell (NZ) out of the mainly Angus NBH cows, formed the new nucleus of the herd.

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Saladero is comprised of a total of 2,023 hectares and is currently running the National Stud Flock and the National Beef Herd, under the Jim Gerrish managed intensive grazing National Stud Flock ewessystem to optimise pasture production and animal productivity.

Following several workshops with grazing management consultant Jim Gerrish, the Department has been fine tuning its rotational grazing system to maximise pasture growth and subsequent livestock productivity. Paddock records are kept so management can be reviewed and changed as required. Water has been an issue for some paddocks at Saladero, this has been addressed by identifying water holding areas and then excavating holes which fill up in winter.

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Improved quality and utilisation of feed at critical key periods has the potential to dramatically:Race Point FIP

  • Increase growth rates of younger livestock
  • Increase lambing and weaning percentages
  • Increase wool follicle density in foetal lambs
  • Improve the efficiency of livestock improvement programmes
  • Reduce turn-off time for meat sheep and cattle
  • Provide opportunities for on-farm diversification

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