Corrigin Farm Improvement Group and Facey Group host forums after Wheatbelt fires

By Shannon Beattie
April 10 2022 - 10:00am
Wheatbelt Development Commission chief executive officer and district recovery co-ordinator Rob Cossart (left) and Steven Bolt, Corrigin.

GROWERS affected by February's horrific blazes gathered in Corrigin and Wickepin last week for the aptly titled Farming After Fire forums.

Held by Corrigin Farm Improvement Group (CFIG) and Facey Group in the respective towns, the half-day workshops, which were supported by a Grains Research and Development Corporation investment, brought together shire representatives, research scientists, local agribusinesses and growers to provide advice and information on a range of topics to underpin onfarm decisions.



The February fires burnt more than 60,000 hectares of land across the Quairading, Bruce Rock, Corrigin, Kondinin, Narembeen, Narrogin and Wickepin shires, with paddocks left bare and susceptible to soil erosion, farming infrastructure damaged and livestock lost.

Graeme Downing (left), Alan McAndrew and Robin McMiles, all from Corrigin.

CFIG executive officer Veronika Crouch said the workshops gave growers access to industry experts who presented on topics to help with future onfarm decisions.

"The workshops covered issues ranging from weed management, soil erosion and managing soil post-fire, through to farm business topics and monitoring and managing livestock," Ms Crouch said.

"We also heard from former shire president and Kukerin/Dumbleyung grower Gordon Davidson on his experiences following the 2004 fires in the area, which was extremely well received.

"Learning from other growers who have experienced bushfires and bushfire recovery is invaluable."

A myriad of topics post fire were covered including farm business support, managing soils, weed management post fire, pasture recovery and feed budgeting post fire and monitoring and managing livestock.

Lorna and Gordon Davidson, Dumbleyung Shire.

Ms Crouch said she was happy with how the day went and the quality of the information presented.

"I wasn't too concerned if there were lots of numbers or if it was a smaller group, because the purpose of having this event wasn't to get big attendance," Ms Crouch said.

"We were providing valuable information to someone that's gone through some hardship, wanting to assist them to get back on their feet and to get their system back to how it was pre-fire."

The events were also supported by Meat & Livestock Australia, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Wheatbelt Development Commission.

Sandow Jacobs (left), Corrigin and Rabobank Merredin senior rural manager Murray Carlson.
Rabobank southern region head of relationship management Philip Edkins (left) and Mike Ferrari, Corrigin.
Agvivo agricultural consultant Philip Barrett-Lennard (left) and Glenn Hall, Babakin.

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