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We are in the midst of a great year weather-wise, with almost all areas of the DCQ region getting rain. This is very welcome as we recover from multiple years of drought, and so fast tracking the recovery of the rangelands has been a priority for a lot of people.

The standard, time-tested solution is to have patience and wait, the grass will come back and from monitoring DCQ has done since 2013, it’s a 6 year process to recover highly degraded country and have the foundations for biodiversity. This process works, it’s low cost, but for many landholders it’s simply too long to wait. As such, DCQ is working with landholders in the Muttaburra area to test techniques to reduce this timeframe.

The trial area, covering nearly 200ha, already has an amazing 52 species of pasture plants, but very few are grasses and productivity is very low. The trial has applied coated Mitchell Grass seed (a native perennial grass from the area) at a range of different densities and with some welcome rain arriving, monitoring now will greatly accelerate. Existing juvenile tussocks have been painstakingly pegged and the recovery rate from the seeded areas will now be measured. The aim is to provide landholders will advice on suitable seed density rates, relative economics and complimentary grazing pressure to re-establish perennial pasture in these areas if they choose to adopt the techniques.

While full results will take 2 years, the first of the advice will be provided at the April 2023 field day. Funding for this project has been provided by the Australian Government through the National Landcare Program, the Desert Channels Queensland Foundation and contributions from landholders.