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Technical annual report 2000-01



Technical annual report 2000-01


Dept. of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical annual report; Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical and annual report; Reports; PublicationNT; Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries

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Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295



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Technical Annual Report 2000/01 251 Enneapogon polyphyllus, mulga grass Aristida contorta, blue parsnip Trachymene glaucifolia, sandhill grey vine Bonamia media and feathertop spinifex Triodia schinzii. Species which have significantly more biomass by not being exclosed include woollybutt Eragrostis eriopoda, sticky indigo Indigofera colutea, shrub sida Sida rohlenae, 3-awn wanderrie Eriachne aristidea, potato weed Solanum ellipticum and button grass Dactyloctenium radulans. Some species such as kerosene grass Aristida holathera, serrated goodenia Goodenia cycloptera, and speedwell Evolvulus alsinioides, were largely unaffected by exclosure. Good seasonal conditions continued after the May 2000 pasture sampling and it remains to collect another set of pasture data in 2001, as well as to further investigate the age/size class structure of the key topfeed and shade species, Ventilago viminalis. It is planned to publish a final report for this project by December 2001. PROJECT: Fire as a Pastoral Management Tool Project Officer: G. O'Reilly Location: Alice Springs district Objective: To quantify the short term (one to three years) and medium term (three to five years) effects of prescribed fire and management practices on key pasture species and designated tree and shrub species, and to make recommendations regarding the potential use of fire and its likely outcomes. Background: The northern Alice Springs district has had large increases in native woody species since the 1970s, which can hinder station operations and compete with more useful pasture species. Many stations recognise that the reduced frequency of fire when woody plants are still small is an important reason why this woodland thickening has occurred. DPIF has been advocating the general use of fire as a pasture management tool but this has been based on limited factual information for specific land types in central Australia and minimal direct experience within the Department. The recommendation to use fire cannot be more specific until more factual information can be gathered. Results: Burning for Profit Technical Bulletin No. 290 Fire as a Pastoral Management Tool in Central Australia has been produced and can be obtained from the Publications Section. This literature review gathers together all known information on using fire as a pastoral management tool in Central Australia. It provides a basis for developing extension materials and will be used to help assess the success of the project and plan future research of fire issues in central Australia. An extension guidebook Burning for Profit has been developed. It will be produced in-house at this stage and distributed to pastoralists in central Australia for comment and feedback. Included with the guidebook is a questionnaire, which will hopefully provide some objective feedback for future research directions when the project finishes in June 2002. Field studies Cool winter burning in mulga (EJs fires - Narwietooma station) Fire significantly (p<0.001) reduced the quantity of cartwheel burr (Sclerolaena cornishiana) as a component in the pasture. All annual and perennial grasses had returned to pre-fire yields eight months after being burnt. There was no increase in grass production as a result of burning (as yet).