Glenreagh case study
Glenreagh is located near Glen Innes in the lower altitude sections of the New England Tablelands. It is one of two properties run by Jim and Yvonne Benton who have been farming in the region for over 35 years. As a cattle enterprise, the Bentons run a Hereford herd of approximately 400 head. Jim is also involved in a number of Landcare projects in the region and is a board member of the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services.
Location: 60 kms north of Glen Innes at Emmaville Northern Tablelands, NSW
Size: 3,700 hectares
“We have to look after the health of the land to ensure our financial health. This thinning and pasture management will achieve that. I think the Local Land Services staff in this area fully understood what I was wanting and understood how we could work within the codes to achieve that outcome.”
-Jim Benton, Owner Glenreagh
The Bentons goal is to make Glenreagh more productive and to produce healthier cattle while looking after the country.
The property has a diverse landscape comprising large tracts of grazing country and sections of forests with tree vegetation. Some parts of the property lack sufficient tree vegetation to provide cattle with shelter and protection while others are too densely vegetated to be used for grazing.
The Bentons seek to continue planting across the property to provide shelter, while actively managing and thinning vegetation in selected areas to allow more grazing access and increase productivity.
Approval was provided through a Pasture Expansion Certificate Part 3 Division 3 under the Pasture Expansion Code within the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code. It enabled mosaic thinning of vegetation throughout selected forested areas on the property.
Under the Pasture Expansion Code, the Bentons are able to remove trees via mosaic thinning to promote native pastures and increase farm efficiency and productivity.
This work will be complemented by additional planting and natural re-vegetation in selected areas to provide habitat and shelter for stock. These sections have also been fenced off to protect against destruction from cattle.
The planned work will enable the Bentons to expand their pasture resources and sustainably manage their herd. In the past, during dry spells, stock would have been moved away or sold.
Active management of woody areas assists in controlling weeds on the farm. Re-planting and fencing off selected areas promotes successful re-growth of native species and habitat.
Contractors have been engaged to assist in undertaking the thinning and in controlling re-growth, providing local employment opportunities.
- The Bentons run 400 Hereford breeding cows on two properties. The larger of the two, Glenreagh, is used for breeding and their smaller, home property, is for finishing and preparing stock for sale.
- The family has farmed at the home property near Glen Innes for 35 years and at Glenreagh near Emmaville for 20 years.
Glenreagh is situated on predominantly grazing country which has communities of Tumbledown Red Gum, White Cypress Pine, Caleys Ironbark shrubs and open forests of the Nandewar Bioregion and western New England Tableland Bioregion.
- There is significant regrowth throughout Glenreagh that is non-productive.
- The Bentons seek to use a mosaic thinning approach to open up new grazing areas and expect to complete the land management project within 2 to 5 years, depending on weather.