Job creation and ‘rural smells’: two piggery tales – 14/4/2016 and 10/3/2016

PLANTAGENET Shire has approved two free-range piggeries in two months, despite neighbours’ objections on environmental and amenities grounds.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

I love development stories because hardly anyone else does them.

Council minutes and agendas can make them appear so dull, yet to someone, somewhere, someone is planning to dig, build or change something right beside the places they live, work or otherwise value.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

This is not boring for them and if we don’t give them good information as readers we don’t deserve to be their chosen newspaper.

If a similar story comes up a second time, the challenge then is to see what is new about it, and tell the story afresh.

From The Great Southern Weekender

State soils library catalogues samples for future science 5/2/2016

ac37d23a1bfab39ff0118c3645959b54_LA library of soil samples is being established at Muresk, the old agricultural college near Northam in WA’s wheatbelt.

It will mostly consist of specimens collected during studies for the grain industry, but others will be welcome.

This will be an exciting resource for researchers.

Science Network WA [read this story]

Curtain drawn on ‘average’ harvest 14/01/2016

High soil moisture levels had farmers in the Great Southern excited about a bumper harvest last spring.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

The reality turned out to be different for some, with destructive hail storms and catastrophic fires bringing down Western Australia’s overall yeild.

Still, many grain growers reported a good year if they were lucky enough to avoid these events, and smart enough to put their crops in at the right time.

From the Great Southern Weekender, January 14, 2016

Fines for strays 12/11/2015

A southern WA shire is seeking the power to prosecute property owners who let their cattle stray on to roads.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

Vehicles collide with straying stock fairly frequently on Australian country roads, sometimes with fatal results.

If successfull, this would allow Kononup Shire to police straying stock on its own roads, but not those owned by the Main Roads Department.

The Great Southern Weekender Thursday, November 12, 2015.

Early wine in Shire 15/10/2015

A KATANNING local says although Frankland and Plantagenet vignerons have been celebrating “50 years of wine”, his family planted the Great Southern’s first vineyard a century ago.

Click on this image to read the story.

Click on this image to read the story.

Derrick Nalli said his grandfather established Roma Vineyard on a 440 acre block he took up in 1911 at Broomehill.

Nalli and Sons became known for their Muscat, Sherry, Marsala, Port and Hamburgh wines, which they continued to produce until the early 1950s.

“My grandfather came from Italy around about 1904,” Mr Nalli said.

“When Grandfather arrived in Fremantle with his one son they had seven and six in
their pocket which in the new money is 75c – so they had nothing.”

Mr Nalli senior lived in a tent and worked for another Italian immigrant, Mr Genoni, on his farm for several years, returning to Italy to pick up most of his eight children.

From The Great Southern Weekender, October 15, 2015.


Migrant woman remembered 13/8/2015

Caterina Macri, who spoke no English, was pregnant and newly arrived on a boat from Europe when she started camping in the Australian bush with her husband and two young sons.

X13ALB_036-37PHer daughter Lena Elliott is getting ready to tell her story in a book “Bread on the Table”.

This is the first of several history pieces I will post about people starting new farming ventures in the Great Southern region where I now work.

The Great Southern Weekender, August 13, 2015

Two-spray strategy outmanoeuvres crop weed 15/3/2014

The wild radish, a troublesome pest in wheat crops, is developing resistance to many herbicides.


Agricultural scientist Grant Thompson’s solution to the problem involves even more herbicides.

In a series of trials, he has found spaying one herbicide on the seedlings and another chemical on the plants a few weeks later keeps their seeds out of the crop.

This story first appeared in Science Network WA [click here to read]. The Midwest Times republished it later – the date on this image is wrong.

Stakeholders worried about cattle exports 13/3/2013


from The Koori Mail

As the northern wet season draws to a close, Aboriginal station managers in the Kimberley are waiting to see if they can sell any cattle.

Robin Yeeda

Robin Yeeda

Indonesia, the largest market, is yet to issue any import permits for Australian cattle this year.

For the last two years the country has only bought live cattle weighing 350 kilograms or less, and many cattlemen believe the Indonesians felt hurt and insulted after Australia imposed a live export ban for part of last year. Continue reading