TRANGIE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTRE
With a population just topping 1000, the town of Trangie has been punching above its weight in advancing the economy and reputation of NSW.
Through the Trangie Agricultural Research Centre (TARC), the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is conducting agricultural research and providing extension services which inform and service producers across the country.
TARC manager, Anne Mabey, said TARC was the home for research into a diverse range of agricultural practices and environmental issues.
“While some research relates directly to the central west and rangeland areas of the state, we are involved in projects which are relevant to producers across Australia and the rest of the world,” Ms Mabey said.
“Our researchers are exploring animal behaviour, livestock production, grazing management strategies, biodiversity, the reduction of greenhouse gasses, feral animal management, pasture and crop production, forestry operations and the weather.
“Through our research we are linked to major research and funding bodies throughout Australia. We also employ extension staff, livestock officers and agronomists who take the latest research directly to landholders.”
A spotlight on some of the research underway this year has revealed:
Dr Gavin Melville - using long-term TARC weather data to look at climate and seasonal trends; calculating the volume of timber which can be harvested from forestry plantations; and working with the DPI Vertebrate Pest Research Unit to calculate kangaroo, emu, feral pig and goat numbers from aerial survey results with funding from the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Natural Heritage Trust and the Western Catchment Management Authority.
Dr Yohannes Alemseged - funded by the Lower Murray Darling Catchment Management Authority to develop grazing management strategies for Dorper sheep and goats which will best work for producers and the environment; exploring perennial grass pasture species suited to rangeland grazing systems; and on-farm conservation programs which can achieve acceptable environmental targets under grazing.
Dr Sue Mortimer - investigating the genetics of meat production and quality traits through the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) and improving fleece value from Merino breeding programs.
Ms Tracie Bird-Gardiner - identifying sheep which are less susceptible to flystrike, research which could soon be helping Merino producers nationwide reduce flystrike through their breeding programs, funded through the Sheep CRC.
Dr Kath Donoghue - working on a project funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, as part of the Climate Change Research Program, and Meat & Livestock Australia to measure and reduce methane emissions from beef cattle.
Dr Cathy Waters - funded through the Department of Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry to examine how rangeland grazing management activities affect soil organic carbon levels, plant biodiversity and landscape functions; and exploring the performance and role of alternative tropical legumes in tropical perennial grass pastures to develop agronomic packages specifically for central western NSW, as part of a collaborative project funded by Meat & Livestock Australia.