Wyoming case study
Wyoming is a mixed enterprise in far north-west of NSW and has been farmed since the 1960s. It is owned by a German family run corporation through its Australian subsidiary, PEGA Wyoming Pty Ltd. PEGA has a long investment history in Australia with a strong focus on productivity balanced with conservation. Management of Wyoming is overseen by resident Directors based in north west NSW and is leased to a neighbouring farmer. Currently Wyoming is 60% cattle grazing and 40% cropping, but a farm plan has been developed to reorganise the property to improve profitability and environmental outcomes that will see it 50-50 grazing to cropping.
Location: North Star, Gwydir Shire, north-west NSW
Size: 1,050 hectares
Enterprise: cattle grazing and dryland cropping, mainly barley and wheat with a small amount of irrigated cropping
By setting aside areas for predominantly environmental purposes and recognising the commercial value of others, we’re able to achieve the best results overall and there are not conflicts in management”
– Don McRae, Director, Wyoming
Due to the way cropping, grazing and vegetated areas on Wyoming were organised across the property, the best economic and ecological outcomes were not being achieved. The existing cropping area was not the most suitable for cultivation because some areas were relatively steep and rocky. In addition, some of the unsuitable areas that had been cropped were identified as having excellent potential for revegetation, creating links between existing areas of remnant vegetation in the landscape.
The owners of Wyoming were looking for greater return on investment via increased productivity through a well organised, viable operation, whilst retaining a strong commitment to flora and fauna conservation.
PEGA Wyoming Pty Ltd management engaged an environmental consultant who has worked closely with Local Land Services and the property’s current tenant to re-organise the land use on the property to achieve both production and conservation outcomes.
Wyoming management also commissioned a full ecological survey of the property as part of development of the farm plan.
PEGA Wyoming Pty Ltd received a certificate under the Farm Plan section of the Land Management Code 2018 to remove native vegetation on 114 ha of land while setting aside nearly 115 hectares which will be managed for conservation in perpetuity.
Work being undertaken
The 114-hectare treatment area is being prepared for cropping by contracting the Soil Conservation Service to install structures including 14 kilometres of contour banks to prevent soil erosion and is being fenced by local contractors.
The set aside areas have been carefully chosen for their location to provide links between areas of remnant vegetation in the wider landscape and particularly incorporating a ridge on Wyoming that contains Semi-Evergreen Vine Thicket which is a remnant of a Dry Rainforest and an Endangered Ecological Community.
Of the 115 ha set aside, 56 ha will be remnant vegetation of Belah, White Cypress, Silverleaf Ironbark and Weeping Myall Woodland.
When seasonal conditions are right the remaining 58-ha set aside area will be revegetated with 8,500 seedlings currently being grown for the project by a nursery in Inverell.
The species planted will reflect the neighbouring vegetation types and return that area to what it would have been before it was cultivated. Some of the revegetation will be plantings of species to improve the condition of the Vine Thicket. The remaining revegetation will be a mix of species that occur in Belah, Wilga and Whitebox Woodland and White Cypress & Silverleaf Ironbark Woodland.
The set aside will be strategically grazed and the flora and fauna monitored regularly to guide proactive management strategies.
PEGA Wyoming Pty Ltd has also entered into an agreement with North West Local Land Services, helped by funding from the National Landcare Program, to do environmental improvement works on 160 hectares of Semi-Evergreen Vine Thicket on and around Blue Nob and the central ridge. This borders the set aside areas and helps maintain vegetated corridors across the landscape.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do what we’re doing under the previous legislation. The Land Management Code gave us the flexibility to do some revegetation as part of the set aside. We will encourage the species we want and discourage the ones we don’t want.”
- Simon Smith, environmental consultant, Wyoming
- 1050 hectare mixed grazing and cropping property in far north-west NSW
- Owned by a German family corporation with a strong concern for Australian flora and fauna and balancing economic returns with conservation
- Development of a sustainable farm plan based on a reorganisation of land use across the property, making best use of the different types of country for production and ecological outcomes
- Under the Farm Plan section of the Land Management Code native vegetation will be removed from a 114 ha treatment area, while 115 ha will be set aside to be conserved in perpetuity
- Part of the set aside will be revegetated with species that will establish a new area of Semi-evergreen Vine Thicket, which is an Endangered Ecological Community
- Soil Conservation Service contracted to prepare the treatment area for cropping to ensure best practice soil management techniques