7: The five landscape functions in practice with livestock producer Tim Wright

Today on Ground Cover, our host Kerry Cochrane, explores the five landscape functions and how they play out on Tim Wright’s property.
Tim is a livestock producer, and holistic management farmer, from Armidale on the Northern Tablelands of NSW. The Wrights are a pioneering family of the New England, Tim bucked the traditional farming approach of his ancestors to go where many were not brave enough to go. A holistic farmer in the true sense, who questioned traditional practices, and ventured into regenerating landscapes with gusto.
Declining terms of trade were a catalyst for change. And Tim turned to Stan Parsons and Allan Savory’s methods for inspiration.
In this episode we explore:
  • breaking down the five landscape functions into practice
  • ethics and ecology as a marketing tool
  • the importance of the social aspects of farming
  • the leader-follower system of grazing
  • and the role livestock play in healthy landscape function
More about Tim Wright:
In the 1990s Australian agriculture was marked by excessively high production costs and falling profits. Tim realised they needed to find a better way to manage their farm. Guided by their own principles for ‘Working with Nature’, they were motivated to fully adopt and Holistic Management approach for the operations of their property ‘Lana’, via Uralla in NSW. Lana is a 3,400 hectare property, across eight farmlets of mostly native pastures – under apple box, stringy bark and red gum. Lana’s system of numerous internal fences and watering points is designed to allow stock to graze intently for two to four days, before being moved on.
Tim introduced the principles and practices of holistic management, including establishing small paddocks, rotational grazing of their sheep and cattle, and a leader-follow system of grazing, with sheep following cattle. Soil organic matter content and fertility have improved, leading to increases in pasture availability and quality, and improving production even in time of reduced rainfall.

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