RCS Trees and Grass Survey for QLD graziers: Is there a ‘sweet spot’ for the optimal amount of tree cover in livestock production?

RCS invites livestock producers in Queensland to share their views on the right amount of tree cover and the advantages and disadvantages of trees in grazing systems. This 10 minute online survey includes 24 questions and a free 12-month subscription to Cibo Labs’ MyFarmKey.

Following on from our popular Trees in Grazing Systems webinars this year, RCS is conducting a survey of livestock producers in Queensland to gauge the importance of trees in grazing systems.

What’s this survey about:

Tree and grass cover impact both the environment and production. This vegetation is essential for storing carbon and preserving biodiversity and soil health. It also plays an important role in productivity, affecting profitability and the livelihood of people and communities in the industry.

Some recent research examined the relationship between vegetation and grazing, with 30% and 40% identified as the optimum tree canopy cover for both the livestock and the landscape.

This survey gains an improved understanding of the relationship between tree cover and animal productivity in Queensland grazing systems and contributes to:
·        understanding the opportunity costs associated with tree carbon farming projects on grazing properties in Queensland;
·        providing information to assist Queensland graziers in decision-making about vegetation management on their properties;
·        on-farm information to support biodiversity conservation on grazing properties in Queensland;
·        guiding the structuring of future incentives to enhance biodiversity or retain woody vegetation on productive farms, such as carbon farming, carbon-neutral commodities, biodiversity stewardship programs and environmental offset schemes.

What’s the survey involve:
·        a free 12-month subscription to MyFarmKey by Cibo Labs valued at $250, where you can view your property’s ground cover and tree cover every year over 30 years (from 1990) and benchmark your property against neighbours or your region;
·        telling us your known or estimated animal production over the last ten years; and
·        telling us about your views on the relative pros and cons of trees in your grazing system.

By sharing basic property and carrying capacity/stocking rate information with us and identifying your property in MyFarmKey, we aim to build a picture of the relationship between native vegetation and animal production across a range of environments across 200 beef and sheep producers in Queensland.

If you have any questions, please email the RCS Natural Capital Team at naturalcapital@rcsaustralia.com.au.

Acknowledgement: The survey is funded by the Queensland Land Restoration Fund and is the first survey as part of the Trees and Grass Study. RCS is working with WWF and Cibo Labs to deliver the study.

Privacy: RCS confirms information collected for this survey remains confidential between RCS and Cibo Labs for the purpose of this study, is aggregated for analysis by this study and the aggregated data reported to WWF. If you have opted to do so, you may be contacted by RCS for the second survey in this study. We treat your personal information according to the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles.

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* 1. What is your first name?

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* 2. What is your last name?

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* 3. What is your email?

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* 4. What is your postcode?

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* 5. What is your best phone number?

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* 6. What is your main livestock enterprise?

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* 7. What is the size of your property (in hectares)?

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* 8. How much of your property is not used for grazing? ie. range country?

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* 9. Does your property have improved pastures?

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* 10. Do you have Leucaena planted on your property?

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* 11. What is the long term or average carrying capacity on your property? (Use Adult Equivalents, DSE's or LSU's)

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* 12. Has the carrying capacity changed over time?

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* 13. Do you keep a grazing chart?

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* 14. What type of grazing systems do you use?

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* 15. Have you brought additional feed onto your property in the last 12 months?

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* 16. What do you believe the advantages of tree cover bring to your operations? Tick as many as apply to you.

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* 17. What do you believe are the disadvantages of tree cover in your operation?

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* 18. What do you think would be the optimum tree cover for your grazing operations?

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* 19. What % of your property would you like to have tree cover on?

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* 20. How would you describe the vegetation on your property?

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* 21. Is the vegetation on your property mostly:

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* 22. Has there been any major floods, fires, storms or other events that have impacted on your tree cover in the last 10 years?

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* 23. Would you like to be interviewed to share your views on trees in grazing systems in more detail?

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* 24. Would you like to be added to the RCS Newsletter emailing list?

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* 25. Within 24 hours of completing this survey, we will email you a link to your free 12 month subscription to MyFarmKey by Cibo Labs! This is an important part of the survey, and allows you to look at 30 years of data (1990 to 2020) for tree cover and ground cover on your property. You can also compare your seasonal ground cover with neighbouring properties, and the bioregional subregion your property is located within. Thank you!

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