Droving home the benefits

In the January heat several mobs of cattle have been moving around the district. While some have been on their way to and from the Campdraft last weekend, others were out and about reducing roadside fire risks.

A fire was starting in Goulburn last week by a slasher, prompting warnings from the RFS to property owners not to operate machinery in high risk weather conditions.

Recently Kaiya Royds aged 4 from Durham Hall asked her father James, “Daddy there’s so much long grass along the sides of the roads. Someone should let their cattle eat it.”

This prompted James Royds to take Kaiya and a mob of cattle from ‘Jilamatong’ on the Cooma Road through to Berlang via Jembaicumbene, stopping in on several other properties on the way to flatten the grass in house paddocks.

“The safest way of controlling roadside tinder dry grass is to graze and knock it down” says grazier Martin Royds. “The goal is to eat a third, trample third and leave a third to regrow. There already green shoots reappearing a few days after the cattle have been through.”

Martin says, “it’s so much more beneficial for the roads as well, as chemical weedkillers kill the grass and promote the regrowth of tall weeds. This way good perennial grasses are encouraged which don’t grow as tall and also protect the verges of the roads from washing away.”

“It’s a win, win, win” said Martin. The cattle get the good feed, the roadside fire and weed risks are managed, there’s no chemical runoff into the Sydney Catchment and it doesn’t cost Council anything.”

Kaiya thanked the people for their patience when driving through the mob.

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