Native vegetation resources
Native Grasses in the Hunter Region
Estimating the value of native grasses to the Hunter economy is a difficult process with a number of assumptions needing to be made.
The figures below are taken from the Hunter Valley Research Foundation. The total value of the equestrian industry is difficult to assess however taking the expenditure of the industry of $134 million dollars per year as a minimum should help in getting a “ballpark” estimate.
|Type|| Total value
|Est. % native pastures||Total value native pasture
|Beef & Lamb||136||70||95.2|
From the table above we get a ballpark estimate of $189.3 million dollars per year mostly in the beef and lamb industries, the 50% estimate for use of native grass in the equestrian industry may be high but the industry is likely to be worth much more than $134 million.
So an estimate of $150-200 million dollars per year as a baseline figure would be a reasonable assumption. This doesn’t take into account the benefits of reducing erosion and salinity.
View, print and download Hunter Region Grasses
Planting Native Trees
The following information comes from the Hunter Farm Forestry Network and provides guidelines for the planting of native trees. The presenters were Matt Kilby (Global Land Repair) and Noel Jupp (Riverdene Nursery), and is included with permission from the organisation. You can visit their website at http://hffn.org.au/
“Some key points were: 6 months is required to prepare the land for planting by loosening the soil and removing weeds, preferably without herbicide; the need to introduce fungi in the hole and not to fill the hole with water before planting; plants should be in a concave ditch that drains water to the root ball; a mat or compost/ wood chip is used to prevent the growth of weeds; the plants should be soaked in water for a week before planting and 20 litres poured on the plant when finished. If the weather is fine, it may not need further watering. Use a tree guard for the first 2 years.
The role of the mycorrhiza fungi and their interaction with plants can be read at http://www.cpbr.gov.au/fungi/mycorrhiza.html.
Noel said to improve soil he recommends that mulched and worm digested Melaleuca styphelioides (prickly-leafed paper bark) is the very best but there is also a lack of these plants. Lantana, cabbages, ebony PR cow peas which can be planted and ploughed in in March before planting in April. Also, field lupins and he suggested planting pills which contain fertiliser and an insecticide and the use of blood and bone (the more odorous the better), to deter hares and wallabies.”