1. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    The currant owners are pretty vacant ,they have leased it out recently i dont think anyone has turned on a tap there for 30 years but mostley still looks great wet or dry
    Could be really amazing with some strategic tree planting Cattle out of controll have damaged some of the banks so needs some maintanence
    Nearly all built by one man he was our neigbhour,we used to ski on the big dam in the 70'/s
    Can you post it?
    Tell me about it i once took a combine through the middle of it years ago
     
  2. matto

    matto Junior Member

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  3. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    sorry Rob that is a Dam price swales should be lots cheaper per megaliter! depending on site
     
  4. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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  5. robbob

    robbob Junior Member

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  6. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    Did you find my location Matto?im on ( East of ) Strachan rd about 7?? km NNW of rangers valley feedlot the state of the art 30000 head Marubini owned industrial ag setup beetween the location you so professionally located
    MY new swales arnt on there yet but i understand google demand driven app , hint
     
  7. NGcomm

    NGcomm Junior Member

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    Hi Rob. In Aus I pay around $130/hour for a 22 tonne excavator which will nearly do a km of swale per day (8-10 hours) depending on the land type. Plants for the swales, I use a variety of Fabaceae (leguminous) trees and herbs like Japanese silk (Albizia julibrissin)
    and lucerne (Tagasaste) trees plus quick growing non-leguminous trees like Paulownia as they can throw up to four meters in the first year if bedded and watered well. You will need to scarify the seeds or pour boiling water onto them to kick them into life (not the paulownia though, just the leguminous ones).

    The reason I choose these types of trees is to provide a quick canopy to protect the other trees (mostly fruit and vines to provide more shade for berries) in the harsh Australian summers we get in my area. Plant behind and in front of the swales to shade the swale and any under canopy. If you use Paulownia be aware that they can run for water so keep them a couple of meters front of the swale and keep them watered till they settle in.

    Spread the banks with a green manure crop; something like fenugreek/lupin/fava bean/wooley vetch/clover for a cool season crop and lablab/cow pea/mung and soya bean as a warm season mix (location specific). This will help to bind the soil and get some nitrogen and organic matter happening.

    Organise your trees way before you do your swales as once the soil compacts back down it will be pretty solid. Put your green mulch in on the same day if possible, cover with water damaged hay (preferably weed seed free) that you should be able to pick up cheaply and have an auger to get the trees in, just make sure to scour the sides of the hole as an auger can often create a type of pot if it is too clayey and will constrict the root and probably kill it from the water not being able to move out of the 'pot'. Or even better, rip two lines 1-2 meters in front of the swale downstream and again at ninety degrees where each tree will go. Then the roots can run to all four quadrants and be solid as a rock.

    Do you have access to a forest nursery at all? If you do you should order your trees 3-4 months before hand so they can grow them out. I get forest tube stock for $1.25 each which also includes a tree guard and bamboo stakes. I also gather seed for them so look to return the favor and you can keep your costs quite low.

    And the thing that really works for me and makes my farmer neighbors casually ask as the chew there stray "So what's your secret city boy", mycorrhizal mix (vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizas). A kilo is around $100 but will do around 500 trees. I put it at the base of the tree hole where the roots will be, add a biota mix (compost tee of bacteria, fungus, nematodes etc.). The VAM can't be brewed with the other biota as the stewing kills them. This gives the trees access to all the latent nutrients in the soil and puts together a water and nutrient sponge that will benefit all the plants in the general area.

    Good luck.
     
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  8. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    hi NG so you are doing swales at Cowra? I love th Weddin mtns! My grandad was born at Eugowra i recon it could be some ofv the cheapest permie land in the state
    what time of year do you Plant/ dig
    Simila r climate to Rob ,
    Did i mention Direct seeding of oaks is best practice (dehesa farmers do this) probably need to allow swale to settle first
     
  9. NGcomm

    NGcomm Junior Member

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    Hi andrew - it is a nice area if you have the mind to get in and have a go of the land. Our block was a wheat paddock for years so is taking a lot of work to get the biota and natural grasses back together, but it is happening. And you are right, great price, so if you have the energy to fix up the issues from the past it is a great place.

    We had around 80mill two weeks ago which is why I'm going to do the swales next week as I can't take the chance of leaving it till winter although most of my fruit tree transplanting will happen then. Had a chat with Darren Doherty last night and will probably end up doing a mix of swales and diversion drains as need to both sequest and store water...a lot of work to be done.

    Our rainfall is around 600mill so roughly half of rob's setup.

    Good idea regarding the oaks, all mine are dug up from friends places in Canberra and already the tap root on some are circling and I know how much it sets them back if this is trimmed or constrained.
     
  10. crowsandcats

    crowsandcats New Member

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    So you can do about 1km of swale per day for $130/hr. What kind of soil is this? Clay?
    Also, what dimensions are these swales?
    And are we talking about operating this 22ton machine ourselves or does that hourly price tag come with an experienced operator to do it for you?

    In the Geoff and Bill PDC dvd at the university of Melbourne, Bill says you shouldn't plant trees on swale banks. Is this gospel or can it be done without eventually breaking the berm? What would be the workaround? Planting only at the inner and outer edges of the berm?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  11. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    the reason to not plant trees on swales is because trees shade
    the ground and prevent grasses and other soil holding plants
    from growing.

    we have some irrigation ditches here which we allowed some
    honeysuckle bushes to grow along the sides. the shade they
    cast crowded out the grasses that were originally there. as
    a result the erosion shifted to the side where the grasses no
    longer were growing and now i have to fix that before it
    gets worse.

    water moves faster/easier along bare dirt. i actually have to
    get some hip boots and a shovel and wait until the ditches
    are down (mid-summer or later) and i can dig out the grasses
    now growing in the middle and move them to the side to
    restore that bank again. a lot of work it will be, but perhaps
    fun in the summer heat. :) i'm not sure when i'll get it done.
    sometime in the next several years would be good...
     

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