Friday, June 10, 2011

These are large bats known as Flying Foxes--in the botanical gardens in Sydney

 Camden farm, part of the University of Sydney

 On the way between Sydney and Canberra (pronounced Canbra)
Well where have we been.  Arrived in sydney late last Saturday and here it is friday night again!  Spent Sunday walking around Sydney enjoying some of the sights, of which i have included a sampling of pictures here to show the beauty and grace of this city.  The Harbor is amazing and the harbor bridge has an option if you are crazy enough and pay the fee ( i heard around 200$) to actually climb and walk over the very top of the arches.  The Pics do not show it well but there are people on there when I took the pic.  Anyway it is a very beautiful city a little more LA feel then Melbourne which was more of a boston/NYC feel.  Lots of street peerformers out on sunday, very relaxing day.  Then on tuesday it was off in the car again and out into the country side after going thru the harbor tunnel in every direction possible and a few more wrong turns I was on my way!  I arrived in Camden a bit early and sat in a park finishing notes and getting my stuff together--then off to my appointment.  Met with a group of vets--Ian and Neil mostly--that are basically consultants on pasture with vet degrees.  Very passionate about pasture and showed me many different styles of mixes using brassicas, alfalfa, clover, turnips, oats, triticale, and many other species.  neil had many hundred photos on his computer and gets so excited discussing it Ian said it was Pasture Porn!  It was nice to see other pasture possibilites instead of the straight ryegrass that is used in Victoria where I had been earlier.  We discussed many of the ups and downs, how to rotate and interseed at different times of year to keep enough feed in front of cows and maximize the pasture to minimize supplement but also the need to supplement to maximize production and efficiency.  After lunch myself and Ian went for a drive around the area and saw a few farms that were using these mixes and the pluses and minus of trying to manage them.  I also got to see real live Kangaroos--a pest in this country, along with parrots and cockatees (they are also considered pests). 
Next off to one of the about only four dairy farms in Australia that is a complete confinement system.  2000 cows all in freestalls.  This farm milks in a double 38 herringbone.  They also do organic fertilizer, a compressed shaving bale business, compost business, and partner in a shopping center and village development corporation, and have partner with a processor with UHT milk and with A2 protien.  It seems lactose intolerent people are actually allergic to the A1 protein and A2 milk has no A1 and can be consumed by lactose intolerant people without problems.
The next day was off to the University of Sydney to meet with the team working on a project to see how well they could get cows to produce on pasture and supplemental feed without expansion of pasture acres.  They found they could do 4 times better than the national average.  They are able in this area to get away with a triple crop on some acreage with irrigation and the right mixes of crops.  They had just finished an elaborate undereground irrigations system to irrigate the pastures.
Then came the long drive to Canberra--the capital of Australia--the drive was about as exciting as the Mass turnpike and seemed as long.  Got into the city at rush hour!  Yeah!  with a Gps that does not understand that in bumper to bumper you cannot navigate across three lanes to turn right in 50 meters!  after a few "Recalculations" I arrived at the hotel.  Hopefully I will not recieve any mailings from the police.  They use speed cameras on the highways as well as red light cameras and fatigue cameras (not sure how they know you are tired).  So no cops on the side of the road but best not to speed!  Meeting with the head of the Vet association was very interesting, he studied at university of Nebraska, his cousin was dean of Ross university as well as a good friend used to teach there.  (this is where I am hoping to go to vet school). 
On the technical side was very interesting that Asutralia, besides having a very good national ID program for  dairy and beef and sheep, has a very good plan for handling disease out breaks.  61 different diseases have specific plans in case of an outbreak.

Then it was back to sydney.  Very confusing but eventually found my way back to the city and got the car returned.  Very glad to not be driving anymore.  Now it is a wrap up in  Sydney, repack and on to New Zealand.  So the next update will be in the land of Kiwis.  See you soon.....

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Now that's something to sink your teeth into!!! (Not to mention your funnybone...) What a fantastic (and humerous) description - and quite the eye for the photos... You've been holding out.... Amazingly diverse place... Wonder if those "recalculations" in NZ will have a different accent?