Trees and cattle are a good combination

Two days after we settled on the property [January 2007], we sat around an aerial map and started to plan how we wanted the property to look. We had two goals in mind: to segment the large paddocks and to plant trees.

The trees and shrubs we’ve planted have allowed for more moisture retention and help shade our animals during very hot days.

With the help of the Murray Catchment Management Authority, we had over 24 per cent of our property planted to trees by 2013, and we’ve increased it by about 5 hectares each year since then. Some people say that we are sacrificing land, but we’ve started grazing in these native vegetation areas again.

We believe it’s important to run animals through native vegetation areas, as they have a role to play in maintaining the balance of the system.

They stimulate soil surface with their hooves and prune the trees and shrubs. The secret is not to leave them in too long or introduce them too often.

In the early years we did not graze for 4-5 years, then let them lightly graze once a year. Now most of the original tree areas are in the grazing plan.