The Harden Murrumburrah Landcare Group covers the Jugiong Creek catchment, which aligns largely with the the former Harden Shire, as shown on the accompanying map. It includes the Binalong sub-group, which covers an area that falls partly outside the catchment.
The Group was launched on the 26th of February 1990 with a seminar that aimed to assess the current situation regarding soil types and management strategies in the Harden Shire and to gauge local interest in forming the Group. The attendance of about 70 farmers from the district confirmed the latter, and set the mould for an active group with strong community involvement which has weathered the many changes in the Landcare environment in the last 20 years.
For more about the history of the group, see a personal perspective by David Cusack.
See also: current Committee and Past Office Bearers.
To encourage best practise management in all areas of land use through:
- sourcing and providing information and courses for all land managers;
- encouraging links between farmers and other bodies such as commercial companies, environmental research organisations, government departments and local, state and federal government to the benefit of all;
- initiating and supporting research into sustainable land use practises, eg. cropping, weed control, soil degradation, pasture establishment and native vegetation plantings;
- promoting a balanced approach to land use and the environment;
- developing benchmarks for the measurement of land management;
- promoting total catchment management; and
- encouraging membership of the Harden Murrumburrah Landcare Group.
Issues of concern to members include:
- soil acidity
- salinity and waterlogging
- pasture management
- conservation farming
- crop establishment and management
- weed control
- erosion and soil degradation
- tree planting and protection
- farm planning
- technology and education
- water quality
- agricultural economics
Activities undertaken by HMLG:
- Field days: lime, shelter belts, catchment planning, sustainable cropping and pastures
- Sustainable farming systems database
- National Treefest, held in conjunction with the Murrumburrah High School
- Emerging opportunities in Agriculture, held in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology
- Harden Shire Remnant Vegetation Mapping and satellite imagery
- Acid soils - trials looking at lime response in native pastures and deep soil acidity
- Biological control of numerous weeds
- General interest meetings on various topics including Dung Beetles, the Superb Parrot, etc
- Large number of community-based projects around revegetation and salinity
- Farmer information workshops, including Farm Planning, Estate Planning, Prograze, Soil Testing, Holistic Management and numerous others
- Project Management of the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority's Jugiong Creek Salinity and Water Quality Project
- Community Stream Sampling Project, funded by the National Landcare Program, involving identification by the community of sources of salt within the catchment
- Cereal Stubble Management Project, initially carried out in 2004-05, and then repeated
- Across the Fenceline Project, to monitor soil water status in relation to different crop/pasture cycles, initially carried out in collaboration with CSIRO and recently re-invigorated by the Group