Frank McKillop of ‘Melrose’ in the New South Wales Marra Creek district is a glass half-full kind of bloke.
For the purposes of the NRM Spatial Hub landholder survey, Mr McKillop was asked what got him and his family through the hard times on the property – to which he replied, “All times are good.”
It’s with this attitude the team at ‘Melrose’ have embraced the Spatial Hub and a visit from mapping specialist Lee Blacklock in early 2015.
“We’ve got some special problems to overcome on the property, being the re-generation of claypans where top soil has been lost,” Frank McKillop said.
“We try to fix this problem by constructing ‘water ponds’, and being involved in the Spatial Hub project and using the new technology will allow us to further improve the management of these issues,” he said.
“Hopefully the main benefits for our operation will be maintaining and establishing native grasses and herbages for soil regeneration, which will in turn improve the quality of feed for the stock.”
At ‘Melrose’ the mapping tools will also be used to better plan watering points for stock.
The main nature of the McKillop’s enterprise is merino breeding, as well as wool and meat production, and they carry around 5, 400 ewes, and similar numbers of weaners.
“The mapping can be used in so many ways, from directions, to stocking rates, to see how different projects might be improving the land,” Frank McKillop said.
“We are excited to see the program up and running, and applying its data in to the workings of our property,” he said.
Mr McKillop said he believed it was very important to keep up with innovation in the agriculture industry, and to encourage the next generation to do the same.