AS the famous Paul Kelly song goes, from little things, big things grow.
Even the littlest things can have a major impact, and nobody understands this better than those working the land.
It’s why a simple shade and shelter workshop, run by Agriculture Victoria and targeting beef and lamb farmers in the North East, garnered widespread attention from those looking to increase their productivity.
Starting at Wooragee Primary School on Saturday before progressing to a nearby property, the field day explored the various ways to create shade and shelter using existing farm landscape, as well as things like shelter belts and native vegetation.
Organised by the Wooragee Landcare Group and their Mid-Ovens counterparts, participants were also briefed on the effects adequate and inadequate shade and shelter could have on livestock.
Agriculture Victoria land management extension officer Kylie Macreadie said understanding how to design and manage shade and shelter was important to a farm’s success.
“We’ve got lots of opportunities in our landscape to use existing trees and things, but it’s getting them to be designed in a way that has the right technical aspects for what different needs are in farms,” she said.
“Shelter is quite different to shade.
“For example, with a lambing production, you need to provide that shelter, whereas a bigger concern with cattle is more about big shade trees.”
Though it seems like a simple concept, Mrs Macreadie said getting it wrong could have significant negative effects on production.
Impacts aren’t limited to times of extreme heat or cold either – poor care for livestock in good conditions would also have pronounced effects.
“We're looking at multiple benefits, how you can have benefits in everything from biodiversity to different fodder species in shade and shelter,” she said.
“It's important to see real scenario, so landholders can share with other landholders what works for them best.”
Milawa-based cattle farmer Peter Robb said he had attended in the hopes of improving his future yield.
“Essentially, we're interested in revamping the farm so we can have better production by improving soil moisture retention,” he said.
“If we can increase our production by 20 per cent, it'll absolutely be worth it.”