Environmental Management

Wildlife abounds on the property, including marsupials, fruit bats and birds; and wildlife corridors are maintained to allow them to transit the farm property. Where necessary to farm management, animal and bird control is humane, with an extensive netting barrier system for those crops that require it.

Sufficient tree cover is retained to:

  • Sustain water tables at levels similar to the undeveloped state
  • Provide windbreaks for crop protection
  • Sustain habitat for the native fauna
  • Provide native trees as an experimental source of biomass for composting

BFG has taken steps to minimize the potential dangers of wildfire that can threaten any agricultural business. Adequate firebreaks have been cleared and are regularly maintained.

To date, no sites of cultural significance to the indigenous community have been located on the property.

The country is frost prone in winter and suffers occasional spring frosts. However, BFG has planned for this occurrence through the prudent selection of tree crops that are frost tolerant during these periods.


Soil Conservation

Since horticultural development began on the BFG owned properties there have been no sustainability concerns associated with water tables, soil salinity, alkalinity or acidity that impact in any way on the viability of the enterprise.

Soil conservation has been a high priority of management since farm planning began. At the farm's inception, soil engineering was designed & implemented under supervision of the Soil Conservation Service. Subsequent soil management by BFG has applied the principles and practices of sad culture, as recommended by the Department of Agriculture and Department of land and Water Conservation (DlWC).

Extensive under-tree mulching has been undertaken, eliminating rain splash and contributing organic matter to the soil structure. Rows are aligned with the gradient - in accordance with Dept of land and Water Conservation recommendations - to control surface water flows and the soil under fruit trees is mounded, dispersing run-off from heavy rain into the grassed inter-row.

Internal roads are graveled and graded regularly to prevent erosion. Further erosion control is practiced in waterways, including grassing the graded filter strips, installation of energy absorbing devices to slow run-off velocity and grassing the spillways of dams. All cultivation for ground preparation has been performed with minimal soil disturbance and any exposed soil is quickly covered with mulch. No cultivation is undertaken for weed control and the permanent sod is fertilized to maintain vigor and produce clippings for enhancement of organic matter levels in the soil.

 

Protection of Waterways

Erosion control and soil management practices have been developed and consistently implemented by BFG to prevent silting of waterways.

Soil engineering and farm-management practices, including the spreading of manures and compost, preclude deep leaching of nutrient salts into surface run-off or waterways. Water-weeds are actively controlled and fish are successfully grown in the farm dams.

 

Responsible Pesticide Application

BFG policy has always been to use minimal pesticide application. Integrated pest management programmes include continuous pest and disease monitoring, and - only when necessary - the use of environmentally safe chemicals.

All staff applying pesticides have been trained and hold national accreditation.

Spray drift is minimized by:

  • Advanced ground or tree spraying equipment
  • Farm design that incorporates windbreaks to adjoining lands. Spraying only during periods of low wind speed

 

 Pest Management Programs

All properties are monitored for pest and disease in both the Citrus and Table grapes by our local agronomist Lachlan Mannes.

The citrus are monitored 11 to 16 times/year (depending on variety and season) and the Table grapes are monitored on a 14 day cycle from the beginning of bud burst.  Citrus are monitored by taking and assessing a number of fruit samples.