Northern Territory Government Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries

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Northern Territory Government

Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries

Primary Industries

Annual Research Achievements Report 2012-13

Copyright ©:

Northern Territory Government, 2014

This work is copyright. Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth), no part of this publication may be reproduced by any process, electronic or otherwise, without the specific written permission of the copyright owners. Neither may information be stored electronically in any form whatsoever without such permission.


While all care has been taken to ensure that information contained in this Technical Bulletin is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of its information.

The Northern Territory of Australia gives no warranty or assurance, and makes no representation as to the accuracy of any information or advice contained in this Technical Bulletin, or that it is suitable for your intended use.

You should not rely upon information in this publication for the purpose of making any serious business or investment decisions without obtaining independent and/or professional advice in relation to your particular situation.

The Northern Territory of Australia disclaims any liability or responsibility or duty of care towards any person for loss or damage caused by any use of or reliance on the information contained in this publication.

March 2014


Northern Territory Government (2014). Primary Industries Annual Research Achievements Report 2012-13. Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries. Technical Bulletin No. 349.


Northern Territory Government

Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries

GPO Box 3000

Darwin NT 0801

Technical Bulletin No. 349

ISSN 1839-7409

1Biosecurity and Product Integrity 5

1.1The National Arbovirus Monitoring Program 5

3Pastoral Production 6

3.1North Australian Beef Fertility Project (CashCow) 6

5.1Optimum Levels of Pasture Utilisation at Mt Sanford and Pigeon Hole 10

6.1The Use of Alternative Tropical Breeds Part D: The Senepol Crossbreeding Trial 12

7.1The Phosphorous Project 14

8.1Cell Grazing of Improved Pastures for Increased Beef Production and Soil Carbon Sequestration 15

10.1Selected Brahmans - Improving the Fertility of the Brahman through BREEDPLAN EBVs and Selection 18

11.1A Comparison between a Multi-breed Composite and a Brahman Breeder Herd Productivity 19

13.1Riverine Buffalo and Crossbreeding Project 22

14.1TenderBuff® Development and Supply 24

15.1Improving Breeder Herd Efficiency in the Arid Region with Performance Recording and Objective Selection 25

17.1Pasture Sustainability Kidman Springs 26

19.1Making Production and Conservation Gains through Adaptive Grazing: Beetaloo Pilot 27

20.1Delamere Burning and Wet Season Spelling Demonstration 28

21.1Shruburn (VRRS Long Term Fire Trial) 29

22.1Central Australia Grazing Strategies Partnership - P3 (Quality Graze Trial) 31

23.1Precision Pastoral Management Tools (PPMT) Project 32

24.1The Effect of Hormonal Growth Promotants (HGPs) on Cattle Profitability 33

25.1Northern Grazing Carbon Farming - Integrating Production and Greenhouse Gas Outcomes (Climate Clever Beef 2) 34

27Plant Industries 35

27.1An Investigation of Growth Regulators for the Control of Termites 35

28.1Biological Control of the Papaya Mealybug and Oriental Scale on Papaya in East Timor and Australia (ACIAR project) 36

29.1Impacts of Deforestation and Afforestation on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Carbon and Water in the Daly River Catchment 37

30.1Progress in Domestication of African Mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) in Australia 38

31.1Quantifying Interception Associated with Large Scale Plantation Forestry in the Northern Territory (National Water Commission) 39

32.1Studies on Pheromones of Mango Fruit Borers 40

34.1Action on the Ground “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Improved Nitrogen Management on NT Farms” 41

35.1Optimising Pollination of Dates (Phoenix dactylifera) 43

36.1Evaluation of the Potential Commercial Development of Poppy Production in the Northern Territory (NT) 44

37.1Degradable Mulch Trials 45

38.1An Investigation into the Potential Pest Status of the Recently Discovered Tawny Coster Butterfly Acraea terpsicore (Linnaeus, 1758) in Australia 47

39.1Agronomic Options for Profitable Rice-based Farming Systems in the Ord and Adelaide River Regions 49

40.1Enhancing Rice Germplasm Development for Transforming Production Systems in Cambodia and Australia 51

41.1Characterisation and Management of Fusarium Wilt of Watermelon 53

External Recognition 55

Staff and Students 57

Research Visitors 57

Research Service 59

External Linkages 61

Overseas Travel 66

Seminars and Lectures 68

Publications 69

About this report

The 2012-13 Annual Research Achievements Report provides a summary of research and development activities in primary industries in the Northern Territory (NT) (excluding fisheries for which there is a separate annual report series titled Fisheries Status Reports 2012) by the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF). The report covers current and recently completed research in the pastoral, plant industry and biosecurity sectors. The report highlights the effort of DPIF researchers through which services are provided to primary producers to improve their productivity and profitability and to control animal and plant diseases.

DPIF’s Industry Development Plan 2013-17 focuses on profitable and productive primary industries, highlighting the following emerging challenges for research and development among others: provide certainty and security to encourage investment, facilitate continuous improvement in production quantity and quality, expand market options for Territory products, develop and promote a more efficient and environmentally sound production system, promote biosecurity and encourage Indigenous participation. Each research project in this report addresses at least one of these challenges.

Primary industry activities in the NT focus mainly on pastoral, crop and horticultural production. Products include beef cattle, buffalo, crocodiles, field crops, pasture, hay, seeds, forestry products, mangoes, melons, vegetables and cut-flowers.

The primary industry sector in the NT has significant links with other sectors of the local economy and contributes to manufacturing, transport, storage and retail, thereby enhancing employment.

Comments and suggestions for improvements of future editions of this report, including content, layout and structure, are most welcome. Please send your comments and suggestions to

Images/photos: Unless otherwise stated, all images and photos are sourced from the lead researcher.

Cover Images

An automatic drafter being used to draft animals into different supplement enclosures (Source: Tim Schatz)

Report compilation:

Hassan Bajhau, Jason De Araujo, Cameron McConchie, Tim Schatz, Richard Weir and Christine Long

Glossary of abbreviations


Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research


Artificial insemination


Alice Springs Pastoral Industry Advisory Committee


Arid Zone Research Institute


A German chemical company


Berrimah Farm


Beatrice Hill Farm


Barkly Research Advisory Committee


Body condition score


Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories


Charles Darwin University


Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation


Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry


Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia


Days after planting


Douglas Daly Research Farm


Dry matter digestibility


Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (NT)


Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts


Estimated breeding values


First filial generation (the generation of hybrids arising from a first cross (animal genetics))


Hormonal growth promotants


Katherine Pastoral Industry Advisory Committee


Katherine Research Station


Northern Territory


NT Cattlemen’s Association


New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research


Office of Environment and Heritage (New South Wales)


Old Man Plains Research Station


Producer demonstration site


Pregnancy diagnosis


Precision pastoral management system


Precision pastoral management tools


Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation


Remote livestock management system


Soil organic carbon


Society for Rangeland Management


Tasmanian Poppy Industries


Victoria River District


Victoria River Research Station

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