Farmer’s ‘no kill’ crop system celebrated for sustainable approach


New South Wales farmer Bruce Maynard has received the 2022 Bob Hawke Landcare Award for his work in promoting sustainability in agriculture.

Mr Maynard received Landcare’s highest honour as part of the National Awards Gala held last night.

The Narromine farmer and grazier received the award for his creation of the No Kill Cropping System, a technique that relies on the retention of full grasslands and consumption of almost no external inputs.

“It’s one way of producing grain where we don’t have to get rid of the whole biodiversity in order to produce something we need as humans.”

Mr Maynard has also planted more than 200,000 trees and tens of thousands of saltbush plants to help regenerate his farm.

He said he hoped his experience could be an example for other farmers.

Bruce Maynard (left) runs sustainability workshops to help other farmers.(Supplied: Stephen Stockwell)

“A continuing challenge facing Australian farmers today is to integrate sustainable environmental outcomes with practical, profitable production systems,” Mr Maynard said.

“I hope that our work on our family farm and extension across Australia will encourage others in their own journey toward substantial improvements that support community and country.”

Mr Maynard was also behind the creation of the Constructive Farming Cooperative — a group of farmers and researchers committed to extending the application of regenerative agricultural techniques.

He said the work was aimed at addressing climate change and species losses.

“I really believe that the challenges facing us globally such as climate change and species decline present us with creative opportunities to work together for the greater good,” he said.

He is the spokesman for a range of community overspray groups, people who have been affected by exposure to synthetic chemicals drifting onto their land.

“It’s so widespread … that it actually throws a threat to everything we’ve done in Landcare, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and even food production.”

The winner of the Bob Hawke Award receives a prize valued at $50,000 to further develop their knowledge and skills in sustainable land management.

Success despite challenging years

There were 10 people and groups from across Australia recognised last night for their work in agriculture.

Landcare Australia chief executive Shane Norrish said all of the winners had a significant impact on their industry.

“These have been a tough few years for land carers, and the winners deserve special commendation for their extraordinary leadership and innovation in the face of adversity,” Mr Norrish said.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt commended the award winners for their achievements.

“These awards recognise the tireless work of land carers across the country, many of whom have dedicated their lives to conserving the environment, improving land management practices and giving back to their communities,” Mr Watt said.

“I am in awe of their unwavering commitment to landcare, and I am honoured to congratulate them on their outstanding success.”

Landcare Australia award winners:

  • Bob Hawke Award: Bruce Maynard
  • General Jeffrey Soil Health Award: Dr Oliver Knox
  • Australian Govt. Individual Landscaper Award: Walter Mayr
  • Australian Gov. Landcare Farming Award: Sylvia Leighton and Peter McKenzie
  • Australian Gov. Partnerships for Landcare Award: Australian Association of Bush Regenerators
  • KPMG Indigenous Land Management Award: Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation Narrap Team
  • ACM Landcare Community Group Award: Roper River Landcare Group
  • Steadfast Young Landcare Leadership Award: Yanti Winoto-Lewin
  • Woolworths Junior Landcare Team Award: Ivanhoe Central School
  • Coastcare Award: Friends of Bass Strait Islands

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