Grass-roots community organisation that aims to improve the natural condition of the Derwent catchment

Introducing Peter Ball

Greetings, I’m Peter and I’m joining the Derwent Catchment Project team as a key member of the Derwent Pasture Network. This program has a goal of supporting continuous improvement in dryland grazing enterprises.

Selfishly, I want to be involved in directly delivering value to Tasmanian grazing enterprises in a coordinated and effective way. The Pasture Network provides a means of building an integrated series of activities to do just that: deliver value to those who are interested in it. I’m interested and I hope I can encourage you to be as well.

I’ve worked for the last 30 years in the Department of Primary Industries and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture. This has provided me with many terrific opportunities to work with sheep and beef farmers across Tasmania. I’ve worked on many projects in research and development and in extension roles.

This has included pasture establishment trials, grazing farmlet trials, grazing systems research, pasture surveys, producer demonstration sites, national grazing management research programs, grazing management skills courses, field days, forums, discussion groups and producer networks.

My interests have for a long time been within the feed-base. How pastures grow and respond to the environments we seek to grow them in. How grazing and grazers interact with these pastures. Understanding grazing system interactions and management actions that can deliver the most effective production and sustainability outcomes.

Along my work path I have developed some technical expertise, but I know there is always so much more to learn.

It is working with producers, learning together and using that knowledge that has given me greatest satisfaction.

Good fortune from great people – it’s not trite but true. People make the difference. Working with people can bring great ideas, greater understanding and truly good fortune. In my case, I’ve always been fascinated by the great many plant, animal and management interactions that make a grazing enterprise.

People have always been at the heart of that interest. Great agricultural science lecturers captivated me. Great experts practising in so many disciplines in the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries (nee Agriculture) trained and mentored me. Great professional farmers have inspired and taught me to be better and always learn more.

In the Derwent Pasture Network, our goal will be to make a difference by bringing together and sharing information, science, expertise and experience, always seeking improvement, and supporting the best decision making we can. In this way we will seek to adapt to the challenges that every new season brings.

While recipes are great for cakes, written or remembered, pastures and livestock benefit from management. People do that. People who share a passion for learning more and who seek the opportunity to always do better. I believe that’s where good fortune lies.

Please feel free to contact me about the program at or on 0418 373 994.

>> Dryland grazing course

Photo of Peter Ball

Derwent Catchment Project

PO Box 22 Hamilton TAS 7140  |  Phone (03) 6286 3211  |