Dulkaninna Station

Dulkaninna Station, which initially (late 1800's) ran sheep, is now a fully organic accredited (NASAA) cattle station, using adaptive land management and practicing stress free stock handling. The herd is a composite with a base Poll Hereford crossed with Black Angus. The family is also involved in breeding registered Australian Stock horses and Quarter horses, as well as kelpie dogs which are registered with the Working Kelpie Council of Australia.

Dulkaninna Property Description

The following information is taken from the 1993 Dulkaninna Pastoral Assessment. The assessment was conducted by the Pastoral Land Management group (in collaboration with the lessees) as a requirement under the Pastoral Land and Conservation Act 1989. Updates have been added by the lessees.

Seven land systems are have been delineated on Dulkaninna. The western and eastern parts of the run are dominated by the stony country land systems of Mumpie, Kopi and Wirringina with the stony hill country of Flint found in the east. The alluvial or river country of Cooryaninna land system dominates in the north east and central parts. The sandy country of Tirari land system is found in the north west of Dulkaninna while a small area of Frome land system is associated with Lake Gregory in the north east corner.

Dulkaninna consists of all native pastures (no pasture modification; no introduced species; no fertilizer) some of which tolerate drought and some evade it. The property is a mix of chenopod shrublands, many different grasses and herbage. Some examples of the plants include barley mitchell grass, neverfail, bladder saltbush , cooper clover , low bluebush, cottonbush, finger panic , swamp canegrass, curly windmill grass, bluebush, sandhill canegrass, grey copperburr , mulka grass, sandhill fan-flower, buck bush, coolabah and various acacia's.

Management Methods

An adaptive management system is used on Dulkaninna. Decisions such as stocking rates; when to sell; when to destock and when to restock are based on seasonal variability, land condition and stock condition. Management tools include internal fencing; holding paddocks and a GAB water reticulation system. Another important factor in successful adaptive management has been the advent of better roads and transport which allows stock to be quickly shifted, either to sale, to restock or to be moved internally.

Positive Environmental Achievements

The Bell family have been involved in various areas of community, industry and environmental service. Both Daryl and Sharon have been past members of many groups including the Marree Soil Conservation Board, the Outback Consultative Committee and Threatened Species Steering Committee. Over the years management of Dulkaninna has been externally recognised through various awards for conservation such as Landcare and the regional Ibis Award. Daryl Bell was awarded an OAM for service to the environment and the pastoral industry and Sharon was awarded a Centenary Medal for service to conservation in the rangelands.

Collective skills available

Pastoral Operations and Management

  • Pastoral property management and remote bush operations
  • Livestock management
  • Pest and weed control
  • Road making
  • Contacts/networks with mustering, fencing, machinery and environmental contractors
  • Tourism services
  • A range of Higher education qualifications
  • A good understanding of the Pastoral and Land Conservation Act, and other relevant legislation

Pastoral Infrastructure

  • Infrastructure development and maintenance (roads, fencing, waters, pumps and pipes, and yards)
  • Machinery operation and maintenance
  • Contract negotiation skills

Assessment and Monitoring

  • Natural resource management skills
  • Biodiversity management
  • Monitoring skills (biodiversity, land, livestock, feral animals and weeds, etc)
  • A range of Higher education qualifications

Project Management and Administration

  • Personnel Management
  • Project management skills
  • Book keeping services
  • Administrative skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Facilitation skills
  • Report writing
  • Communication and group meeting skills
  • Mediation skills