Stipa newsletters are produced biannually. They include a variety of current issues and advice.


Find presentations, handouts and notes here. 


These field days were run to present the results of the comprehensive study by Stipa Native Grasses Association and The University of Sydney (funded by the Australian Government), detailing how changes in agricultural practices can increase soil carbon and improve soil fertility and soil health at a profit

Presentations from the field days are available for download below.



Foreword by Annabel Walsh, Chair: Stipa Native Grasses Association

Human activities are threatening the functional integrity of our natural systems. For over 4000 years we have see civilisation after civilisation collapse due to the inability of social capacity within community to acknowlege or prevent the loss of natural capital or work together to implement measures to reverse the decline. Where civilisations collapsed, the surviving community members moved on to other fertile areas to begin again.

The big difference between then and now is that we are a global community. We are not just producing grain/meat and ecological services to support our local region, but our farmers are under pressure to provide agricultural commodities to all corners of the world. The natural functional integrity of our soils have been overlooked and misunderstood by many disciplines in agriculture. The implications of bare ground and mono-cultures in our cropping and grazing systems have had an immense impact on the complex soil biological function, culminating in loss of function and natural capital.These problems are threatening our local, national and global civilisation; there is nowhere left on this planet to go. We have to work together to reverse the decline.

In the past some civilisations under threat due to failing agricultural system have been able to do this through social cohesion and innovation. The roots of this book, Farming Without Farming, spring from these two human qualities; innovation from observation over time and cohesion through dialogue across many disciplines of agriculture.

I was thinking back to the time when I read ” Farming without Farming ” for the first time, how it just flowed, the whole concept jelled, I could vision 100% ground cover 100% of the time allowing the microbial activity to continue with appropriate disturbance doing all the good things that it does. The vision of all that root litter, surface trash, green plants and self composting soils, as the sheep and cattle graze on the summer green perennials completing the nutrient cycle.

Farming Without Farming was written by Darryl Cuff after much collaboration, insight, intuition and Tooheys with Cols Seis, Christine Jones and Wal Whalley. It is a result of a realisation that our landscape is struggling under the modern farming practices and an understanding of the complex role  our native grasses play in supporting a functioning landscape in our productive agricultural systems. This book is the compilation of insights from intelligent use of experimental science, innovation, and practical hands-on investigation over time. It is more relevant now than at any time.

It has been edited and updated by Dr. Christine Jones and Adjunct  Assoc. Professor Wal Whalley of The University of New England. We acknowledge the contribution of our Stipa members for their courage and initiative.

Stipa and its members are dedicated to the profitable regeneration and management of native grasslands. Much of the rationale for Stipa’s mission and the theory and techniques for the regeneration are beautifully described and explained in this well-written book.  and so the Stipa committee have decided to relaunch Farming Without Farming because of its direct relevance in addressing the cultural changes needed in agriculture to met the challengers to increase production, increase soil carbon storage and rebuild the social and natural capital in our communities and landscapes.

We encourage Stipa members to download and read the book and use the carefully researched information on their own properties as well as to help others. We hope you find it a useful resource and we look forward to seeing your successful regeneration and management of your native grasslands.

Annabel Walsh

Chair: Stipa Native Grasses Association

Download Chapters

 Farming without Farming Introduction (721 KB)

 Farming without Farming Section 1: The Native Grassland Community(11095 KB)

 Farming without Farming Section 2: Rainfall, soil quality, and plants(3540 KB)

Farming without Farming Section 3:

How to develop and maintain a quality grassland pasture (16793 KB)

 Farming without Farming Section 4: Pasture-cropping (6814 KB)