South west farmers and stakeholders gathered at the Pasture Wise Field Day, to experience firsthand the pasture research happening on local farms, right here in Busselton.
The tour, hosted by GeoCatch, South West NRM, Western Dairy and Western Beef, took 45 participants to three trial sites to visually look inspect the pasture trial plots and to hear from the experts about the preliminary findings. Having pasture trials on local soil means that farmers are able to see outcomes that are comparable to their own paddocks, with similar soil types and rainfall patterns. Farmers said that it was an “excellent field day with good information and a great day to see possibilities of what can be applied on farm.”
Trial sites visited included the Western Dairy Pasture Trials Network – an annual ryegrass variety trial; Soil Wise’s Nitrogen, Potassium, Sulphur and trace elements trial – looking at how addressing nutrient constraints can affect pasture production; and the Pasture Challenge Trial site – farmer-driven trials aimed at addressing soil constraints. The broad objectives of the trials are to promote best practice in sustainable agriculture and increase confidence in farmers and industry in evidence-based fertiliser recommendations. Also, to promote the effective use of fertilisers to ensure their potential is maximised on farm and losses to waterways are minimised.
Farmers said that the field day highlighted the “importance of soil and plant tissue testing, the timing of fertiliser applications and to choose fertiliser blends more carefully.” For more information including preliminary trial site results, click here.
This event is supported by funding from Soil Wise. Soil Wise is funded by the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants – an Australian Government initiative. It is supported by Healthy Estuaries WA – a State Government program.