Farmers from across the Geographe catchment joined experts from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and local agronomists to learn more about nutrient management on their farms this week.
The farmers have been participants in the Geographe Soil Testing Program, providing access to whole farm soil testing and lab analysis, nutrient mapping, customised fertiliser recommendations based on their nutrient requirements, and in Spring 2023 the option to test plant tissue for nutrient levels.
The workshop was the culmination of soil testing and data analysis, and participants received the soil test results from their properties, all aimed to help them make evidence-based fertiliser decisions, save money on nutrients that aren’t required, and prevent excess nutrients from entering our waterways. The experts covered how to interpret the results and nutrient maps, advice regarding soil and plant nutrition, soil acidity and liming, using DPIRD’s Nutrient Calculator, as well as nominating a Fertcare agronomist to work to develop a fertiliser plan for 2023.
“The soil test program has really opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking. I have learned so much about my what’s happening below-ground on my farm and think I’ll be saving some big dollars on fertiliser purchases this year. I’ve discovered that some of my paddocks already have enough nutrients, so applying fertiliser in those areas would be a waste of time and money,” said Andrew, a sheep farmer from Yelverton.
GeoCatch, in partnership with DPIRD, have been soil testing with Geographe farmers for over 10 years on more than 40 000ha of grazing farmland. Since its inception, the Geographe Soil Testing Program has contributed to an annual reduction of about 4.8 tonnes of phosphorus entering Geographe Bay.
For more information on the soil testing program, click here.
This project is part of Healthy Estuaries WA and Revitalising Geographe Waterways programs. These State Government initiatives aim to support the long-term health of our south-west estuaries.