Soil Testing

Geographe Soil Testing Program

The Geographe Soil Testing Program aims to support farmers to make informed fertiliser decisions to ensure nutrients stay on the farm and out of waterways and estuaries. 

Soil testing has given hundreds of Geographe farmers the confidence to target their fertiliser applications and work towards improving farm productivity, cut unnecessary fertiliser inputs as well as reducing excess entering waterways. 

Soil testing reveals the nutrient composition of the soil, how well it retains and impacts nutrient availability, and identifies if deficiencies are present. Testing for phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N), potassium (K), pH, sulphur (S) and phosphorus buffering index (PBI) allows farmers to adapt their fertiliser application, increase efficiency and grow better pastures.

The colour-coded nutrient maps assist farmers to see exactly which paddocks will benefit from changed fertiliser applications. Often the pH of the soil is an inhibiting factor to nutrient uptake, therefore applying lime to increase pH can benefit pasture growth more than fertiliser.

The Geographe Soil Testing Program for 2023/24 is currently at full capacity and we are unfortunately unable to offer funding in this project. To get on our mailing list for future soil testing funding opportunities, please email us.

“What we are doing now is really targeting specific paddocks, so the paddock actually gets 

what the paddock needs. It’s very expensive to put the wrong fertiliser in the wrong place.”

Elaine, Yoongarillup


“I was actually quite surprised to see how much residual fertiliser was in the property from previous

practices where we just threw out super every year, like we’ve been doing forever…

Every decision now is based on science and results.”

Ross, Chapman Hill

Farmers are able to collect soil samples themselves (as DIY) or elect for a contractor to do it.
Training and detailed farm maps are provided to ensure sampling is easy for Do-It-Yourself farmers.
Participants of the program, are invited to workshops helping to interpret the soil test results and put an agronomic plan into action.
Networking opportunities for farmers at GeoCatch's workshops and events
GeoCatch's Sustainable Agriculture team provide support throughout the program.

All paddocks soil tested in Geographe Catchment since 2009.

This is a part of the State Government’s Healthy Estuaries WA and Revitalising Geographe Waterways programs, and Soil Wise. Soil Wise is funded by the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants Initiative – an Australian Government program.