South West farmers are looking to improve soil health, increase pest and disease resistance, reduce nutrients entering our waterways and enhance biodiversity.
The popularity of GeoCatch’s latest workshop, Optimising Pasture Nutrients for Growers, shows that Geographe farmers want to learn more about what can be achieved by building a more nutrient-rich soils environment.
Despite the warm conditions, Mark Tupman, from Productive Ecology, brought the concepts of building soil health to an enthusiastic group of local farmers.
Local farmers, Robyn and Ray Robertson hosted the workshop on their family farm. The farm has been in the family for several generations, with Robyn and Ray taking over the running of it seven years ago. They have been putting their regenerative learning into practice by adopting best-practice methods such as integrating livestock into the land using rotational grazing, planting multi-species pasture species to increase diversity and reducing disturbance to the soil. The workshop expanded this knowledge base with information about soil nutrients.
“Mark gave us a great foundation on the benefits of looking after our soils with regenerative practices. Then the afternoon session really brought it all to life. As a group, we learnt how we can create our own bio-ferments on farm, which can then be applied to our paddocks where there are deficiencies. It’s really inspiring,” said Robyn.
The workshop gave participants the low-down on how to develop and nurture a resilient biological soil community and provided information on how to create cost effective DIY bio-ferments, all aiming to drive biology and create a more fertile soil environment.
“The rising price of fertilisers, exasperated by less responsive soils, is a major challenge that farmers are facing today. I’m seeing an increasing demand from growers for practical information on how to improve the state of their soils and implement more effective nutritional strategies,” said Mark.
This event was part of a series of GeoCatch workshops, all aimed at increasing farmer knowledge on the benefits of improving soil health, and effective strategies on how to achieve it.
This event was supported though 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.
Main Photo: (Left to Right) GeoCatch’s Jenelle Schult, Host farmer Robyn Robertson, Soil Wise’s Deb Holtham and facilitator, Mark Tupman.
Photo: Mark Tupman and local farmers got their hands dirty making bio-ferments, which when spread across paddocks, aim to build soil health.