Pasture Challenge Final Results


February 14, 2024 9:30 am

A group of 50 South West farmers have a date for Valentine’s Day this year that is likely to be even more exciting than the opening episode of television series Farmer Wants a Wife.

They’ll gather at the new and romantic Hilton Garden Inn, Busselton location, hearts aflutter, for news they have been waiting a year on.

Which team’s patch of soil will claim the South West NRM Pasture Challenge ‘Top Performer’ Award.

You might be wondering why the performance of a patch of soil at a test farm site in Busselton is so interesting.

Twelve months ago, four groups of farmers were challenged to develop their own ‘secret sauce’ of combined agricultural treatments.

The catch was their unique recipe should aim (when compared to a no treatment patch of soil) to:

  • Grow the most pasture;
  • Be cost effective;
  • Improve soil health.

The Pasture Challenge is part of ongoing work by South West NRM and its partners to promote best practice sustainable agriculture.

South West NRM Sustainable Agriculture Manager Peter Clifton said critical to the process of improved sustainability was helping farmers understand their soil better.

“Effective long-term monitoring is critical to understanding soil,” Mr Clifton said.

“The logical first step for farmers is to understand their soils better before they take any management actions. Then isolate what soil properties they want to change, and then monitor the effect of their management.”

Underperforming agricultural soils cost Australian farmers billions of dollars in lost revenue each year.

The Pasture Challenge has been designed and delivered in partnership with Western Beef Association with results and testing overseen by agronomist Graham Mussell.

It is part of the Soil Wise project, 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.

The free Valentine’s Day event will include:

  • An overview of the farmer designed Pasture Challenge Trial
  • Results and winners of the Pasture Challenge – which treatments improved productivity and soil health?
  • How to interpret your soil test results
  • Pasture and soil issues affecting livestock health and productivity
  • Sub clover root disease
  • And much more!

Farmers interested in registering for one of the limited places can do so via the button below.

For more information about this Project, please visit this dedicated page of our website.