Farmers are invited to join a free bus tour exploring the latest pasture trial sites in the Geographe Catchment on Thursday 21 September, from 9.30 am to 2:30 pm.
The tour, hosted by South West NRM, GeoCatch, Western Dairy and Western Beef, will take in three trial sites, as well as provide tips on plant tissue sampling.
The Soil Wise NKS (nitrogen, potassium, sulfur) trials were designed to give farmers greater confidence in addressing macro-nutrient production constraints using soil testing and to assess the potential impact of trace elements on pasture production. This two-year trial is being run at eight sites. Observations at the Busselton site suggest there may be a negative effect from excessive trace element application, potentially boron toxicity. Different nutrient treatments also appear to be having a significant effect on pasture composition.
South West NRM’s Pasture Challenge farmer-driven trials aim to address soil constraints and improve pasture production. This one-year trial is being undertaken on a site with several constraints, including compaction and clover root rot. The trial pits the existing weedy pasture against a variety of pasture renovations, including ryegrass and clover and pasture mixes including brassicas, coupled with combinations of liming, cultivation, and deep ripping. It aims to discover which treatment is most economical and effective for addressing soil constraints. Effects on trace element availability, root disease, compaction and feed quality will be discussed.
The Pasture Trial Network’s independent annual ryegrass variety testing is being undertaken as part of the national Pasture Trial Network program. The Busselton trial is currently testing 12 ryegrass varieties and is looking to expand into other pasture species based on feedback gathered during the Field Day. Now in its eighth year in WA, all historical and current trial results are fed into a national database that growers can use to select varieties for their needs. The data is all stored online here.
To register to attend the event, click here.
The 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.