- Working closely with the agricultural industry to drive sustainable practices and technologies that build ecosystem health and productivity.
The South West boasts a range of agricultural industries, from the famous vineyards of the Margaret River Region and apple orchards of Donnybrook, to the marron farms in the southern forests and wheat/sheep farms in the Wheatbelt.
South West NRM demonstrates that production and healthy ecosystems go hand in hand. Together with our partners, we drive innovation in the farming sector through education, extension, in-field trials and demonstration of the potential of sustainable practices and technologies.
Our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator
Much of South West NRM’s work in sustainable agriculture is driven by our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator, or ‘RALF’ – one of 65 positions across the country funded by the Australian Government to build the future of sustainable agriculture.
RALFs support farmers, industry and community groups to adopt new and innovative practices and are the key contact for landholders wishing to become more sustainable.
South West NRM’s RALF provides clear and credible information where it is needed, to enable better decisions and facilitate partnerships to solve problems. Information about new practices, outcomes from the latest agricultural trials, case studies, events, field days, video testimonials, resource information and project updates are delivered through the Open Farm Twitter account and SWAg e-newsletter.
The RALF also provides technical advice and support to farmers through extension activities such as the Grazing Matcher program. If you have questions or would like further information, get in touch!
Our Regenerative Agriculture Report
South West NRM’s Regenerative Agriculture Report outlines the key drivers, barriers and risks of regenerative agriculture in Western Australia. The report recommends to the government a series of actions that may assist farmers in considering implementing regenerative practices on their properties.
Development of the report was led by South West NRM, with contributions from WA’s six other NRM regions and funding from the State NRM Program. A range of agricultural stakeholders participated in the research through surveys and in-depth interviews.
The main drivers of regenerative agriculture in WA were found to be:
- Younger farmers and ‘new’ primary producers entering the industry from various backgrounds who are open to trialling new approaches
- Farmers facing financial challenges are forced to look at alternative practices
- Farmers competing to be recognised for ‘healthy and quality produce’
- The shift in consumer demand toward more sustainable product.
The report also discusses the wide range of barriers towards the uptake of regenerative agriculture including:
- Farmers require evidence of the profitability of regenerative agriculture practices, demonstrated at a local level
- Many farmers do not know how to implement regenerative practices
- When farmers are doing well financially, they are not inclined to change
- A lack of advisors skilled in regenerative agriculture and its omission from university courses.
One of the other major barriers was revealed to be the definition of ‘regenerative agriculture’, with many stating it is unclear and problematic. The report suggests that the government take action in six core areas and recommends nineteen actions that could increase the adoption of regenerative agriculture. Download the report from the ‘Resources’ section below.