SOIL acidity, salinity and poor species choice can all have major impacts on the productivity of a site, but knowing what to do about it can be easier said than done.
A new project, funded through the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country program, is going to take 30 Upper Blackwood farmers through collecting, interpreting and implementing information collected on sites about these issues on their own properties.
Each of the participant farmers – half of which will be under the age of 35 – will get a hands-on introduction to using data technologies and then receive Landcare funding to actually put works on the ground.
“The project will provide free 10-30cm depth soil testing and EM38 and EM31 on each of the participant farmers’ chosen sites,” Wagin Woodanilling Landcare’s Danielle Perrie said.
“The farmers will then work with experts from the Department of Agriculture and Food, Evergreen and the Oil Mallee Association to understand what the information is telling them, prepare and then implement a plan for improving productivity.”
The aim of the project is to help farmers improve their soil management to address issues such as soil acidity, erosion and soil carbon content, by encouraging the adoption of mapping and soil testing.
It is being jointly run by the Wagin/Woodanilling, Dumbleyung and Katanning Landcare groups.
Farmers from the shires of Wagin, Woodanilling, Katanning and Dumbleyung are eligible to participate in the project.
“Each farmer will choose two 10 hectare sites for data collection on and will then choose one to carry out on ground works next year,” Miss Perrie said.
“This could be fencing, perennial pastures, saltbush, liming or revegetation and they’ll get up to $3000 funding to help them do it.”
Applications close on December 14.
Call the Landcare Centre in Wagin on 9861 2222, Katanning 9821 4327 or Dumbleyung 9863 4225.