Updated Fertiliser for pastures 2021 booklet

AG ADVICE - September 2021

Clare Edwards - Senior Land Services Officer, Pastures

Many of you will have attended a soil and pasture health workshop with us over the last six years. These workshops covered the interactions between soil and pasture health, the importance of groundcover, and soil organic carbon. Another element of these workshops examined soil testing and explained what the numbers mean in regards to your pastures.

In 2018, we wrote a summary paper which was based on the workshops that I had delivered. I delivered this paper to the National Soils Conference in Canberra (Edwards and Evans 2018). Key findings covered the 154 properties that attended these workshops up to that date. These properties were from the Hartley, Hampton, Trunkey Creek, Oberon, Mudgee, Bathurst, Meadow Flat, Capertee Valley and Rydal areas.

In summary:

  • 86% of the samples were below a pH 5.5
  • 22% of the samples had Aluminium percentage of total cations > 15%
  • 77% of the samples were predicted to be responsive to phosphorus
  • 74% of the samples were predicted to be responsive to sulphur
  • 12% had Organic Carbon (Walkely & Black method) less than 1.5%

With acknowledgment that some of these were taken as monitoring points and to investigate why some paddocks were not performing, there has been a lot of discussion about different methods and means of improving or maintaining soil fertility.

Importantly, there has been a lot of interest in managing soil degradation issues such as soil acidity and its effects on pasture production and sustainability.

For those looking for further information on soil fertility, benchmarks and information on trace elements, the new edition of Fertiliser for Pastures 2021 is now available to download. This publication was produced using funds provided by South East Local Land Services through the Every Bit Counts and Better Land Management projects.

The booklet covers information on deficiency symptoms in pastures and cattle. It includes information on fertilisers and organic materials as a fertiliser. Part of the book explains typical analysis, how to do fertiliser calculations and nutrient budgets.

For those interested in our soil and pasture health workshops in the future, please feel free to contact Phil Cranney or myself to express your interest in attending. We are hoping to run further workshops later in the year.

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