Secure your spot in spring soil testing program

South East Local Land Services is encouraging landholders on the Tablelands to secure their spot in its upcoming spring soil testing program, following the success of the program last year.

The program is a great opportunity for landholders to learn the best ways to improve soil health and pick up practical skills to better manage soil fertility and grow productive pastures.

It is being offered to properties located in the Yass Valley, Boorowa, Upper Lachlan, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Goulburn Mulwaree and Wingecaribee local government areas, and will include:

  • Subsidised soil testing - participants will be offered two free soil tests per property (0-10 cm sampling depth) with the option of landholders submitting additional samples for an extra fee
  • A two-day face-to-face workshop held in February/March 2022 with technical expertise and support using the highly successful ‘Five Easy Steps’ course.

Fiona Leech, Senior Ag Advisor with South East Local Land Services, said the initiative will step producers through their results and develop a soil fertility program that is tailored to their property, soil type and stocking rate.

“Mid to late spring is an ideal time for soil testing as soil is usually moist allowing soil cores to be taken quickly and easily, with cores holding together well ensuring an accurate sample is taken,” Ms Leech said.

“Soil sampling at this time of year usually coincides with maximum growth, allowing an assessment of whether nutrient levels can support maximum pasture growth.

“The ‘Five Easy Steps’ course is then a very useful tool to help work out what the numbers mean for your property and production system and determine if investing in fertiliser will make you more money.”

The course successfully ran last spring with 230 landholders across the Southern Tablelands and Highlands participating.

Mandy and Mark Wales of Alloura Angus Stud, Yass NSW and Emita, Flinders Island, Tasmania participated in last year’s course and could not recommend it more strongly.

The Wales farm around 950 hectares and have been running an Angus cattle stud breeding operation for over 20 years.

“We had been looking for scientifically robust information to help guide our pasture fertiliser program, and this workshop was exactly what we needed,” Mrs Wales said.

“This is the best agronomy workshop I’ve ever attended - it included an incredibly useful combination of background research, practical activities, and on-farm applicability.

“We feel much more confident in our ability to plan future fertiliser applications and to incorporate regular monitoring to assess and revise that plan as appropriate.”

The Wales’, who recognise the importance of good soil fertility in order to sustain highly productive pastures, are now committed to annual soil testing to help guide their on-farm fertiliser applications.

For those interested in participating, please register your interest on our website by no later than Friday, 1 October 2021 or by emailing or call Fiona Leech on 0427 201 805.

Three workshops will be offered across the region and spaces will be strictly limited to 25 properties per workshop, allocated on a ‘first in, first served’ basis. Participants will be provided with soil sampling equipment (sample bags, soil corers etc) using a contactless ‘click and collect’ system in early October - details will be provided upon registration.

This activity is part of the Better Land Management Practices project, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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