LLS demonstrations highlight value of soil testing

A demonstration by Central West Local Land Services has shown value of soil testing before adding fertiliser and the potential savings for primary producers across the region.

Four trial sites were established under the project in 2021 in Coonabarabran, Forbes, Tullamore and Nyngan with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Central West Mixed Farming Advisor Southern Rohan Leach said the project helped to show primary producers how soil testing before adding fertiliser could save money.

“The Nyngan site is a great example of why we soil test before any planned fertilisation,” Mr Leach said.

“We would have expected this site to be low in soil fertility and therefore highly responsive to phosphorus and lime.

“However, with the soil test results indicating high soil fertility, this paddock would have been better left unfertilised, as little productivity gains were possible through fertilisation,” he said.

Each site had a control, a prescriptive rate based on the soil type and paddock history and a soil test response rate based on the results of the soil test for the site.

“In our sites around the region, we saw some great visual response to phosphorous and lime,” Mr Leach said.

“In particular, we were pleased to see the increase in productivity from the sub clover in our sites.

“We already know that lime and phosphorus underpin the growth of our pastures in the Central West, but it is great to be able to see these on-farm demonstrations and how they react in our environment, year to year.”

While the planned field walks for the sites were cancelled due to COVID, there is still plenty to gain from the demonstrations, Mr Leach said.

“We are planning to monitor these sites for the next few years to see what long term changes the fertiliser application will reveal.”

To find out more about the demonstration results contact Rohan Leach on 1300 795 299.

Watch the video on the demonstrations

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