Managing soil - your farm’s most valuable asset

September 2021

Matthew Lieschke, Senior Agriculture Advisor

Would you like to gain a better understanding of ways to improve soil health? Are you seeking practical skills to better manage soil fertility and grow more grass? If the answer is ‘yes’ then you may be interested in participating in a new soil testing program this spring. This program will include the following components:

  1. Subsidised soil testing 

    Participants will be able to submit two free soil tests per property (0-10cm sampling depth). Additional samples can be submitted for a fee of $70 (excl. GST) per sample.

    All samples will be analysed by the NSW DPI laboratory at Wollongbar, which is both National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC) accredited. Samples will be analysed for the following:

    • pH (CaCl2)
    • Potassium (Colwell)
    • pH (water)
    • Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)
    • Phosphorus (Colwell)
    • Total Organic Carbon (Dumas)
    • Phosphorus Buffer Index
    • Electrical Conductivity (EC)
    • Sulfur (KCl40)
    • Exchangeable cations (Al, Ca, K, Mg, Na)
  2. Soil test interpretation workshop

A two-day face to face workshop will be held in February/March 2022 with technical expertise and support using the highly successful ‘Five Easy Steps course. Workshops will step producers through their results whilst developing a soil fertility program that is uniquely tailored to their property based on key factors such as soil type, environment and stocking rate (current and future).

The course was also run last spring with 230 landholders across the Southern Tablelands and Highlands participating. On evaluation, 53% of participants rated the course ‘Exceptional’ and a further 46% classified it as ‘Good’. A wrap up of last year’s program is available here.

Who is the soil testing program available to?

South East Local Land Services is offering the program to properties located in the following local government areas:

  • Yass Valley
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang
  • Boorowa
  • Goulburn-Mulwaree
  • Upper Lachlan
  • Wingecaribee.


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.

How do I register?

Please register your interest here by no later than Friday, 1 October 2021.

Spaces will be strictly limited to 25 properties per workshop and will be allocated on a “first in, first served” basis.

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the following Ag Advisory staff members:

Yass: Fiona Leech | | 0427 201 805

Goulburn: Matt Lieschke | | 0428 271 127

Braidwood: Ross Kuchel | | 0428 314 588

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

Related information