Oyster Harbour Catchment Group will be providing on ground support for farmers interested in understanding their fertiliser needs to save money, maximise pasture growth and prevent excess nutrients from being washed into waterways. As a part of the program grazing farmers in key areas of the south west will have access to pasture tissue testing, soil testing across their whole farm and nutrient maps showing nutrient surplus and deficiency.Testing is combined with local workshops to learn how to use nutrient maps and access to personalised, one-on-one agronomic advice with an accredited advisor. The program has been running for over nine years and has shown that more than 70 per cent of the 14 000 paddocks tested have phosphorous levels higher than needed for maximum pasture growth. The excess application of phosphorous not only affects farmers’ bottom line but is an issue for the water quality of waterways and estuaries in the South of the state. The program includes financial incentives with farmers receiving testing valued up to $5 000 and additional advice and support to tailor their fertiliser programs.Graziers located in the Oyster Harbour catchments with more than 40 hectares of cleared arable land are encouraged to apply in the 2018 soil testing program. The program is being run by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and is part of the $20 million State Government’s Regional Estuaries Initiative.
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