Graytown-Costerfield Landcare Group has developed a lime demonstration trial at Lindsay and Alan Harris’ Merino stud at Costerfield.November 7, 2012 4:05am
Graytown-Costerfield Landcare Group has developed a lime demonstration trial at Lindsay and Alan Harris’ Merino stud at Costerfield.
It followed a soil test interpretation workshop organised through the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s Beyond SoilCare project.
‘‘We thought hosting the trials on our farm would be a great opportunity to learn more about soil testing and soil health and to share this information with other farmers,’’ Alan Harris said.
‘‘The lime applications at different rates and combined grazing cages will provide valuable information for the district.”
The local farmer-led Landcare project dubbed ‘‘Greater than Gold’’ is working towards improved soil health in the Graytown-Costerfield region — an area that predominantly supports sheep grazing, with a few cattle and some opportunity cropping.
Last month the Landcare group held a workshop and paddock walk at the trial site with agronomists Gwyn Jones of Integrated Agri-Culture and Carl Reeve. The day was attended by many local farmers interested in improving the health of their soils and ultimately their farm productivity.
The day began at Costerfield Hall where Mr Jones asked participants to outline their primary goal for the day.
Few were surprised that they shared a goal to improve the health of their soils, and do it economically. The definition of soil health for them was growing top soil, and they described it in the paddock as improved soil fertility, soil structure, soil moisture retention and pasture productivity.
Soil health was also described as a long-term, ongoing and ‘‘living’’ process that required air, water and food.
Mr Jones said the way to achieve improved soil health economically was to start with management of ground cover, essentially using wire and water to manage grazing. He said the focus must be on the soil and pasture first; livestock health would then improve as a consequence.
This was for two reasons; if existing ground cover was not being utilised, there was no benefit from spending money applying fertilisers. And second, pasture growth, through root additions to the soil, and 100 per cent ground cover were the primary drivers of healthy soils.
At the trial site, the group went through a do-it-yourself soil health score sheet. They looked at ground cover, identified pasture species and rated the health of plants. They dug some holes to look at topsoil depth, soil structure, root depth and subsoil constraints. They looked at biological indicators as well, discussing clover nodulation, presence of fungi, cockchafers, earthworms and the smell of the soil.
The group will meet the agronomists at the trial site in autumn to discuss the application of treatments to the trial site. They will focus on management of, and interactions between trace elements, especially managing calcium as it is deficient in most soils of the region.
To register your interest in the autumn field day call the Graytown-Costerfield Landcare Group secretary on 5794
Veteran Newman to play for Dandenong once more
The Yarrawonga Pigeons defeated Corowa Rutherglen Roos by 76 points at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
AFFORDABLE housing is only one of the reasons Melbourne property buyers are zeroing in on Echuca-Moama.
AFTER 46 years of garden growing, Rochester and District Garden Club members are hanging up their spades, drying out their gloves and getting ready to watch the weeds grow.
Gift fundraiser is looking for toddler talent.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
THE Heathcote Community will come together once again to honour the memory of car accident victim Georgia Edsall-French at a memorial day this Saturday.
Katamatite Lions Club held its 42nd annual handover dinner at the Boosey Creek Tavern on July 13.
Mathoura endured a harsh hammering to its playing confidence on Saturday with a 24-goal thrashing at the hands of Deniliquin Rovers.
The demand for organic milk in Australia is outstripping supply, creating an opportunity for the region’s dairy farmers.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.