Growers invited to get hands dirty at soils forums

Growers invited to get hands dirty at soils forums

Grain growers in Western Australia’s southern cropping regions are invited to attend hands-on events where they can review locally relevant and practical ways of addressing soil constraints on their properties.

A number of Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Managing Soil Constraints Forums are being held in the Esperance and Albany port zones in July 2019.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager – West, Jo Wheeler, said the events, to be offered with the support of local grower groups, would give growers the opportunity to talk with a team of visiting soil science specialists.

“The forums aim to give growers access to information and tools to identify soils that will respond predictably to soil amelioration techniques, and then be able to match inputs on these areas to optimise profits,” she said.

“These events will allow time for sharing grower experiences and discussion with specialist soil scientists.

“Time will be spent out in the paddock at soil pits, followed by a ‘shed talk’.”

Soil constraints to be discussed will include deep ripping, salinity, wind erosion, compaction, non-wetting soils and sub-soil sodicity, as well as other soil management issues that are relevant to the local area.

Ms Wheeler said the five-year, $33 million Soil Constraints West initiative – a co-investment by the GRDC and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) – had delivered a number of key findings and tactics, many of which would be explored during the soil forums.

“Some of the Soil Constraints West outcomes included a focus on strategic tillage including inversion tillage; deep-ripping; lime incorporation; gypsum application; water harvesting; improved mapping of soil constraints; and the development of decision support tools,” she said.

Specialists attending the GRDC Managing Soil Constraints Forums will include DPIRD staff; Richard Bell / Richard Harper from Murdoch University; Mark Conyers, formerly of the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries; James Fisher, of Desiree Futures; Wayne Pluske, of Equii; and other agricultural consultants.

GRDC Soil Constraints West Forums will be held at:

  • Ravensthorpe (9.30am-2.30pm, Wednesday, July 17 2019) – Elisa Spengler, Ravensthorpe Agricultural Initiative Network (RAIN), 0417 174 299
  • Holt Rock (9.30am-2.30pm, Thursday, July 18 2019) – Clare Hyde, Holt Rock Group, 0427 085 178
  • Lake Grace (9.30am-2.30pm, Friday, July 19 2019) – Georgia Reid, Lakes Information and Farming Technology (LIFT) 0447 523 110
  • Darkan (11am-4pm, Monday, July 22 2019) – Tim Harrington, Compass Agricultural Alliance, 0427 361 228
  • Kojonup (9.30am-2.30pm, Tuesday, July 23 2019) – Marissa Maitland, Southern Dirt, 0458 181 907
  • Toolbrunup (10am-3pm, Wednesday, July 24 2019) – Karl Letter, Toolbrunup Group, 9825 8270
  • Jerramungup (10am-3pm, Thursday, July 25 2019) – Maddie Wylie, Fitzgerald Biosphere Group, 0421 645 410

Further information is available by contacting event coordinator the Grain Industry Association of WA on or 08 6262 2128.

Source: GRDC

Featured Image: GRDC Managing Soil Constraints Forums are being held in the Esperance and Albany port zones in July. Photo by Evan Collis Photography.