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Invest in soil health now!

There was a great crowd of close to 60 people at the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) sponsored Grasslands of NSW Pasture Update held at Manildra on Thursday 13th October. The event’s first speaker, Cameron Allen from MLA, outlined MLA’s current research into pastures and livestock systems, highlighting the need to invest in Phosphorus efficient pastures.

Belinda Hackney, Senior Land Services Officer from Central West Local land Services discussed the importance of legume nodulation to increase the organic Nitrogen supply in Central West Soils.

Results from the 2015 legume survey showed 90% of paddocks had inadequate nodulation and more than 20% had no nodules at all, Dr Hackney said that “while nodulation was poor, 70% of nodules tested contained the current commercial strain of rhizobia but that rhizobia could not perform its function effectively because of a combination of low soil pH, inadequate soil nutrition (particularly sulphur) and in some cases the impact of residual herbicides”.

The producers heard about current soil and pasture health conditions in the area from local commercial agronomists, David Harbison from DR Agriculture and Ross Yelland from Yellco Ag.

Mr Harbison said that “producers need to find the biggest hole in their soil health bucket and address that first. It might be Liming to address low pH, Single Super to fix low Phosphorus and/or Sulphur, or even a physical or biological issue that needs to be addressed.

Phil Cranney, Senior Land Services Officer Pastures, from Central Tablelands Local Land Services said that “producers had to wait 2 months or more to receive the Lime that they ordered earlier in the year. However, there is little or no wait time at present and if soil conditions are firm enough to take a spreader, then now is as good a time as any to spread lime”.

Chair of the Grasslands Society of NSW, David Harbison, said that “the updates have been a great vehicle to communicate the MLA research that has been happening locally. The researchers, be it government or commercial, can deliver their results at these pasture updates, because at the end of the day it’s the producers that will be adopting the latest research, not the consultants or Local Land Services.”

Producers wanting to get more information should visit the Grasslands Society of NSW website www.grasslandnsw.com.au

Central Tablelands Local Land Services staff can provide independent advice to producers and support adoption of research into improved methods of increasing the triple bottom line.

For more information on Pastures, please call Phil Cranney at the Orange Office on 02 6363 7888 or Clare Edwards at the Mudgee Office on 02 6378 1700.

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439608370