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To till or not to till?

Farmers using minimum or zero tillage techniques in the Cowra area are focused on retaining the soil moisture, nutrients and structural properties of their biggest asset. However, some farmers are concerned that plant nutrition may be constrained as a result of these tillage practices.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services is holding an event in Cowra on Thursday 23 February at the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station Pridham Centre, starting at 12pm. There will be a variety of guest speakers presenting cropping and livestock topics.

Phil Cranney, Senior Land Services Officer Pastures, Central Tablelands Local Land Services said, “this is a very productive mixed farming area and farmers know the right cropping and livestock mix for their business”.

“We are not recommending big changes to current livestock and cropping systems, it is about presenting the latest research that could help fine tune existing practices,” said Mr Cranney.

Peter Watt, Senior Agronomist with Elders in Cowra said that “conservation tillage practices have been our saviour in the dry years, but to use a rugby analogy, you have to play what’s in front of you”.

“It’s a combination of issues: wheel tracks and flood damage, stubborn weeds like fleabane, prickly lettuce and wireweed, and now some concern around pH and phosphorus stratification throughout the soil profile”, said Mr Watt.

“As a result, some farmers are considering strategic cultivation maybe incorporating lime as well, in order to maximise production for the following years,” added Mr Watt.

Phosphorus stratification will be addressed by NSW DPI research and development agronomist, Col McMaster.

NSW DPI development officer, Helen Burns, will discuss the potential to address soil acidity issues to benefit legume production.

For more information about the event, please call Phil Cranney 0458 745 478.

Register here.

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439608370