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Farmers get the dirt on soil nutrients research

Central Tablelands Local Land Services hosted a range of expert speakers at the Nutrient Cycling in Soils seminar last week. Eighty producers attended this event at Blayney.

Dr Richard Simpson from CSIRO headlined the event. His work in the field of phosphorus efficiency in pasture systems is increasingly valuable to livestock producers. Producers desire increased returns on their fertiliser investments.

"Soil fertility programs that aim for the critical phosphorus level are proving to be the most effective use of phosphorus fertiliser for high production. Soil tests can now be used to work out the critical phosphorus target for your soil type, and monitoring with soil tests is then the best way to know if you are below or above your soil management target" explained Richard Simpson.

Phil Cranney, Senior Land Services Officer for pastures said "producers voted with their feet last week in Blayney. Farmers need independent information on the performance of the various soil fertility investments available. We expect an increase in soil testing in the region as a result of this research story being told" said Mr Cranney.

Does poo pay?

Fiona Leech, Senior Land Services Officer for South East Local Land Services, explained the trial results from Binalong Landcare's replicated native pasture and alternative fertiliser experiment which included a number of alternative fertiliser products that included mineral and liquid fertilisers, rock phosphates, manure and compost materials, and microbial based products. Ms Leech was able to outline the relative pasture growth and cost implications of the alternatives after five years of the experiment.

Producers have been watching over the fence how these products work on ground. Often they are left wondering how they compare to the more traditional investment options such as lime and single super. The eighty plus producers present at last week's event gained a better understanding of how these alternative products compare to single super.  A report on the trial is available from Fiona Leech. Email:

Soil & Pasture Health Workshops

Clare Edwards, Pastures Officer with Central Tablelands LLS, will be holding workshops on soil and pasture health in the coming months. Landholders are encouraged to contact their local LLS office to register their interest.

For more information, please call Phil Cranney, Senior Land Services Officer for Pastures (0458 745 478 or email

Media contact:          Kylie Krause 0439 608 370 |