WA lime industry under review

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WA’s lime industry body is set to carry out an extensive audit of lime and dolomite pits.

Lime WA chairman Terri Manns said the audit, first conducted in WA in 2001 and repeated in 2007, was highly regarded by growers and farm consultants, and hence the process would be repeated again starting this month.

Mr Manns said the audit testing, carried out by Lime WA in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA), culminated in a publication widely used as a reference by growers, lime producers and advisers.

It was anticipated that the new results would be distributed extensively, and be freely available on the Lime WA and DAFWA websites.

All lime producers are given the option of participating in this survey and growers are encouraged to ask for the results from their preferred supplier.

Mr Manns said Lime WA provided a strong platform for its members, with a voluntary Code of Practice and testing guidelines.

“The lime industry in WA is at the forefront of the nation in relation to self-regulation, ” Mr Manns said.

“This was particularly evident when office bearers from the WA association recently attended a national meeting in, New South Wales.

“Victoria is the only other state with similar structures in place, while the other states have struggled to develop a uniform set of protocols that provide relevant information to consumers.”

Mr Manns said Lime WA’s Code of Practice had been in place for 10 years. “These guidelines, and testing requirements, have gone a long way towards eliminating the confusion created by producers presenting information in an inconsistent manner, ” he said.

“This information can be difficult to understand or possibly not an accurate representation of the stock being supplied.”

All Lime WA members, and all but one of the non-member producers contacted, have again volunteered to provide their overall tonnage figures to DAFWA senior research officer Chris Gazey, who has been able to use this information to substantiate how lime use has increased in WA.

Mr Gazey said that while there had been a steady increase in lime use in WA over the past decade, applications were still only 40 per cent the way towards the 2.5 million tonnes needed each year to treat existing soil acidity and on-going acidification.

Mr Manns added that with soil acidity an ongoing problem in terms of productivity and soil health, maintaining an effective liming program had never been more important.

Growers can access up-to-date information from Lime WA-accredited suppliers prior to making their purchasing decisions this season.

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