Home

Farmers come together this Valentine’s Day to determine the best ‘secret sauce’ for soil treatment

Olivia FordCountryman
Four groups of farmers came together last year to develop their own agricultural treatments.
Camera IconFour groups of farmers came together last year to develop their own agricultural treatments. Credit: South West NRM/South West NRM

This Valentine’s Day 50 South West farmers will find out which team will champion South West NRM’s Pasture Challenge, an event created to promote the importance of agricultural soil research.

The challenge, designed and developed in partnership with Western Beef Association, began a year ago, when four groups of farmers were pitted against each other to see who could create the best “secret sauce” to overcome soil constraints and increase productivity on a paddock near Busselton.

According to South West NRM, the best soil treatment will be the one that promotes the most pasture growth and best improves soil health, all while being the most cost-effective method.

The four groups competing in the challenge are The Rippers, The Plant Biology Group, The Soil pH Group, and the Meat and Potatoes Group, all of which administered their own unique soil treatments to the patch of land near Busselton.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.

READ NOW

South West NRM Sustainable Agriculture manager Peter Clifton said the purpose of the challenge was to promote good practices and bring awareness to the importance of agricultural soil health.

“As the South West’s peak environmental organisation, a key priority of work by South West NRM is to future-proof farming by driving innovation in the farming sector through widespread adoption of economically viable sustainable technology and practices.”

 The test farm site for the Pasture Challenge is in Busselton.
Camera Icon The test farm site for the Pasture Challenge is in Busselton. Credit: South West NRM/South West NRM

He said underperforming agriculture soils cost Australian farmers billions of dollars in lost revenue each year, making the topic of soil research even more important for farmers.

“The Pasture Challenge was an innovative way to engage farmers around soil testing and soil test interpretation,” he said.

“We wanted to give them ownership of the project and give them first-hand experience with soil test results that are used to measure and compare the effect of their treatments, which are aimed at improving productivity and soil health.”

The competing farmers will gather at the Hilton Garden Inn in Busselton on Valentine’s Day to hear the results of the challenge.

Farmers interested in attending the event can register for for one of the limited places via https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing/1159371 .

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails