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Managing soil - your farm's most valuable asset

Do you need to gain a better understanding of your soil fertility and ways to improve it?  Are you seeking practical skills to better manage your soil fertility and grow more grass?  If the answer is ‘yes’ then you may be interested in participating in a new soil testing program being conducted by South East Local Land Services.  This program will include:

  • Subsidised soil testing - participants will have the opportunity to do up to four soil tests per property based on a “two-for-one” offer.  Soil testing is being offered for 0-10 cm tests only.
  • A two day face to face workshop with technical expertise and support using the successfulFive Easy Stepscourse to help producers interpret results and develop a fertiliser program that is tailored to their property.

Local Land Services is offering the program to landholders this spring who reside in the Yass Valley, Boorowa, Upper Lachlan, Goulburn-Mulwaree or Wingecaribee local government areas.

Previous participant David Weir, “Bertangles”, Bookham said the Five Easy Steps course combined with using soil test data from your own farm was invaluable.

“As a result I intend to expand the number soil tests taken across our three properties to allow a more targeted fertiliser program that is cost effective,” Mr Weir said.

Mixed Farming Systems Officer, Fiona Leech said mid to late spring is an ideal time for soil testing as it allows time for decision making around fertiliser use for the following summer/autumn application.

“Sampling at this time of year provides a guide as to what nutrient levels remain after the peak spring growth has occurred,” Ms Leech said.

Producers taking advantage of this initiative will participate in a practical, face-to-face two-day workshop in February/March 2017 to discuss the results and develop a fertiliser program.

“Completing a soil test and getting some numbers on a page is just the first step – the next part is working out what the numbers mean for your property and production system, and if investing in fertiliser will make you more money,” Ms Leech said.

An initial two hour session to explain the correct soil sampling protocol, tips on choosing which paddocks or areas to sample and loaning of soil coring equipment will be held in the week commencing 7 November 2016 – locations and venues to be advised.

Please register your interest by Friday, 28 October 2016 by emailing fiona.leech@lls.nsw.gov.au or call 0427 201 805, or matthew.lieschke@lls.nsw.gov.au, or call 0428 271 127

Funding has been provided through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

ENDS

Media contact: Matthew Lieschke, 02 4824 1913