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Laggan Grazing demonstration update

February 2018

A grazing demonstration at Laggan (near Crookwell) is showing that fertilising country not only pays in ‘average’ seasons, but it enables you to capitalise on opportunities to a much greater degree when they come around.

While the fertilised treatments have generated higher financial returns in all years since the start of the demonstration, the differences between treatments were magnified in 2017 on the back of an exceptionally strong wool market.

As shown in Table 1, gross margins on fertilised paddocks far exceeded the control, returning between $650 and $740/ha.

Table 1: Laggan Grazing Demonstration – gross margin comparison between treatments ($/ha profit)

The paddock-scale demonstration, established on Shannon Arnall’s property “Carinya” is investigating the level of production that can be sustainably achieved on a native-based pasture in the Crookwell region. The treatments are:

  • Paddock 1: Lime + single superphosphate - fertiliser applied annually to provide phosphorous and sulfur. Lime applied as a one-off application to reduce soil acidity
  • Paddock 2: Control - no fertiliser or lime
  • Paddock 3: Single superphosphate: fertiliser applied annually to provide phosphorous and sulfur

The demonstration began in January 2015 and the treatments are continually grazed with Merino wethers. Prior to the demonstration the area had not received any fertiliser for at least 13 years. The pastures are mainly microlaena and danthonia, annual grasses with sub-clover. The paddocks are good, dense native-based pastures on an acid soil with pH 4.0 – 4.3, with increasing aluminum to depth.

For further information and to download a full copy of the results visit our webpage.