Holistic soil health field day

April 24, 2015

“Fertilizer and rain makes the grass grow”……. right?
What happens when that formula just doesn’t work anymore?

Upper Gwydir Landcare Association is pleased to welcome Judi Earl PhD to share her extensive experience and knowledge on this subject in an informative and interactive field day at the McDouall family property “Dunbeacon” May 7, commencing 9.30am. The day will comprise of two sessions in the morning covering the theory and practical application of grazing management for soil health.

This will be followed by lunch and two site visits in the afternoon which will focus on a native pasture paddock in need of rejuvenation and a tropical pasture paddock and its management.

“Dunbeacon” lies in the well-known Horton valley North West of Barraba.  It has an average rainfall of 800mm and features a range of soil and pasture types.

The property was once extensively cropped however; the emphasis now is on producing pastures capable of supporting the “Dunbeacon” Shorthorn Stud.

Ian and Ali’s aim of enhancing production whilst minimizing expense has prompted them to examine their management options closely. They have in recent years altered their traditional set stocking grazing practices to a rotational system and have begun to use tropical grasses as a pasture base. Their programme of subdivision and rotation make them ideal hosts for the day.

Judi is the owner operator of “Glen Orton” at Coolatai. She is also the Principal Consultant, of AIMS (Agricultural Information & Monitoring Services) which provides training in areas such as pasture and grazing management, plant identification, conservation, animal production, soil health and fertility, water use efficiency and pasture production.

Judi’s curriculum vitae includes many examples of her work in sustainable pasture management, and its necessary links to production and profitability; music to the ears for the beef and sheep producer who is concerned about the sustainability of their operation.

This field day will be followed by a 2 day soils workshop with Graeme Sait (Nutritech Solutions) on May 20 and 21 at the Living classroom in Bingara, and a Rapid Soil Health Assessment field day with David Hardwick (Soil Land Food) June 17.

Both events will be invaluable for the producer to gain a better understanding of soil health and the management options we have to maintain it.

For enquiries about these events or any other matters please contact the UGLA on 02 6724 2052 or ugla@gwydir.nsw.gov.au

These events are part of the “Building a Toolbox for Healthy Farms” project funded by the Federal Government under the Community Landcare Grants.