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Australia : Scaddan workshop to delve into soil constraints.

It is the International Year of Soils (IYS) this year and southern WA growers have an opportunity to talk to some of Australia s leading specialists in the field at a one-off Soils Masterclass workshop next month.

This unique event will be held at the Campbell family s property near Scaddan on February 12 and registrations are now open.

While growers recognise there are many opportunities to improve their soil s physical, chemical and biological components for sustainable future crop and pasture production, often some guidance is needed to work out the technical feasibility and cost effectiveness of doing so.

To help address this challenge, the Grains Research and Development Corporation s (GRDC) Esperance port zone Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) group has identified key issues and questions about soil fertility and soil health that impact specifically on growers on the south coast of WA.

The group developed the Soils Masterclass workshop sessions for growers and other industry players to have an opportunity to ask these questions of top researchers working in the field, many of whom are based in WA.

The workshop has been organised in conjunction with the South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (SEPWA) and the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA).

Presenters on the day will cover topics including:

Improving light soil types with tactics such as delving and claying (David Hall, DAFWA), Implementing and integrating machinery for controlled traffic farming (CTF) (James Hagan, DAFWA, Andrew Newall, NewAg Consulting, Nigel Metz, SEPWA, and Quenten Knight, PAA), Targeted acidity management (Yvette Oliver, CSIRO), Value of chemical soil tests and nutrient budgeting (Bill Bowden, consultant), Soil acidity management on the south coast (Chris Gazey and Liam Ryan, DAFWA), Economics of a range of nitrogen sources (Jeremy Lemon, DAFWA), Building soil carbon and its value (Dan Murphy, UWA, and Fran Hoyle, DAFWA).

During the Soils Masterclass workshop, growers and others interested in learning about how to make the most from their soils can spend time in small group discussions - or Masterclasses - with these acknowledged soils experts.

After the Masterclass sessions, growers can visit soil pits and composting sites and will be able to see a range of other tactics being used by the Campbell family to help improve fertility on their property.

One-on-one free expert consultations will also be available for growers seeking more information about matching machinery for setting up a controlled traffic farming (CTF) system or fine-tuning existing CTF systems on their own property.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jan 30, 2015
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