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Assessing legume pasture varieties in combination with forage shrubs in the low rainfall eastern Wheatbelt.

Assessing legume pasture varieties in combination with forage shrubs in the low rainfall eastern Wheatbelt.

  • Author: Wheatbelt NRM
  • Date Posted: Jan 5, 2017
  • Category:

Project Details

Project Delivery: Wheatbelt NRM, Far Eastern Agricultural Region (FEAR), Individual Landholder

Contact: Fiona Brayshaw

Ph: 9670 3100

Email: fbrayshaw@wheatbeltnrm.org.au

 Website: Wheatbelt NRM Website

Start Date: 2015                       End Date: 2017

Site ID: SA00672SA1

Area (Ha): Site 1 (4.04 ha), Site 2 (4.2 ha)

 

Project Aim

To develop a forage-pasture system that improves soil health and profitability in low performing paddocks in the eastern Wheatbelt

Project Description

Farming in the far eastern Wheatbelt needs to have very low input costs, relative to yield, in order to make the business profitable. Soil health issues in these areas can make it unprofitable to crop some areas and it is important to develop low cost options that can address these issues and improve whole of farm profitability. This project will examine the integration of forage shrubs, with legume pastures, into a section of a paddock that is not cropped due to degradation, which is suspected to be caused by salinity, to address areas of declining soil health.

Having successful legume pastures with forage shrubs will provide livestock with diverse feed and shelter, stabilize soil erosion, improve soil health and potentially provide nutrients for future cropping with minimal input costs. The shrubs will be planted into poor productivity areas, with an inter-row spacing that is wide enough to accommodate the boom spray. These inter-rows will be sown with a summer legume pasture, to take advantage of summer rainfall that is more prevalent in the far eastern Wheatbelt. It is anticipated that the overall profitability of the paddock will be increased, by reducing input costs lost on low yielding areas, improving grazing potential and increasing yield in the inter-row due to improvements in soil health. The activity should also reduce further spread of soil degradation within the paddock.

Tanya Kilminster and Greg Shae of DAWFA are the technical advisors for the project. Pasture and forage establishment will be monitored aswell as sheep DSE and number of grazing days.

Project Outputs

Project outputs will be added once the trial has been completed.

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