Project Delivery: Evergreen Farming Inc.
Contact: Danielle Short (SWCC-Narrogin). Ph 9881 0202. Email: Danielle.firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: SWCC Sustainable Agriculture
Start Date: June 2014 End Date: Dec 2017
Site ID: SF1
Size Are Ha: 10
- Demonstrate effective establishment of kikuyu in the south west, based on DAFWA and Evergreen Farming guidelines;
- Demonstrate effective techniques for pasture cropping into kikuyu stands;
- Demonstrate the productivity and profitability of the pasture cropping system as a whole, as well as the individual (annual crop and perennial pasture) components; and
- Investigate changes in soil health (chemical, physical and biological), ground cover and soil acidification through the use of pasture cropping.
This project aims to establish if pasture cropping of kikuyu in the southern wheat belt area is sustainable and how it impacts on crop yields, ground cover and nutrient retention.
The establishment of the kikuyu will take place in 2014, next to the control plot. Depending on the establishment of the kikuyu it will be subjected to controlled grazing. A cereal grain crop will be sown into the kikuyu at the break of the season 2015. Initial soil testing will set a base level and provide information for fertiliser application. Once the cereal crop is established both tissue testing and harvest yields will indicate the health and productivity of the cereal crop. This process will be repeated every year of the project and conclude with a soil test to access the changes in soil health.
Visual and photo assessments along with GPS points will be conducted quarterly for the duration of the trial. These will include monitoring of percentage groundcover of kikuyu and a visual assessment of cereal crop health. Grazing information such as grazing rates, days grazed, number of livestock, DSE will be recorded as well as visual assessments of Food On Offer before and after grazing events. These will be compared to the control plot to measure the changes in soil health.
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