Agricultural consultants are invited to learn about the latest soil technology and research findings to answer the difficult questions about building more productive soils.
The Department of Agriculture and Food will host a ‘Get to know soils deeper’ day in Northam on Thursday 27 June that brings together department experts with skills in soil management.
Department development officer Natalie Hogg said the day would emphasis soil as a whole and cover interactions between soil organic matter, acidity, water repellence, compaction and nutrition.
“The focus of the day will be on effective management practices leading to profitable solutions from more productive soils,” Ms Hogg said.
“Consultants need to advise growers that managing soils as a whole rather than as individual issues will give them a better return on investment,” she said
“It is important that consultants advise growers to sample top and sub-surface soils to measure soil characteristics in order to better invest in soil inputs and management.”
Ms Hogg said agricultural consultants had an important role in the information chain.
The soil forum would present an opportunity for consultants to ask questions that will help them provide growers with the confidence to make soil management changes.
“Many of the soil constraints that cost growers in lost grain production can be overcome when decisions are based on appropriate measurements and advice,” Ms Hogg said.
“Water repellence costs the Western Australian agriculture industry more than $250 million a year and affects more than five million hectares,” she said.
“The cost of lost crop and pasture production from soil compaction is estimated at more than $330 million.
“We also know that soil acidity reduces the value of production in the Western Australian wheatbelt by an estimated $500 million a year.
“By making changes, some of which are inexpensive, growers can manage their soils to be more productive.”
To register for the forum, consultants can visit the department’s website at agric.wa.gov.au/soilsforum . For more information, contact Natalie Hogg by email at email@example.com or by phone on 9690 2081.
Registrations close on Thursday 20 June.
The event and all associated materials are provided by funding from the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as part of its Carbon Farming Futures - Action on the Ground program, Caring for Our Country and the Grains Research and Development Corporation .
Soil information days for growers will be held during July and August at Badgingarra, Mingenew, Dalwallinu, Wickepin and Gnowangerup.
Media contact: Jodie Thomson, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937