AGRICULTURE Victoria staff have conducted more than 270 soil tests on farms across the Mornington Peninsula, South and West Gippsland, as part of the Grazfert program.
Grazfert looks at the health and vitality of the soil and helps farmers develop a plan for ensuring their properties are healthy and productive into the future.
The program has been run over the past 18 months, working closely with the Western Port Catchment Landcare Network and West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority Landcare groups, with funding from Agriculture Victoria and the Commonwealth’s National Landcare program.
After completing soil tests, the next stage of the program will take farmers through the results of their soil tests at workshops in the Latrobe Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Tarago and Corner Inlet during February and March.
Agriculture Victoria Livestock Extension Officer, Fiona Baker said Grazfert provides farmers with the knowledge and resources to assess their soil fertility and have their farms mapped and zoned.
Participants gain knowledge around soil pH, micronutrients and acidity issues facing their farms, through discussions about the results of their soil tests.
“Over the two workshops, we work with participants to develop a farm nutrient budget and nutrient management plans,” Fiona said.
“Knowing about your soil health and having a plan in place to manage it can minimise nutrients entering water catchments and impacting water quality,” she said.
This is the first time the Grazfert program has been run in Victoria, and it will soon be extended to other parts of the state.
Digging deep into soil health