Feed for livestock is not the only compelling reason for keeping soils covered over summer, ground cover reduces erosion and can assist with salinity and soil carbon.
Using demonstration sites the ‘Maximising Fodder Options in Mixed Farming Systems’ project will showcase how taking a holistic approach to a range of forage and pasture options can change the outcome on livestock production and soil health. Tools will be developed to assist growers to plan for diverse feed options that increase ground cover and are fit for purpose on different areas of the farm.
The purpose of the demonstration sites are to provide a wider audience of mixed farmers with a reference as to how whole farm summer cover plans fit within Wheatbelt mixed farming systems to both improve soil health and meet production objectives. Demonstration site hosts will be supported by a farm planner/advisor to develop the whole farm summer cover plans. The plans will identify the best mix of feed options for each property to ultimately reduce the reliance on hand feeding and improve ground cover during the summer period.
Extension events and wider industry learning will support the demonstration sites. They will include opportunities for industry discussion on the topic and include the latest information on different fodder options, livestock health and market trends affecting livestock production.