Wheatbelt NRM is seeing a strong trend in farmers seeking information on how biological amendments can be used to enhance, and even potentially replace, synthetic chemical use in agricultural soils.
It’s a complicated space with bio-stimulants, organic amendments and microbial inoculants vying for attention in a market where not all products are equal.
This week we are partnering with UWA to deliver a field day looking at pairwise comparisons on trees with and without bio-amendment treatment. The response has been overwhelming with more than 60 landholders travelling long distances to Pingelly to assess the results of the trial.
The main expectation growers have from organic amendments include a positive effect on general soil health and soil biology as well as disease suppression. There is an expectation that increased, or more balanced soil life can be achieved via amendments and that they may provide productivity and sustainability improvements.
With the escalating costs associated with the use of fertilisers and the growing knowledge around building soil biology it is likely that interest will continue to grow as farmers explore what options are out there and what will work for them.
Wheatbelt NRM is keen to play an active role in helping landholders source reliable information on available products.
We are doing this through the SMART Farms project ‘Using local Supplies of Composted Waste’ where we are trialling some locally sourced bio-amendments on farm. We are also currently investigating options to potentially work with practitioners to co-develop a database of tried and tested bio-amendments available.
We are aiming to build the knowledge base so our community can find reliable information on the biological options without the marketing spin. For more information contact Felicity Gilbert firstname.lastname@example.org or 0436 472 910.