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Workshops get Ground Cover Project off to a Good Start

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Sustainable Industries

Wheatbelt NRM’s project, ‘Optimising Mixed Fodder Options in Mixed Farms’, has got rolling over the past weeks with two significant events.

The first was held in Merredin on 28 March.  20 Growers were treated to a tour of Kilminster family farm Woollahra where they saw the progress that has been made towards planting non-arable areas with mixed species fodder shrubs.  They also saw experimental plantings of summer crop Super Sweet Sudan grass incorporated into crop rotations.  From there it was on to the DPIRD research station in Merredin to see promising perennial legume tedera being successfully trialled despite the dry season.

Following the field visits, participants heard presentations from Phil Barrett-Lennard Agvivo, Sue Low Curtin University and Roy Butler (ex DPIRD and Veterinarian) on topics that included perennial pasture options, the role of incorporating forage into the diet of pregnant and lactating ewes in achieving production targets and the potential of Western Australian native plants to contribute to mixed farming systems.

The second event was held in Corrigin 3rd April with 32 growers attending.  This event included Newdegate farmer Nick Kelly speaking on the mixed species summer cropping he is using to improve the health of his soils, and Ed Rigall of AgPro Management talking about production systems for out of season lambs.

Following the presentations, Corrigin farmer Simon Wallwork took the group on a farm to show them his impressive millet/Sorghum mix and how well the paddock responded despite limited rainfall.  Participants also went to Adam Rendall’s Natural Park Farm to see his saltbush planting program and how it contributes to production.

Event surveys and direct feedback from attendees said that the mix of topics covered and field visits at both events had been very relevant and had increased their enthusiasm for being involved in the project going forward.

For those that missed out on the workshops, speaker presentations will be available on the Wheatbelt NRM website soon.

Anyone that is interested in being informed of future events or being involved in the ‘Optimising Fodder Options in Mixed Farming Systems’ project please contact Bonny Dunlop on 0477 885 514 or bdunlop@wheatbeltnrm.org.au

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