Midwest Agriculture Prepares for Industry and Environmental Challenges

Producer Grant Bain marking out his demonstration site for Ever Green project. Photo Credit: Phil Barrett-Lennard, agVivo

Producer Grant Bain marking out his demonstration site for Ever Green project. Photo Credit: Phil Barrett-Lennard, agVivo

Innovative farm demonstration sites are currently being established to prepare for future industry and environmental challenges facing WA’s Northern Agricultural Region (NAR).

Some of the challenges facing the local agricultural sector include wind erosion, unproductive soils, climate variability, salinity, and pests and weed incursions.

With funding from the Australian Government National Landcare Programme, the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) is investing $637,648 into at least 30 local agricultural demonstration projects over 3 years.

“The project aims to promote sustainable production and long term management of the region’s natural resources while focussing on local issues and needs”, said NACC Sustainable Farming Program Coordinator Sally Fenner.

“Funding for round three of the project will open Monday 27th July. If you have a project idea we encourage you submit an application. Guidelines will be available on the NACC website”, said Ms Fenner.

Demonstration projects already funded in round one and two of the project are informing local landholders in:

Round 1

  • Response and availability of potassium in wheat crops to applications of biochar (Energy Farmers Australia Pty Ltd)
  • Perennial pasture innovations in the Midwest (J. Wedge)
  • Demonstrating NyPa Forage to stabilise saline land (The Moore Catchment Council Inc.)
  • Developing and testing innovative, practical and reliable methods for incorporating lime into acidic sandplain subsoils (West Midlands Group Inc.)
  • Long term soil fertility lessons for West Midlands sands (West Midlands Group Inc.)
  • Low cost improvement of perennial pastures (Ever Green Farming Inc.)
  • Determining the nutrient requirements of perennial pastures when grown with an annual legume companion (Ever Green Farming Inc.)
  • Improving productivity on non-wetting soils in the NAR through pasture cropping (Mingenew Irwin Group)

Round 2

  • Identifying cost effective ways to incorporate lime in the Moora-Miling farming district (The Moore Catchment Council Inc.)
  • Mango growers adapting to climate change in the Gingin/Dandaragan area (Southern Mango Growers Association)
  • A demonstration of perennial shrub systems enabling adaptation to erosion and climate variability (Mingenew Irwin Group)
  • Improving and quantifying soil quality in citrus production systems on sands in the West Gingin/Moora area (Western Australian Citrus Improvement Group Inc.)
  • Is sub-soil soil acidity an issue in permanent pastures? (Ever Green Farming Inc.)
  • Establishing various salt tolerant species on salt land areas inaccessible by machinery (North East Farming Futures Group)
  • Investigating different approaches to manage soil acidification in the WA Wheatbelt (The Liebe Group Inc)

For more information about NACC’s Sustainable Farming Program, contact Sally Fenner at NACC, (P) 9938 0125 (E) Sally.Fenner@nacc.com.au