Workshop Two Summary
Cox Rural Pasture Workshop Series
The second workshop kicked off in store for a BBQ lunch, with 36 growers, consultants and researchers in attendance.
The first talk was a presentation by Heritage Seeds, with Kym Jones discussing viable species options for our growing region in addition to the agronomic and livestock management considerations needed for each species. This included various species such as Kasbah Cocksfoot, Phalaris, Holdfast GT Phalaris, SARDI Grazier Lucerne, Mawson Sub Clover, Scimitar Spineless Burr Medic and lastly, Forage Brassica. These are all species we have growing in pot trials at the store currently, in addition to the Upper North Farming Systems trial out at Caltowie. We also have seed guides in store if you would like any further information or assistance in selecting pasture varieties for your farm.
Hannah Gordon, our animal production specialist, and I presented next with the aim of integrating livestock management and pasture agronomy. We discussed various aspects including pasture establishment, fertilizer management to select for particular species, livestock nutrition toxicities and deficiencies, toxicities stemming from toxic compounds found in particular weed species, grain and graze systems, spray topping and grazing, along with much more.
Lastly, we heard from Rodney Capon, LawrieCo, who discussed soil health and some key aspects of regenerative farming. He linked our various management decisions with both positive and negative implications for soil functioning, fertility and biological functioning within the system. This mainly encompassed the levels and relative ratio of bacteria to fungal populations within the soil. Another topic that was discussed was soil carbon content and how traditional management has impacted current levels, which then lead onto the implications regarding soil structure and structural stability, water movement and availability within the soil. LawrieCo and Cox Rural Jamestown will be working closely in the future to help aid decision making around soil management and are happy to come on farm to discuss various options for your system. Products discussed on the day included VAM – a mycorrhizae inoculant, Gunano – a complete nutrient granule, Fulvic Acid and a Humate Prill– a carbon amendment and lastly, Biograze – a spreadable powder to help aid in the decomposition process of organic matter such as crop stubbles.
After a quick introduction to the long-term field trial by myself, we all jumped on the bus to head out to Old Canowie. In field we unearthed some cotton which was buried 8 weeks ago both in the top-soil layer and at 30 cm’s. This allowed us to assess biological activity within the soil. I then went into the soil pits to discuss how a soil profile is analysed. This included tasks such as identification of horizon boundaries and nameture, soil texturing, pH tests, assessment of slaking and dispersion, identification of carbonate in the lower horizons and much more. We then arrived at an end classification of each pit – a Chromosol and a Vertisol. Another consideration in the pits was root growth and architecture. We discussed the benefits of lateral root growth and the presence of root hairs to allow increased nutrient and water accusation.
If you’d like any further trial details let us know and I’m happy to discuss further.
To end the day we heard from CJ, a manager at Old Canowie, regarding a pasture suitability trial.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that attended, including local growers and graziers, Heritage Seeds, LawrieCo, Lienerts, NRM and MLA representatives. Additionally, a big thankyou the Jamestown Gun Club for tables and chairs, Jamestown Footy Club for heaters, Jamestown APEX for the BBQ trailer and Old Canowie for allowing us to go on-farm for soil pits and so on.
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