EPARF Member Day 2016
Over 140 attended the Sandy Soils workshop held at Minnipa Ag Centre, with guest speakers Dr Stephen Davies (DAFWA), Dr Rick Llewellyn (CSIRO), Chris McDonough (Insight Extension for Ag), David Davenport and Brett Masters (Rural Solutions SA) and local EP farmers Ben Pope and Hayden Whitwell. EPARF Chairperson Simon Guerin opened the day with Andy Bates facilitating a lively panel session with all speakers at the end of the day.
Brett started with an overview of sandy soils which make up over 50% of the area cleared for agriculture on Eyre Peninsula. Stephen spoke about practices used on sandy soils in WA to overcome constraints and managing water repellent sands. Rick presented lessons learnt from seven years research on mallee sands. Improved agronomy has allowed productivity from sands to get closer to current potential but there is opportunity on many sands to raise the soil potential even further through amelioration treatments. David presented the New Horizons trial results which are showing potential for improved yields with soil modification activities. Chris presented positive results of broad acre spading trials with addition of chicken manure done in the Mallee. Farmer experiences were presented, with Ben sharing information on inversion ploughing on his farm and Hayden experiences of spading and delving on the Woolford farm at Kimba. Over 90% of attendees learnt something new about sandy soils with nearly 70% planning to do something different as a result from the information presented.