Pasture Paramedic

PayDirt offers opportunity for farming women to learn about soil and increase farm return on investment for pasture systems

Fertiliser and lime are the big expenses in grazing enterprises and therefore its worth knowing how you get the biggest bang for your buck in developing healthy soils and responsive pastures.

 Last Thursday 22nd April, the Hamilton Women on Farms Group gathered at Dunkeld for the first session of the PayDirt workshop series.  PayDirt is a Meat Livestock Australia (MLA) supported training package that enables producers to work through the complexity of making sound fertiliser and lime decisions.  It is presented over three sessions with one-on-one coaching.  Southern Farming Systems (SFS) is delivering the Women on Farms workshops supported by Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority(GHCMA) through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

“GHCMA is supporting the Women on Farms advanced training session as we understand that women on farms are part of the key decision-making process” said Richard Murphy, GHCMA.

“The PayDirt workshop series, equips farmers with the knowledge and tools to make the right fertiliser decisions, boosting yields, profit and protecting the environment” said Jessica Brogden, SFS Research & Extension Officer.

 The first session focuses on appreciating and understanding the relative value of investing in fertiliser or lime in relation to altering the method of grazing or improving pasture species. Using Liebig’s law of minimum to demonstrate how to increase production through addressing constraints in a specific order and how they interact with each other.

“First step is to identify the constraints and it is as simple as taking a soil test. Participants were sent home with a soil test kit and they are to take some soil samples and send off to the lab for results before the next session” said Jessica Brogden, SFS Research & Extension Officer.

The second session steps through interpreting the soil test and determining what is the soil constraint/s and what are the steps required to address it.  The third session will focus on the whole farm approach with which paddocks to focus our resources and create long and short-term plans.

Participant Bronwyn Page from Penshurst said “The presentations were great with great resources to walk away with at the end of the day.  I enjoyed the nutrient bucket demonstrations to better understand the limiting factors in soil fertility. It was so visual and showed how there were many components in bringing nutrition to your soil and so many different aspects to maintaining your nutrients”.

SFS and GHCMA are currently delivering this workshop series normally valued at $1400 per farm to Women on Farms for free in the Hamilton and Streatham regions.  If you want to get on board with this amazing learning opportunity and missed the Hamilton group session the next 1st session workshop will be held in the Streatham Region on the 10th May. To register you interest or find out more information contact Jess Brogden, SFS M: 0417 154 945 or E: jbrogden@sfs.org.au  Or join us on Facebook at Glenelg Hopkins Rural Women.

Women on Farms-PayDirt
PayDirt Workshop at Dunkeld demonstrating Liebig’s Law of Minimum working through the constraints of production by solving one constraint your production will increase until the next limiting factor.

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