Soil sampling Stawell 2021

Soil Testing

It’s that time of year again! Harvest is wrapping up for the South-West, it’s a new year, and it’s time to start thinking about sowing season. But before you sow your paddocks, there’s a few things to get done first, and we start with our main resource – our soils.

Soil testing your paddocks is one of the most beneficial things you can get done now, before you start spreading fertilisers, lime and get the sowing season underway. The team at Southern Farming Systems are about to start our testing at our research sites, along with external project sites on participant properties. The data we collect during this time is important, as it helps us calculate fertiliser and lime requirements across our various trials and gives us a well-informed picture of what our site looks like under the surface.

Several of our trials in the ‘Pastures, Soils and Livestock’ team are focused on acidity and liming applications, such as the ‘Building Farmer Resilience’ projects funded by National Landcare. This week the team will be out collecting the final samples for this project at our three project sites in Mt Mercer, Skipton and Westmere. During the Summer months we use a hydraulic soil corer which is mounted on the back of the ute to collect our samples to a depth of 15cm. Cores are then split into 0-5, 5-10 and 10-15cm increments to test the movement of lime through the soil, that was applied back in 2020. Results for this project will be released in the future.

Keep an eye out on the Southern Farming Systems social media pages to keep up to date with our soil testing in preparation for sowing!

Photo: Soil samples taken early 2021 at Stawell. Credit: T. Ferguson

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