Looking At Landcare – 26/8/2016

Hi Landcarers

We had a fantastic turnout for the Compost on the Farm Workshop at Bedgerabong on Tuesday.

Over 30 people were in attendance at the workshop in the scenic grounds of the Bedgerabong Showground.

After the downpour on Monday, the fog made way for a reasonable day allowing attendees the chance to have a look at two paddocks on Darren Collier’s property that have been using ANL compost for the past three years.

Darren’s property ‘Roseleigh’ is on red sandy/grey loam river flat country that has been using traditional crop rotation of canola, wheat and barley. Since using the BlackLime mix he has seen an increase in soil biology, health and yield.

Guy Webb from Agriwest has been working with Darren to look at alternative methods of increasing carbon and improve soil health, with ongoing plans to increase the distribution of the BlackLime compost annually.

Since using the BlackLime Darren has found that he has been able to make changes to crop rotation more readily and areas that had been taken out of production have been brought back in due to the increase in soil health.

Virginia Brunton from MRA Consulting gave an overview of soil health indicators and explained that the workshop series is made available free of cost through the Waste Less Recycle More funding program initiated by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

Roger Crisp from Australian Native Landscapes (ANL) gave an overview of how large scale compost can increase sustainable production from a chemical, biological and physical level, with food and environmental quality benefits with an increase in organic matter, soil structure, carbon, micr-organisms and water retention.

Guy Webb gave an overview of several trial sites that they have running in the Parkes and Forbes Shire areas, including NorthParkes Mine Farm and at Tullamore. They have been gathering data on soil health and crop production and have also been using drone data to track comparisons.

Following on from the workshop many landholders are taking the opportunity to be involved in further trails and we are pleased to assist with some support for landholders involved in these trials through our Rebalancing our Landscape (ROL) program, providing baseline data from microbial soil testing.

CWLL will be commencing the ROL program and would like to hear from landholders who would like to be involved, before 16 September. For members who join our ROL group, we will also be offering free or discounted offers and workshop opportunities.

A big thank you to the Cookamidgera Community and Landcare group for making me welcome at their Annual General Meeting on Monday evening. The wet evening didn’t deter locals from participating.

The next National Parks Association (NPA) walk will be held on Wednesday, 31 August at Black Range, West Cookies Plains National Park. Walkers are to meet at Bushman’s Dam at 0900.

If you are intending to walk, please contact Peter Canon on 02 6866 1225 the evening before the walk.

All walks are subject to there being no adverse RFS fire warnings at the time and no closure of the relevant State Forest due to Hunting Permits etc.

Walkers are reminded to bring along enough food and water for the entire day as well as suitable clothing, footwear, hat and sunscreen. A pair of good binoculars and a fold up chair is recommended. A $2.00 donation for each walker is appreciated.

As usual, links to items in this article are available on facebook or on our website at centralwestlachlanlandcare.org and I can be contacted at our office on 02 6862 4914 or email me at cwllpo@hotmail.com

Until next week, happy Landcaring!