NSW Local Land Services

03/14/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/13/2018 21:46

Kempsey farmers catch-up to talk about Fert$mart

14 March 2018

North Coast Local Land Services recently held a Fert$mart workshop with local agronomist Matt Thompson and dairy farmers from the Kempsey area. Local dairy producers participated in the Dairy Australia program, Fert$mart, over three years ago with many producers seeing the great benefits the program including better fertiliser use and soil health. The program looks at effective fertiliser use, focusing on the right fertiliser on the right paddock.

Brendan O'Brien, Senior Land Services Officer said, 'Our hosts for the day were happy to showcase their improvements in soil health over time and local farmers were able to observe the positive improvement in soil fertility and pasture production and also other efficiencies that have been brought into their business.

'The real proof was a summary of the increased milk production since the host farmers first started their Fert$mart program.'

The day also included a farm walk that looked different pasture systems including the benefits of a legume break crop such as cow peas. Farmers were also were able to talk about the different strategies for managing kikuyu in preparation for rye grass sowing, as well other relevant issues with an independent agronomist, Matt Thompson.

Matt Thompson the guest speaker for the day had been involved with the 13 farmers participating in the Fert$mart program in the Kempsey area from the beginning and has since continued to work with many dairy farmers in the Kempsey area. Matt shared his experience on the day discussing topics such as the importance of soil tests to take the guess work out of fertiliser choices and matching the right fertiliser, for the right paddock and soil type.

Brendan continued, 'The key message from the day was that a soil test can give so much information and it allows you to manage and monitor dairy farm soil and adjust nutrients levels to maximise efficiency and production.

'Putting the right nutrients on areas of low nutrient levels, while reducing fertiliser inputs on areas of high nutrient levels, can result in increased pasture production with little or no increase in cost,' he added.

Media contact: Brendan O'Brien, Phone 0400 685 400

Image caption: Fert$mart looks at effective fertiliser use, focusing on the right fertiliser on the right paddock