Production

Challenging traditional thinking on phosphorus in pastures

Beef Central, 03/07/2012

Traditional thinking of how phosphorus is used to improve pasture-based grazing systems in southern Australia is being challenged in a new project that will take stock of the increasingly expensive input.

Phosphorus is one of the key nutrients driving production of the improved pasture-based grazing systems of southern Australia, but it’s time to take stock of how effectively it is being used, according to NSW Department of Primary Industries’ (NSW DPI) Project Officer Helen Burns.

“It is also time to revise traditional thinking on nutrient management in pastures and that is something all livestock producers can be part of,” she said.

The 12-month project is part of Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) Phosphorus Use Efficiency program and follows an MLA-funded review by CSIRO that highlighted the need and opportunities to improve phosphorus management in grazing systems.  

The project, managed by NSW DPI, links industry bodies and agencies from the southern states to benchmark current soil fertility and nutrient management practices by livestock producers in the grazing and mixed farming zones of NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

“All producers can participate in this project through an on-line survey, with the information gathered then being used to guide the research and extension programs of MLA and other industry bodies,” Ms Burns said.  
 
“We need to hear from producers about what is happening on the ground, to provide a snapshot of the current nutrient management practices, the role of soil testing, the resources and information sources that producers use for their decisions, and also who influences these decisions.

“The survey will be available through the MLA website throughout July and we are encouraging all producers to have a say in future research and extension investment by filling it in.

“Producers who set aside 30 minutes of their time to fill out the survey will also have the opportunity to enter a draw for one of two $500 gift vouchers from a major national retailer as a gesture of appreciation for their contribution to the project.

“We are entering an exciting phase of research and extension in pasture nutrient management.

“Participation in the online survey is an opportunity for producers to have an impact on how the next phase roles out.”

The survey can be accessed be clicking here

 

Source: NSW DPI. For further information contact Helen Burns at Wagga Wagga on (02) 6938 1947 orby email at helen.burns@dpi.nsw.gov.au.
 

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