The Perth Region NRM Sustainable Agriculture Practices Information Hub contains over 3,000 best management practices (BMPs) and locally relevant information resources relevant to the use and management of natural resources by farmers and small landholders across the region.
Use the left hand sidebar navigation to drill down to topics of interest or use the search tool.
Evaluating the impact of composts and mulches on vineyard soil health improvements
Wines of Western Australia have utilised the Grape Wine Research Development Corporation (GWRDC) Grassroots program funding to develop a project with Perth Region NRM to evaluate the capacity of composts and mulches to improve vineyard soil health and grapevine water use efficiency. This research and extension work is being carried out at trial sites in the Swan Valley and Margaret River regions.
At each site, 16 gypsum blocks have been installed to record soil moisture levels at depths close to the surface (150 to 200 mm) and further down the profile (250 to 400 mm) within both the compost and mulch trial rows as well as the control (bare) rows. In addition, soil temperature sensors have been installed close to the soil surface in each treatment and control row and an automated rain gauge added to collect site specific precipitation data.
The data generated at each site is collected via MEA data loggers and is available to project participants through the Telstra network through the data loggers' telemetry system.
AHA Viticulture are conducting on-ground trial and evaluation work to quantify the impact these products have on the sites' soil and vine attributes. In addition to this, a Western Australian vineyard compost and mulch information sheet will be developed, prior to the demonstration based workshop scheduled for May next year. This workshop will also provide producers with a better understanding of how they can produce their own composts and mulches from vineyard and winery waste and what locally available products can be incorporated into their products.
Farm forestry field day report
Recently I attended a farm forestry field day in the Mundijong area south of Perth.
Farm Forestry has appealed to many landholders of all property sizes and planting sizes, collectively the areas are large and spread over many localities.
In my opinion it would be better if people planted fewer trees and lavished more attention on them especially though the first summer (summers are now getting hotter and drier)
Some basic pruning can make all the difference in future possible log use options, if you have not got time to do it yourself a contractor may be the solution. If you cannot locate a contractor let me know and I will try and make a register of suitably experience people.
The benefit to the property from these living tree plantings is very considerable by way of shade and shelter for stock and pastures. Added value to the property usually applies if there are good healthy trees and sufficient numbers.
The value adding by harvesting these trees either for posts, rails and firewood is well worth considering. Burning wood for home heat etc. is frowned upon from smoke and other reasons but there are still many wood fired equipment in the country and fallen timber can be utilised whilst also reducing the bushfire fuel.
At the field day a fully imported machine from Scandinavia was demonstrated by a contractor and the video I made will be available soon. This machine receives a full log ,docks it and splits for use in fire wood etc.
Smaller land holders can work in with a couple of friends and buy a small petrol engine portable log splitter and share it. I understand about $3000 will buy such a machine.
I have used this system and we bring the logs into the farm shed area with a forklift and two people dock the logs with chains saws and then split and stack. In half a day three people can each process a year’s supply of wood.
Read more about the different farm forestry species suitable in the Perth region by clicking here..
Sandy Pate, Perth NRM Regional Landcare Facilitator
Branching out into trees
Trees on your property can improve land values, provide environmental benefits and potentially provide some level of commercial income.
There is a lot of information around on tree planting and a lot of interest from the Australian Government in promoting tree growing to sequester carbon.
However, there is so much information around that it can be difficult to see the trees from the forest - pardon the reverse pun!
So before you do anything I suggest that you read this publication on selecting tree varieties for small holdings (even if you are a farmer). This will help you clarify why you want to grow trees and help you plan the next steps.Once you have read this then browse the libraries that we have on the farm forestry and biodiversity options. These have heaps of resources to help you plan and implement the next steps. Next, consider attending this field day.
Property values enhanced by native vegetation
Recent research by the University of Western Australia and CSIRO has highlighted the potential value that remnant native vegetation can have on the value of rural lifestyle properties.
The research indicates that based on around 40 percent vegetation cover, a rural lifestyle property could increase in value by around 12 percent.
The research showed that property values increase not only by having native vegetation on a property but through being being located near to bushland as well as other habitats such as rivers and streams.
This information is not only important for property owners but also for organisations seeking to increase the amount of native vegetation in an area be it through revegetation of streams or development of biodiversity corridors.
Read the research paper by clicking here..
For assistance in revegetating your property click here..
Focus on fencing & revegetation of watercourses
Fencing and revegetation of the riparian areas of watercourses and wetlands can provide multiple benefits to land managers and the community.
The fencing and revegetation of riparian areas is a key target for the Perth region. Click here to find out more.
- Increased biodiversity and habitat for native plants and animals
- Reduced soil loss through erosion
- Increased property value
- Shade and shelter for stock
- Reduced nutrients flowing into waterways and wetlands
- Carbon capture and storage
Focus on perennial pastures
Perennial pastures provide an opportunity for you to improve the productivity of your grazing property while adapting to a drying climate and addressing land degradation issues such as erosion, salinity and export of nutrients to ground and surface water systems. Some useful links in the information hub are provided below:
- Locally relevant perennial pastures species
- Seasonal things to do for pasture establishment and management
- Paddock management for horse properties
Also check out the field days and workshops in the Upcoming Events accessible through the right hand menu bar.
Did you know?
There are around 1,200 farm businesses in the Perth NRM region representing about 12 percent of the West Australian total.
There are about 20,000 rural small landholders in the Perth NRM region which is about 34.5 percent of the State total.
Horticulture (fresh food production) is undertaken by over 600 businesses representing about 30 percent of the West Australian total. Read more..
Please contact Sandy Pate, Sustainable Agriculture project officer for the Perth Region NRM with any queries or feedback. Email: email@example.com