Industry put hands up for waterway health
Released 16 Mar 2018
Understanding how your fertiliser spreader’s distribution pattern can vary when using different fertiliser products can result in higher productivity and healthier waterways.
This is just one of many facts being shared with farmers across the South West and South Coast regions as part of the Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI).
The REI fertiliser management program provides farmers access to expert advice on improving their productivity, and financial bottom line, by keeping nutrients on the farm and out of waterways.
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s fertiliser management program coordinator Kelly Lavell said Australia’s leading Accu-Spread trainer Russell Nichol will be sharing his knowledge and demonstrating how to test and calibrate fertiliser spreading equipment at free workshops this month.
“The workshops are being held in Peel-Harvey, Leschenault, Vasse-Wonnerup, Oyster Harbour, Wilson Inlet and Hardy Inlet catchments with the support of the fertiliser industry,” she said.
“Nutrient run-off from agricultural land represents the largest source of nutrients entering estuaries in the south west of the State, so farmers and the fertiliser industry play a critical role in improving water quality of local waterways and estuaries.”
Executive Manager Fertilizer Australia Nick Drew said the Fertcare© program is at the heart of the industry’s efforts to manage environmental risks, and Accu-Spread is a critical element of this initiative.
“Our industry recognises the damage nutrients can do at the wrong concentration and in the wrong place,” he said.
“We support good environmental management policies and are pleased to have been involved in the REI fertiliser management program.”
The WA dairy industry through Western Dairy has also added its support to the initiative.
Western Dairy chairman Grant Evans said the opportunity to put the efficiency of fertiliser spreaders to the test is a practical example of the messages Western Dairy likes to reinforce.
“At every turn we encourage our dairy farms to tweak the elements of their business to increase efficiency and productivity, and getting a more even and responsive spread to fertiliser is another example of how to do this,” he said.
“But our message is not just about being more astute with your fertiliser spend, it’s also an opportunity to think about our responsibility as farmers to keep fertiliser out of the waterways.
“I would like to see as many of our dairy farmers as possible take the time to understand how fertiliser spreaders need testing and calibrating if you want to optimise your fertiliser spend, paddock response and waterway health,” said Grant.
This work is led by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation with the help of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, and local catchment councils providing farmers with on ground support.
For more information visit https://rei.dwer.wa.gov.au/ .
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441