The Innovation on Farms Project helps farmers in the South West region to adopt sustainable land management practices, increasing productivity and improving the quality of ecosystem services.
The aim is to support previously established “proof of concept” results with investment in on-farm trials and demonstrations with particular attention to innovative solutions to complex problems.
Trials involving relatively high levels of monitoring, including soil health indicators, crop production and animal health, and in several cases a cost:benefit will be conducted. Trials will be delivered by landcare and grower groups, consultants and individual farmers in partnership with other organisations including research institutions, DAFWA, agronomist and agricultural consultants.
By December 2017, 10 farming entities will have trialled innovative practices over 250ha, and produced case studies or technical reports for each practice.
An important aspect of the trials is the development of extension events and materials. There are 24 extension events planned before December 2017. Case studies, YouTube videos and technical reports will also be developed.
The project aims to improve skills and knowledge of land through direct participation in trials or through extension activities, and engage regional groupsand individuals in broader community capacity building activities.
Currently 10 projects have been funded through eight entities to run trials on more than 310ha across 23 farms. Practices being trialled include soil amendment, dung beetles establishment, perennial pasture establishment, crop rotations, nutrition strategies, salt tolerant legumes, stubble retention and the whole farm adoption of the Enrich mixed forage system.
So far, trials have been established on six farms with trials to be established on another 17 farms. Information will be stored for tracking by other farmers at www.agtrialsites.com
A soil health conference addressing soil health issues, knowledge gaps and management options will be planned for the 2015/16 financial year.
- Western Dairy
- Warren Catchments Council
- Evergreen Farming
- Southern DIRT
- Manjimup Pasture Group
- Bugs and Biology Growers
- Blackwood Basin Group
- LJ and L Page & Co
“The trial is about increasing knowledge and confidence to make a change from the conventional system of growing crops. We want to know what alternative strategies have to offer. We aren’t looking for silver bullets, just tools. But nobody will change unless there is good data to allay fear.”
100 ha of land benefitting from trials for sustainable agriculture practices
257.5 ha of land benefitting from trials for sustainable agriculture practices