Funding: sourced from the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC)
Project Aim: Over the past few years West Midlands Group has observed landholders that have followed best practise methods to establish perennial pastures on these extreme risk sandy areas only to be faced with very poor or no establishment due to seed burial. In other words, the perennial seed has fallen victim to wind erosion before it has had a chance to germinate.
Therefore the West Midlands Group will work with farmers, Graham and Colleen Johnson to:
Establish a demonstration trial in the West Midlands to assess and evaluate impact of a clay amendment on perennial establishment and growth. This demonstration will be established on a scale that is appropriate to seeding an annual winter crop (wide enough to account for a 45ft header) and to be able to assess yield on the following treatments:
-perennials with no clay
-clayed with no perennials
-no clay and no perennials (unimproved control).
Utilise the expertise of David Ferris and the EverCrop program to incorporate and assess the practise of pasture cropping into this demonstration trial.
Convert a severely eroded sand paddock into a productive and sustainable asset through the application of clay and subsequent seeding and establishment of perennial pastures.
The results of the trial will give farmers an insight into the environmental, economic and productivity impact of this practise- information that will assist them in managing these deep erosion prone sands.