New Fert$mart courses to be held in August
WESTVIC DAIRY, with the support of the Glenelg Hopkins CMA and the Corangamite CMA, is running Fert$mart courses in August.
Fert$mart is a science-based national soil and fertiliser program designed to lift both profitability and efficiency of fertiliser use.
The 2015-16 Dairy Farm Monitor project identified that the average farm spent 42 cents/kg milk solids on fertiliser.
The WestVic Dairy Fert$mart courses include an initial workshop, which looks at the science and economics of soils and fertilisers. The next step is the collection of soil samples from the different zones on the participant’s farm.
Once the soil test results have been returned, a qualified farming consultant visits the farm to develop a tailored Fert$mart plan. A second workshop is then held to share learnings from the development of the individual Fert$mart fertiliser plans and address any questions.
Soil tests can be as cheap as $60-80 per sample and the results from the tests will help build a fertiliser plan that ensures the fertiliser is going to where it is most needed.
The course will be free to farmers and as an additional incentive to take part in the program, a subsidy of $50 per soil sample will be offered to farmers who complete the program.
Agriculture Victoria will be providing information on effluent use. Previous Fert$mart programs that have been conducted throughout Australia usually result in substantial financial benefits.
Through regular soil testing and monitoring changes in the soil nutrient levels over time, farmers are able to ensure pasture production is maximised by addressing any soil nutrient deficiencies.
However, some of the biggest cost savings have come from identifying paddocks with high fertility that don’t require maintenance fertiliser, resulting in lower fertiliser costs.
Each course is funded for 12 farming business so positions are limited. However, more than one person from each farming business is encouraged to attend.
To register, contact Peter Gaffy on 0438 345 712 or email firstname.lastname@example.org