Pollination and Farm Resilience Survey

South West Catchments Council is implementing a 4-year project with farmers to improve crop pollination in canola, avocados and orchards (apples, stone fruit).

If you farm one or more of these crops, and would like to take part in the project, please email Mike Christensen: mike.christensen@swccnrm.org.au, and SWCC will start the process with a phone interview. Alternatively, you can do an online survey here.

Information about the program:
For those able to participate in a phone interview we will be giving you a $30 voucher to a rural supplier near you. The “Managing vegetation on farm targeting pollinators and farm resilience” is a five-year project funded by the Australian Government under the National Landcare Program that works with farmers to improve the pollination services provided by beneficial insects and other pollinators through revegetation programs with perennials and/or native vegetation that enhances food availability for these pollinators and indirectly improves the pollination and biodiversity services provided. This targets revegetation to improve both biodiversity and pollination services, ensuring the farm is more resilient and can better withstand the impacts of a changing climate.

We are working with three canola producers and three orchardists, predominantly avocado growers, throughout the life of the project.  As part of that project, we need to conduct baseline surveys to gauge to what extent farmers understand the roles of pollinators and beneficial insects in their crops, as well as their attitudes towards remnant vegetation, revegetation and their perceived benefits/risks. Project activities will then be implemented to address any identified issues

Peel Harvey Catchment Farmer Regenerative Pasture Trials

Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farm Alliance are running a pasture trial project to demonstrate the changed output and soil performance from improved soil health. Building land manger confidence and water quality in the Peel-Harvey Estuary system.

They had their first workshop on the 28th of March where they met, heard and saw examples of compost trials with 15 species of pasture crops from Deb Archdeacon, the project agronomist. They did walks through paddocks which had already seen some compost amendments the previous year at difference densities. They dug holes to assess root penetration, colour changes most likely associated with carbon content, checked for root exudate evidence and took infrared temperature readings of the soil both with ground covering and with bare earth.

There will be multiple properties on the coastal plain that will be sampled both prior to and after applying compost amendments. There will be plant tissue/feed testing of all plots as well as other methods to develop the skills to assess soils health, including visual assessment, photographic recording, water holding capacity assessments and more. This project is funded through the State NRM Community Stewardship Grants.

Regenerating Saline and Marginal Landscapes in Southern WA

The Gillamii Agriculture Centre is a group that aims to lead and inspire the agricultural community to get involved with sustainable land use through training, education and knowledge. The Gillamii Centre, with funding from the Royalties for Regions project, has commenced the Regenerating Saline and Marginal Landscapes in Southern WA project. The focus of this project is to support farmers to regenerate saline and marginal areas of land through a farm system approach to managing salinity. The project builds will provide a web-based technical information resource and network of producers and practitioners to help share knowledge and experiences in saltland management to aid in the success of the project.

To learn more about the Gillamii Centre and about the project, click on the link below:

http://www.gillamii.org.au/ 

Supporting Farmers to Make the Transition to Regenerative Farming

The seven NRM Regional Organisations in WA have been allocated a portion of State NRM funding to conduct a community survey that aims to identify the key barriers currently preventing local farmers from adopting regenerative farming practices. The survey mainly asks questions aimed at understanding whether farmers believe regenerative farming should be a priority for support and research, what areas they believe are most important to prioritise and what farmers believe the major adoption constraints are.

If you would like to participate in the survey, below is a link to the Wheatbelt NRM website where you can access the survey:

https://www.wheatbeltnrm.org.au/whats-happening/news/sustainable-industries/regenerative-farming

Benefits of Pollination to Agriculture

More than 30 people from across WA joined Wadandi/Pibulmun cultural custodian Iszaac Webb at Barrabup Pool Nannup this week to learn more about native plants, trees and the benefits of pollination in agriculture. Mr Webb discussed the importance of pollination, bush management and the role of fire in maximising pollination. This workshop is one of the many activities conducted under SWCC’s Pollinator Program, which aims to improve food and habitat for pollinators and beneficical insects that enhance the natural landscape and improve on-farm production. Pollinator Program project manager Wendy Wilkins says that traditional ecological knowledge, such as what was learnt from the Barrabup workshop, works to support botanists, bird experts and entomologists in the development of seasonal flowering calendars to assist farmers with their revegetation choices.

For further information about SWCC’s Pollinator Program, contact Wendy Wilkins on 0448939307 or email wendy.wilkins@swccnrm.org.au

Greening the Peel-Harvey Landscape for Farming, Fodder and Fauna

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) has received funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program to establish the ‘Greening the Peel-Harvey Landscape for Farming, Fodder and Fauna Project’. The project aims to create increased awareness and adoption of land management practices that improve and protect soil, biodiversity and vegetation by 2023. Farmers will be supported through technical advice, field days, on-farm surveys and on-ground works support (including pest and weed control, revegetation, vegetation disease management etc.). PHCC will also conduct farm management surveys, monitoring regimes and project planning and delivery documents to aid in the success of the project.

For more information, click on the link below:

https://peel-harvey.org.au

Optimising Fodder Options on Mixed Farming Systems

Wheatbelt NRM have established a project that supports mixed farmers to develop whole farm summer cover plans that consider a range of pasture, summer cropping and forage options to meet pre-defined livestock production goals. To do so, Wheatbelt NRM has partnered with farmers, local grower groups, corporate agriculture and other organisations to establish eight demonstration sites across the Wheatbelt during 2019/2020. The demonstration sites aim to provide mixed farmers with a reference as to how whole farm summer cover plans fit within Wheatbelt mixed farming systems to both improve soil health and meet production objectives. Extension events and wider industry learning will create further opportunities for farmers to access the latest information on different fodder options, livestock health and market trends affecting livestock production.

For more information and to access Wheatbelt NRM’s E-Newsletters regarding optimising fodder, click on the link below:

https://www.wheatbeltnrm.org.au

UWA's Future Farm 2050- Farm Land Restoration Program

Smart Farms – National Landcare Program

Farm demonstration to fast-track restoration of soil condition  using permeable biomass barriers

This project will use a large scale field demonstration to show how up-scaling novel soil restoration practices can re-establish productivity on degraded areas of farmland. A field demonstration will be located on degraded pasture exposed to localised salinity and erosion on the University of WA’s farm near Pingelly WA.

Land managers affiliated with Wheatbelt NRM and the Shires of Brookton and Pingelly will learn how to install permeable biomass (waste organic matter) barriers placed strategically among recent plantings of native trees, shrubs and perennial pasture species to fast-track soil restoration on degraded pockets within a farm.

The field demonstration will be based on success of an existing small-scale initiative (Treōwstede) near Brookton. Two field days will provide hands-on experience to participants during the project through instillation and monitoring phases. Land managers skills in implementation will be reinforced during development and use of a procedural manual.

Anthony James: the Regen Narration

Regen Narration is a podcast (formerly Rescope Radio), events, publications, education and facilitation focussed on exploring regeneration.

The podcast is at the heart of it all. Each fortnight you’ll hear from high profile and grass-roots leaders everywhere, enabling the regeneration of life on this planet. Together we’re sharing the stories, we’re changing the stories – the stories we live by. And the systems we create in their mould.

Hosted by Anthony James, award-winning facilitator and educator, widely published writer, and Honorary Research Associate at the University of Western Australia.

To listen to Regen Narration, or read more about the project, visit: https://www.regennarration.com/

A few regenerative agriculture focussed podcasts have been linked to our interview page, so check them out!

Regenerative Agriculture. An ecological approach to farming that allows landscapes to renew themselves (Massy, 2018).