Esperance and Ravensthorpe farmers to lead the way in optimising lime
Local Esperance and Ravensthorpe farmers will be the long term winners with a new project being delivered by South Coast Natural Resource Management with funding recently awarded through the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission’s Regional Grants Scheme and the WA Government’s Royalties for Regions Program.
The project will implement key recommendations from South Coast NRM's "Lime Situation Report", which will enable farmers to make timely on farm management decisions that will improve their productivity and financial return while providing essential environmental services.
Soil acidification has been identified as the main limiting factor for agriculture in the southern agricultural
region with a high proportion of soils either below optimum or at risk of increased acidity. Acidic soils can reduce crop yields by up to 12%, costing the southern area of WA an estimated $498 million each year. Spreading lime is the primary treatment for acidic soils.
“The funding will develop usable tools and options for farmers to make good decisions based on their own needs and where they wish to take their farm” said David Broadhurst, Land Program Leader, South Coast NRM.
“Anything we can do that decreases input costs to produce food or fibre here on the south coast is vitally important, especially when we can achieve while maintaining soil health” said Mr Broadhurst.
South Coast NRM will be partnering with the South West Premium Wheat Growers Association based in Esperance who will be involved with coordinating the field trials and extension activities.
The project will trial a lime alternative in the field and in a nursery environment, explore options to value add to existing lime supplies, enable planners and developers to sustainably utilise local supplies and explore a new business opportunity for the Esperance – Ravensthorpe area.
“This project builds on the long history and strong capacity of South Coast NRM delivering large scale agriculture projects that span across multiple industries and broad areas” said Justin Bellanger, Chief Executive Officer of South Coast NRM. “We really value the role of farmers. They are the custodians of most of the land across the South Coast, and we’re excited to be able to continue to pragmatically help them to protect their natural resources”. “It’s good for the region, good for the environment and good for farmers” Mr Bellanger said.
South Coast NRM will receive $121,000 over 2 years and was one of nine Esperance based organisations that received a total of $640,000 in funding at a ceremony hosted by Western Australian Minister for Regional Development Terry Redman and Member for Eyre Graham Jacobs on Monday the 23rd of January. The project will start on the 1st of July 2017.
For further information or to get involved with the project Optimising lime for agricultural sustainability in the Esperance and Ravensthorpe shires or to obtain a copy of South Coast NRMs “Lime Situation Report, 2015” contact
David Broadhurst, Land Program Leader, South Coast Natural Resource Management.