From the desk of Sophie, Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator – East.   

After nigh on 11 inches of rain over two months at the Neridup subsurface drainage trial site, the heavens continued to open in early August. On Thursday, 3rd August, with less than twelve hours until the Subsurface Drainage, Brekky in the Paddock, Field Day, the “field” looked more like an Olympic-sized swimming pool. In a desperate attempt to save the event from becoming a washout, Project Officer Sophie, and local grower Michael Fels, frantically shot out a vital message to the community:

“Bring your gumboots!”   

At dawn on Friday 4th August, the clouds broke, and the sun beamed – the conditions couldn’t be more perfect. Close to forty pairs of gumboots met us in the paddock to greet the day with hot coffee and jaffles from local food van extraordinaire, Beach N Bitez. The heavy rainfall the day before ensured the subject matter – subsurface drains, were full and our drainage aficionados engaged in some knowledge sharing with fellow farmers, scientists, and advisors.

With such a successful day behind us, South Coast NRM is looking to the future of water management in the Esperance region with strong optimism. The Land & Water team are excited about the keen interest for greater knowledge around subsurface drainage, waterlogging impacts, and surface water management practices. We are very grateful for trials such as the subsurface drainage project, an investment by the Grains Research and Development Corporation, for igniting the conversation.  

As the end of the project nears, South Coast NRM is looking forward to continuing the share of knowledge about subsurface drainage and its potential ability to address waterlogging on farm. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the next opportunity to connect with the trial, through the Southern Soils website, or on Twitter (X) @SouthCoastNRM.   

South Coast NRM would like to thank everyone who gave up their Friday morning to participate in the Subsurface Drainage, Brekky in the Paddock, Field Day. Knowledge sharing can’t happen without each and every one of you. For further details on the trial, its aims and progress, visit the Southern Soils website. 

South Coast NRM is proud to be partnering with local growers and GRDC to deliver local innovative trials. 

For more information, contact Sophie (e) (p) 9076 2200.