Field Day Shows Paddocks of Potential
Local farmers observed firsthand how different pastures could improve productivity at a recent field day in the Chinchilla district.
Chinchilla Landcare coordinated the Grain and Graze field day, with support from Condamine Alliance, to give farmers a chance to share their experiences and explore how a rethink on pastures could benefit them. Chinchilla Landcare coordinator Terry Elliott said the day focused on approaches to pastures for soil heath as well as the ability to change between crops and pastures.
“The program offered a varied sample, from a temporary trial site, to a recently established leucaena pasture, to a long established desmanthus pasture,” Mr Elliott said.
“We think it‟s important to take advantage of local expertise so people can see and hear for themselves how they could change things.
” It was a first time field visit to Greg and Gwenda Olm‟s place Shamrock which is host to a pasture and legume trial site.
“For this trial we‟re working with the DEEDI at planting pastures like a crop; into moisture to improve the take off rate,” Mr Olm said.
“Establishment is critical in changing over from cropping to pastures,” he said, “You need to get in quick so that you don‟t lose production.”
“We wanted to look at what could be done to speed up the process and so far the results have been positive, for the soil and production,” Mr Olm said.
“At the end of the day we want to make moving from one thing to the other, depending on need, easier and I think we‟re on the right track.”
“What I have learnt through this trial has been invaluable and I hope to extend into other paddocks,” Mr Olm added.
On the other side of Chinchilla Don Bell‟s long established desmanthus pasture attracted its fair share of attention.
According to attendees a visit to Don Bell‟s desmanthus pasture last year saw the legume „wallto-
“This year tells a different story and shows the benefits of this type of long-term pasture,” Mr Bell said.
“This pasture has come to balance itself over time,” he said, “Today demonstrates that balance;
the desmanthus has become less dominant which has allowed the grasses to be the more
productive part of the pasture this year,” Mr Bell said.
Condamine Alliance supported this event as part of its Sustainable Agriculture program which
helps land managers in the Condamine catchment improve and protect their land.