Eighteen landholders across the Wheatbelt have secured small grants of up to $2,500 to plant fodder and increase groundcover on their mixed farming properties as part of the National Landcare Program funded project, Optimising Fodder Options in Mixed Farming Systems.
We were greatly impressed with the ideas and levels of innovation that the successful farmers have applied to their projects.
Some of the ideas funded included:
- Summer cover cropping with species such as lucerne, sorghum, hemp, millet, sunflower, peas and vetch
- Salt tolerant pasture plantings with Puccinella, Scimitar, Messina
- Biodiverse plantings to stabilise riparian zones with Acacia species, Eucalyptus species, Salt Bush species, Maleluca and Grevillea.
- Integrating legumes such as Messina clover, Burr medic, Balansia clover and Serradella varieties.
One of our passionate landholders, Phil Maisey has decided to use the funds to trial numerous different ground cover options in Doodlakine. Phil will be planting Anameka saltbush to provide ground cover, wind protection and reduce salt scalding.
With hopes of supporting his soil biology, Phil has partially planted a summer mix of Sorghum, Millet, Sunflower, Vetch Peas and Panicam. We are looking forward to some rain to see how well the mix germinates. Phil is waiting for the rains to start to plant the rest of the summer mix. Phil is also planning on planting Vetiver grass, which is a clumping perennial grass known for its deep roots. It was first developed by the World Bank for soil and water conservation in India in the 1980’s. Vetiver is utilised around the world for biological remediation, slope stabilisation, saline land rehabilitation and makes excellent livestock forage. Phil is attempting to get the Vetiver grass going again and propagate after being posted from Victoria. He will be planting the vetiver in the lower areas of his property, to reduce erosion, provide soil stability and perennial feed option.
We are glad that Phil has made the most out of our small grant program and is trialling new options to fill the summer feed gap and reduce erosion.