Regenerative ag program funded for next three years through Natural Resources

Farmers on the Eyre Peninsula are being encouraged to sow mixed species demonstration sites, with grants of up to $9000 available.

DEMONSTRATION SITE: NRM officer Holly Whittenbury is show the different species that have germinated on Gareth Scholz' property at Minnipa. Image: supplied.

DEMONSTRATION SITE: NRM officer Holly Whittenbury is show the different species that have germinated on Gareth Scholz' property at Minnipa. Image: supplied.

The Regenerative Agriculture Program (RAP) looks into preventing and abating soil acidity, soil erosion, improving soil carbon and on-farm biodiversity.

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula RAP officer Mary Crawford said farmers can undertake paddock demonstrations this spring to get a better understanding of which pasture and cropping species work in their soil and climatic conditions.

"The project, which is funded for the next three years, involves farmers setting up a long term demonstration of mixed species winter and summer cover crops and monitoring the results," she said.

"Landholders select a paddock to demonstrate the success of a variety of plants and measure them against the control. Designing a multi-species annual cover crop means incorporating a mix of cereals, brassica and legumes according to winter or summer sowing opportunities."

The winter demonstration can be sown for grazing, hay or grain production, and there is also a summer cover crop demonstration component, with data from either collected from the chosen sites for up to three seasons.

"Interest in establishing mixed species summer and winter cropping and pastures has increased over the past two years on Eyre Peninsula with nine demonstration sites being established," said Ms Crawford.

"Opening rains this year gives good opportunity for farmers to investigate the benefits of establishing a summer cover crop."

Applications need to be received by Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula by 5pm Monday June 22.

Individual farmers or agriculture and farming systems groups may apply, with grants of up to $9000 available for long term demonstrations.

Contact Mary Crawford on 0407 187 878 or at mary.crawford@sa.gov.au for more information.

Visit naturalresources.sa.gov.au/eyrepeninsula/get-involved/grants-and-funding for the application guidelines and forms.