Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farm Alliance are running a pasture trial project to demonstrate the changed output and soil performance from improved soil health. Building land manger confidence and water quality in the Peel-Harvey Estuary system.
They had their first workshop on the 28th of March where they met, heard and saw examples of compost trials with 15 species of pasture crops from Deb Archdeacon, the project agronomist. They did walks through paddocks which had already seen some compost amendments the previous year at difference densities. They dug holes to assess root penetration, colour changes most likely associated with carbon content, checked for root exudate evidence and took infrared temperature readings of the soil both with ground covering and with bare earth.
There will be multiple properties on the coastal plain that will be sampled both prior to and after applying compost amendments. There will be plant tissue/feed testing of all plots as well as other methods to develop the skills to assess soils health, including visual assessment, photographic recording, water holding capacity assessments and more. This project is funded through the State NRM Community Stewardship Grants.