Clean Coastal Catchments project
BioAg is participating in the Livestock Fertiliser Stewardship Group for the NSW Government funded Clean Coastal Catchments (CCC) project. The project addresses the management of excess flows of fertiliser, nutrients, and effluent into our coastal waterways and how this can be reduced. It is being run and coordinated by the NSW DPI over a ten-year lifespan, ending in 2028.
BioAg Area Manager Peter Emerson recently attended a virtual forum on the subject, which focused primarily on the management of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and other nutrients, particularly in dairies and intensive livestock systems. It included a review of Fert$mart for NSW dairies in helping create a whole of farm nutrient management plan.
Emphasis was on better nutrient cycling and the use of built-up Legacy P to reduce environmental impacts, and how regenerative farming takes a whole ecosystem approach in helping with this process.
Importantly, a lot of work is still to be done on measuring and quantifying nutrient cycling in the soil between plants and microbes. It also highlighted that balancing all nutrients, not just N and P, to get production gains particularly where macronutrients are in excess.
A BioAg program using fertilisers and biostimulant fits perfectly into this model, as the nutrients are supplied in a non-water-soluble form, reducing the risk of runoff and losses from leaching, as well as activating and feeding the natural beneficial micro-organisms in the soil and plant rhizosphere. This then increases nutrient cycling, soil structure, and overall soil and livestock health.
BioAg will continue to work with the CCC program to keep abreast of the latest findings and to see which methods can best be adopted to minimise environmental impacts, while at the same time boosting production and whole-farm health.