The ‘Managing Nitrogen in EP farming systems’ event held at the Minnipa Agricultural Centre was attended by 120 participants. The day focused on the relationship between plant nutrition, soil health, plant productivity and on-farm application of knowledge and technology.
Dr Glenn McDonald, University of Adelaide presented the science behind the guidelines and rules governing nitrogen application and timing.
Dr Fran Hoyle from the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia delivered presentations on ‘Demystifying Soil Organic Carbon’ and ‘Managing for Soil Organic Carbon Profitably’, explaining the biological processes and structures sustaining our production systems.
Dr Rick Llewellyn CSIRO Adelaide reported from studies in the South Australian Mallee based on adjusting nitrogen inputs based on land capability.
Agricultural Consultant Mick Faulkner, Clare presented practical nitrogen strategies to adopt on-farm.
Roy Latta, SARDI Minnipa presented information on the capacity of medic pastures to fix biological N, and introduced an Action on the Ground nitrous oxide crop rotation project.
Interactive group sessions were offered on:
Soil Testing by Andy Bates, Dr Glenn McDonald and Kellie Taylor from EP Anaysis;
Nitrogen Decisions with Mick Faulkner and Rick Llewellyn;
Pasture Ecology presented by Roy Latta and Terry Blacker; and
Nitrogen Products with Tim vanLoon and Andrew Polkinghorne, both local EP farmers, combined with Linden Masters, SARDI Minnipa.
A panel session followed, involving all the speakers responding to questions posed throughout the day and addressing myths relating to nitrogen.
The day concluded with an address from ‘2012 Australian Farmer of the Year’ Peter Kuhlmann.
Majority of the farmers said they would do something differently as a result of attending the event and felt prepared to make good nitrogen decisions in their current program. All participants said they would recommend to friends and neighbors’ attending EPARF Member Days!