Healthy fertile soils
Pasture production is limited when key nutrients are either lacking or in oversupply (toxic levels).
Soil health and fertility can be broadly described as:
- physical fertility - soil texture, structure and resilience
- chemical fertility - nutrient supply and cycling
- biological fertility - organic matter, soil animals and micro-organisms
Optimising production and environmental outcomes requires an understanding of the role each type of fertility plays in pasture production and environmental health, and key management practices for maintaining and improving soil health and fertility.
The main soil processes and concepts to understand include the:
- phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) cycles
- importance of soil nutrient recycling
- environmental impacts of soil and nutrient management
Know how to balance the essential nutrients that enhance or limit either pasture production or the ecological health of the grazing environment, and manage this balance to maximise productivity and environmental gains.
Manuals and guides
- More Beef from Pastures - Build and maintain soil nutrients
- Making More From Sheep - Healthy soils
- Grazing Best Practice Management - Soil health
- EverGraze on-farm options - Soil and Fertility Management
From the paddock
Read about other producer and how they are improving soil health.
- Oliver Cay: Five steps to better phosphrus use
- Tom and Emily Bowman: Gone troppo
- Marcus Richardson: Assessing alternatives