Three NRM organisations running North-West cover crop farm tour

COVER CROP BENEFITS: Tillage raddish is one cover crop used at Table Cape. Picture: Supplied
COVER CROP BENEFITS: Tillage raddish is one cover crop used at Table Cape. Picture: Supplied

As part of the National Landcare program NRM North, in collaboration with Cradle Coast NRM and NRM South, is running a farm tour in the North-West on Friday, December 15.

Visiting three diverse North-West cropping enterprises, the focus is on innovative ways farms are using cover crops to benefit soil health, reduce erosion, suppress weed, provide nutrient enrichment and control soilborne diseases.

First is Van Diemen Quality Bulbs, a mixed farming enterprise at Table Cape that has been experimenting with cover crops for some time.

David Roberts-Thompson’s property has been the site of a cover crop trial supported by Cradle Coast NRM and Serve-Ag.

Here are the highlights from the latest round of testing:

  • Caliente was the only cover crop species that out-competed weed regrowth
  • Tillage radish and caliente cover crops contributed the most organic matter to the soil
  • Caliente provided the greatest improvement in general soil health, particularly in the measure of aggregate stability
  • All cover crop plots experienced increases in beneficial soil microbes
  • The follow-on poppy crop achieved slightly increased yield in the mixed cover crop field and the caliente cover crop field.

The second stop is Premium Fresh’s trial site at Forthside. 

Darren Long from MG Farm, Sheffield, is one of the leading cover crop innovators in vegetable crop production.

The third stop is Marleen Herbs Tasmania at Barrington, a large certified organic herb producer that grows and processes medicinal herbs into tinctures.

Geoff and Coleen Atkinson will hold a barbecue at Ellenview Farm, near Cuprona.

Ellenview dairy has recently gained organic certification, and is now supplying milk for the Tasmanian fresh market.

RSVP to Peter Heading of NRM North on 0400 737 253 or at pheading@nrmnorth.org.au

Those attending from the south are eligible for a $50 subsidy and bus trip reimbursement from Holly Hansen at NRM South.

Contact Holly on 6221 6111 or at hhansen@nrmsouth.org.au

Follow the progress of Tasmanian soil health projects on the Soil First Tasmania Facebook page: www.facebook.com/soilfirsttasmania/