Eungella multi species field day was a popular event

Landholders in the Eungella region attended a field day in October to discuss the benefits of growing multi species pastures.

Graziers also got the chance to see a new machine designed for multi species planting in action.    

There is growing evidence that multi species pastures can increase soil carbon, nutrient cycling, soil biology and water-holding capacity.

Multi species trials are underway in the Mackay region with NRM group Reef Catchments, and Eungella landholders were keen to learn more about multi species pastures.

The field day was led by Nutfield Farm Scholar Simon Mattsson, of Central Queensland Soil Health Systems (CQSHS). Topics discussed included:

  • positive influence of multi species cover crops on soil health;
  • crop biomass;
  • soil food webs;
  • nutrient availability; and 
  • perennial plant diversity.

The group also attended a farm owned by local landholders Paul and Linda Oates, who have introduced mixed plants into their pasture for improved soil health and pasture.

CQSHS has recently acquired a multi-species planter, and landholders got an opportunity to see it in action. It has been designed to sow multiple seeds to achieve a diverse cover crop.

Gerard Dogao from PGG Wrightson Seeds was on hand to provide expert knowledge on sensitive and tolerant plant species and seed selection advice. Planting methods, pre-planting preparation, post-planting management and monitoring were also discussed.

The event was hosted by the NQ Dry Tropics’ Burdekin Regional Landcare Facilitator, funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, with support from Reef Catchments Regional Landcare Facilitator Program, and NQ Dry Tropics’ Landholders Driving Change project.