February 1, 2013
Farmers can get down in the dirt at two soil pits during a special field day at Lah this month. The Probing for Answers event will examine soils, nutrients, yields and moisture in paddocks on the Keam family’s farm on Friday, February 22. The day will begin with a breakfast at Brim before heading out to the paddock. Presenters include Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Productive Soils Leader Melissa Cann, DPI project officer Ashley Wallace and Landmark agronomist Alison Meikle. Lah farmer Hugh Keam has been working with the Department of Primary Industries in using soil moisture probes to help predict yield and water use efficiencies. Mr Wallace said the day would build on this knowledge using a soil pit. “The pit, dug in the same paddock as the soil moisture probes, will allow a comparison of the soil profile and the moisture probe monitoring results,” Mr Wallace said. “We’ll be able to look at the soil structure, soil profile and soil nutrition as a whole and relate this to moisture monitoring data and crop yields. “This will allow us to compare all the data, noting any potential constraints to production and try to build the big picture around what is happening in Hugh’s paddock.” Ms Cann said another soil pit would also be dug on higher ground in the adjoining paddock to compare soil types in the district. “Hopefully it will illustrate differences in soil characterisation in relation to landscape,” she said. “The Keams have been soil sampling on this site for several years which will provide even more information to piece together the story.” Local Landmark agronomist Alison Meikle will also speak, providing an insight into the nutrient status for the coming season.