Last chance grant to improve soil health with a cover crop

News article |

After four-and-a-half years, the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board’s Regenerative Agriculture Program has one last grant available for landholders to trial a multi-species cover crop.

After four-and-a-half years, the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board’s Regenerative Agriculture Program has one last grant available for landholders to trial a multi-species cover crop.

The cover crops grants are part of the Regenerative Agriculture Program delivered by the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board and facilitated by Agricultural Innovation and Research Eyre Peninsula (AIREP), through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

“Over the life of the program, we’ve allocated 35 small grants to a total value of $280,000 for a range of activities to increase soil carbon and reduce erosion risk,” says Naomi Scholz, AIREP Executive Officer.

“Through these grants, we’ve been able to help Eyre Peninsula landholders establish many proof of concept and investigatory plantings across the region.

“The program is finishing up in June next year but before then we have one more $6,000 grant left to be allocated for a multi-species cover crop.

“If you have an idea for the planting of a cover crop in the next month, particularly to address a specific concern like erosion, excess water, or to improve surface cover after harvest, please get in touch with us.

“We know a lot of Eyre Peninsula farmers are now involved with harvest but if you are interested, give us a call while you’re on the truck, header or chaser bin and we can talk about the options. A cover crop after harvest can be really beneficial to use up some excess moisture, increase soil cover over summer, provide feed for stock and compete with weeds.”

In the past few months, three cover crop grants have been awarded for planting mixed species. One demonstration will see mixed species planted for improving surface cover in sandy dunes near Elliston; while another will establish cover and protect eroded land in and around a developing Mallee seep. The third will use a summer cover species to reduce the risk of erosion while using surplus water in a high rainfall environment.

Last chance grant to improve soil health with a cover crop
An emerging sunflower and buckwheat multi-species crop at Coomunga, which has been supported by one of our grants.

“We look forward to supporting Eyre Peninsula farmers with these new grants and seeing the results that they achieve,” says Josh Telfer, Sustainable Agriculture Officer.

“Throughout the Regenerative Agriculture Project we’ve seen farmers gain some really important knowledge about how they can improve their soil health with cover crops and soil carbon input, as well as gain skills and confidence to be able to apply these sorts of techniques of a larger area, more consistently.

“All of these results and outcomes will be written up before the project ends in June next year and the results really benefit farmers across the Eyre Peninsula as they might look for ways to see how they can more sustainably manage their land.”

There are already a handful of case studies available on the Regenerative Agriculture Program’s web page.

Find out more about the final grant available on the Board’s grants web page for more information www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/get-involved/grants-and-funding or contact Sustainable Agriculture Project Officer, Josh Telfer at susag@airep.com.au or 0460 000 290.

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