Register now to get Fert$mart savings

Fert$mart, offered in partnership by GippsDairy and West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, upskills farmers to make better decisions about fertiliser use on their properties.

The program is being led in the Jack and Albert rivers catchment by a team of agronomists, including Matt Harms of ONFARM consulting.

According to Matt, Fert$mart is about using nutrients on farm more efficiently.

“We might not necessarily recommend cutting back on nutrient applications,” explains Matt. “But we might recommend spreading them differently on the farm depending on what the requirements are.

“This is established after we complete soil and effluent pond testing and so we really get a good understanding about what different areas of your farm need.

“After completing the Fert$mart course, you might learn that you’ve been putting nutrient on areas that don’t need it or not putting enough on other areas.

“Neither of these are ideal for productivity and with your Fertiliser Management Plan that you receive after participating we can help correct this and boost your productivity.

“This will either help you save money or increase pasture.”

According to Matt, many dairy farmers are still playing catch up after the down turn in the dairy industry last year.

“The great thing about Fert$mart is that it focusses on using resources efficiently,” continued Matt

“Things have been pretty tight for dairy farmers recently. So why spend money on something we don’t need?

“Fert$mart will help identify if we’re applying too much fertiliser for the soil type or if we need to apply just a little bit more to get a much better result.

“There is a low level of commitment both financially and time for farmers to be involved in Fert$mart.

“I’m yet to come across anyone who was unhappy that they completed the program.

“You will get some really great advice that can be taken in full or in part and either way you will see a financial gain or an improvement in pasture productivity,” continued Matt.

Martin Fuller, CEO of WGCMA said Matt’s experiences working with farmers in the Fert$mart program were typical of other participants.

“The consistent message we’ve had from previous participants is that they have saved money and been able to grow just as much, if not more grass than before,” Mr Fuller said.

“It’s a win-win when farmers can improve their business outcomes while reducing the environmental effects of fertiliser applications.”

Expressions of Interest for the Fert$mart course have been extended and now close on Friday, 31 March. To register your interest contact Donna Gibson, GippsDairy on 0409 178 624 or donna@gippsdairy.com.au.

This program is supported by West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.