Soil fertility and plant nutrition course for NSW advisors and growers

Author: | Date: 29 Mar 2018

Growers and advisors can learn how to improve their nutrient use efficiency to enhance the yield and profitability of winter and summer cereal, oilseed and pulse crops by attending a crop nutrition and soil fertility training courses in New South Wales.

The crop nutrition and soil fertility courses are being offered by Back Paddock and Tocal College through the AgSkilled strategy, a training initiative funded by the New South Wales Government, and led by industry partners the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and Cotton Australia.

Growers, register your interest now to attend one of the Pro-Soil grain courses, register now on the SoilMate website via this link or if you have any questions please contact BackPaddock staff members on training@backpaddock.com.au or 07 3220 2959.

Back Paddock Technical Services Manager Chris Dowling said the Pro-Soil courses are offered to both new starters and experienced professionals wishing to improve their knowledge and understanding of soil fertility and plant nutrition.

The AgSkilled initiative has allocated $14.7 million over three-years to increase staff skill levels and attract industry newcomers to the grains and cotton industries to improve farm productivity and profitability.

Back Paddock Technical Services Manager Chris Dowling said the first Pro-Soil courses offered under the initiative will begin in the middle of April with the first courses already scheduled for Temora, Trangie, Moree, Tamworth and Griffith. He is encouraging growers and advisors to register their interest and their preferred NSW locations.

“The course will consist of a one day face-to-face soil pit workshop, 14 online modules, three webinars and individual mentoring and tuition,” Mr Dowling said.

“The flexible training format and access to detailed knowledge on key topics will make the course suitable for new starters and experienced professionals wishing to improve their knowledge and understanding of soil fertility and plant nutrition.

“Online modules will cover all major, minor and trace elements for plant growth as well as management of soil physical properties and soil amelioration.”

He said the course will take growers through collecting samples, to assessing and interpreting the process for soil and plant analysis and running an environmental stewardship review to ensure they meet environmental guidelines.

The course will give growers and advisors the skills and criteria needed to assess the adequacy of their own soil.

“This course will give growers and advisors the skills and criteria needed to assess the adequacy of their own soil and the ability to determine what rates and types of nutrients they might need to use to improve productivity,” Mr Dowling said.

“Having the ability to assess your own soil chemistry and understand particular nutrients and other constraints that can limit soil fertility and crop productivity, will help growers make more informed decisions and guide on-farm practices."

Tocal College Education Officer Tony Cox said through the course growers will develop skills that they can apply on-farm, allowing them to make informed decisions on profitability and change their inputs to meet their farming goals.

“By understanding the nutritional requirements for your crop, growers will have skills to go out and make changes to fine tune their on-farm management systems, this may be as simple as maintaining the correct level of nutrients rather than over or under fertilising,” Mr Cox said.

AgSkilled can fully fund the new Pro-Soil courses for eligible NSW grain or cotton producers, farm staff, advisors and industry professionals.

Successful completion of this AgSkilled course will also equate to participants completing the training requirements for being a Fertcare Accredited Adviser.

For more information please read the Tocal College AgSkilled - ProSoils - Grain - Management of soils and plant nutrition course brochure (PDF 1.8 mb)

Growers, register your interest now to attend one of the Pro-Soil grain courses, register now on the SoilMate website via this link or if you have any questions please contact BackPaddock staff members on training@backpaddock.com.au or 07 3220 2959.

Contact Details

For Interviews

Chris Dowling, Back Paddock
0407 692 251
cdowling@backpaddock.com.au

Contact

Toni Somes, Cox Inall Communications
0427 878 387
toni.somes@coxinall.com.au