Get the dirt on soils at Masterclass

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 12 Dec 2014

What does healthy soil look, feel and smell like?

Is it economical to spend money trying to make your soils healthier?

How can you help your crops search deeper for water during a dry finish to the cropping season?

Grain growers will have the opportunity to ask leading soil specialists these questions and more at a free ‘Soils Masterclass’ on the Campbell family’s property near Gibson, in the Esperance region, starting at 8.45am on February 12.

The one-off event is being organised by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Esperance Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN), the South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (SEPWA) and the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA).

Presenters and topics for the Soils Masterclass sessions will include:

  • David Hall (DAFWA): Improving lighter soil types, including the use of delving and claying
  • James Hagan (DAFWA) and Andrew Newall (NEWAG Consulting): Matching equipment for controlled traffic farming (CTF) systems; economics of CTF – constraints and rooting depth, machinery planning, transition planning of machinery 
  • Nigel Metz (SEPWA): Raw data from CTF versus non-CTF paddock scale work; matching machinery to fit
  • Yvette Oliver (CSIRO): Targeted acidity management with reference to rooting depth - how to target lime application and considering yield potential
  • Bill Bowden (consultant): The value of chemical soil tests and nutrient budgeting
  • Chris Gazey and Liam Ryan (DAFWA): Soil acidity in South Coast farming systems
  • Jeremy Lemon (DAFWA): Economic considerations for various nitrogen sources
  • Daniel Murphy (UWA) and Frances Hoyle (DAFWA): Methods for building soil carbon in continuous cropping systems, and is it worth it.

RCSN coordinator Julianne Hill said people could stay on following these sessions to visit soil pits, inspect examples of composting and investigate soil amelioration options.

“An additional highlight will be the opportunity to take part in free, one-on-one consultations with CTF specialists – to find out how to match machinery to establish a CTF system on your own farm,” Ms Hill said.

For more information or to register for the Soils Masterclass, contact Ms Hill on 0447 261 607 or Or register online at


Contact Details

For Interviews

Julianne Hill, GRDC RCSN

0447 261 607


Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications

08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827

Region West