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Soil testing to support better fertiliser decisions

The program aims to support farmers to make informed fertiliser decisions to ensure nutrients stay on the farm and out of waterways and estuaries.

Expressions of interest for the 2024/25 fertiliser management program are now open!

Expressions of interest close on 28 July 2024.
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What's in it for me?

The soil testing program provides incentives for soil testing and agronomic advice. By participating in this program, you will develop the knowledge and confidence to tailor your fertiliser practices to match your desired level of productivity and soil test results.

Soil testing has given more than 1600 growers control of their fertiliser decisions:

  • cutting fertiliser costs
  • keeping production high
  • preventing nutrient losses
  • correcting soil pH

 You’ll receive:

  • Soil sampling and chemical analysis of all eligible paddocks on your farm.
  • Colour coded maps showing nutrient status and soil acidity for all eligible paddocks.
  • Your results at a farmer workshop, assistance interpreting the results, and advice regarding soil and plant nutrition.
  • One-on-one advice and a personalised fertiliser plan from an agronomist of your choice from the Healthy Estuaries WA panel.
  • Plant tissue testing in spring 2025.
  • An opportunity to join over 1600 farmers working to improve water quality in our local waterways and estuaries.
  • Soil testing and additional advice and support valued at almost $5000.

Can I apply?

The program is open through Healthy Estuaries WA to beef, dairy and sheep grazing enterprises that are over 40 hectares of arable land. Farms must be located in one of the following catchments:

  • Peel-Harvey
  • Leschenault
  • Vasse-Wonnerup and Geographe
  • Hardy Inlet
  • Wilson Inlet
  • Torbay Inlet
  • Oyster Harbour  (located where the average annual rainfall exceeds 600mm)

To confirm you are in an eligible area please consult the eligibility map.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you are welcome to still register your interest to be contacted as part of potential future programs.

How much will it cost?

The program includes financial incentives and enrolled farmers will receive soil and plant tissue testing valued at almost $5000.

New to soil testing?

If you have not previously been involved in a whole farm soil testing program, this program includes a farmer contribution of just $300 to participate.

Farmers receiving their soil test results with an expert

Previously involved in soil testing?

If you have previously been involved in a similar whole farm soil testing program, you are still eligible to register your interest.

Previous participants that elect to take their own samples will need to contribute $25 per paddock, with a minimum cost of $300 to participate. You will have access to training and support to take soil samples.

Previous participants that elect to have sampling undertaken by a contractor will need to contribute $50 per paddock, with a minimum cost of $500 to participate and maximum cost of $3000, as a maximum of 60 paddocks will be sampled.

Interested in a DIY sampling kit?

As a participant in the DIY sampling program, you can loan the equipment you need for sampling and will also have an option to purchase the equipment at a discounted price. The sampling kit cost will be discounted by $50 for every paddock you sample yourself at the time of purchase. The maximum discount available is $600, which is the value of the kit. The sampling kit contains an auger, pogo stick, bucket, pen and clip board (drill and batteries are not included).

Get involved!

Expressions of interest are now open for 2024/25

Please submit your expression of interest by 28 July 2024.  

Click here to complete EOI

Calculating your fertiliser requirements?

DPIRD have developed a specialised nutrient calculator for south-west WA pastures in the high rainfall zones. Input your own soil test results, select the right fertiliser and calculate the application rate needed.

Did you know?

Testing of over 300 000 hectares of farm land since 2009 shows that:

  • Over 70% of paddocks have phosphorus levels higher than needed for desired pasture growth.
  • Over 80% of paddocks have acidic soils where the pH is limiting productivity.
  • Previous participants saved an average of $12,000 per year on phosphorus fertiliser when following soil test recommendations.