Water Quality & Soil Field Day

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Water Quality & Soil Field Day

The issue

The Walgett Shire, for many locals, has a history of difficulty maintaining flourishing gardens, producing marketable crops and in some instances stock have been seen to refuse to drink from troughs, instead preferring dams. After much discussion with the committee of North West Plains Sustainability Group Inc. (NWPSG) it was decided that a field day with experts in soil, water and plants on hand would be most beneficial to the community, both in town and landholders to assist with some of their concerns.

The solution

Lightning Ridge provided a central location for this field day. Owner and local, Margaret, an avid gardener and advocate for native plants led informative talks around her garden explaining her trials and tribulations over the years of flood, drought and the occasional perfect season. In addition to this Margaret also provided a number of plants suited to the area for purchase at the end of the day.

A Senior Land Services Officer for Mixed Farming Systems from North West Local Land Services and a Senior Field Technician from East West Enviroag donated their time to test over 100 water and soil samples brought by attendees. These two experts provided individual advice along with group talks throughout the day on numerous topics relating to soil and water. As well as these specialists a Horticulturalist was contracted to answer any questions attendees had on strategic planting, benefits of native plants, existing plants, correct soil preparation and any problems caused by poor soil and water quality.

Along with the contributions from North West Local Land Services, East West EnviroAg, assistance was provided from Lightning Ridge Rotary, a number of locals and sponsors to make the day a success.

The impact

The major success for this field day was educating attendees about the importance of soil & water health; in the garden, for their crops and for their stock. For attendees to access and analyse their water and soil samples results on the day allowed them to receive expert advice on how to individually manage their nutritional requirements for their soil and to make best use of their available water.

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Key facts

  • Over 25 keen attendees from around the region.
  • More than 100 water & soil samples presented and tested.
  • Water, Soil & Plant experts on hand all day answering questions between talks.

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