Extension Officers based in WTSIP partner organisations have been working one-on-one with growers to develop whole farm nutrient management plans since 2016.
Many growers are already taking steps to develop nutrient management plans by using the SIX EASY STEPS framework.
However while the first four steps are a great starting point it is a lot more difficult to implement steps 5 and 6 so WTSIP asked some local experts to develop a consistent approach to nutrient management plans that would make it easier for growers.
Extension Officers are also available to work one-on-one with growers to develop these plans by analysing soil tests and farm maps to come up with a plan which rationalises fertiliser blends and rates across their whole farm.
There are several benefits to growers in developing a whole farm nutrient management plan:
- Streamlined recommendations for fertiliser blends and rates
- Decisions based on a more scientific approach
- Convenience of having all your information gathered into one plan
- Much easier to order your fertiliser
- Potential cost savings
- Easier to spot trends over time and between farms
Initial discussions take about an hour to discuss current practices and obstacles and talk through how growers can use the plan to get the most value out of it.
An individualised plan is then developed in consultation with the grower and at the end of the process it belongs to you so you can give it to other advisors.