Project Overview


DPIRD: Smart Farms Small Grants

Project Duration:

Two years (2019-2020)

Primary Researcher:


Project Host(s):

Alister Staniforth-Smith – Kulikup

Project Aim

To show that short periods of intensive grazing in spring will increase soil fertility and control insect pests without the use of insecticides.

Preliminary Findings:

A site has been located and the trial will start in mid-September 2019. Research has shown that intensively grazing pastures in spring increases the availability of soil nitrogen and controls the pest red legged earth mite, leading to an increase in productivity in following growing seasons. The innovation in this project is to take the findings of research done in the 1990’s and demonstrate to producers how to adopt it in their farming systems.

The project will run three on-farm demonstrations, one with Southern Dirt, in the spring of 2019 and 2020, which will compare conventional spring grazing to short intensive grazing. Treatments will include normal practice compared to intensive grazing for two and four weeks. Differences in soil available nitrogen and insect populations will be monitored.