UWA Farm Open Day to showcase innovative research

The University of Western Australia will next month showcase innovative research at UWA Farm Ridgefield in West Pingelly during its public 2021 Open Day: Pastures and Fodder for Sustainability.

The UWA Farm Ridgefield 2021 Open Day on Friday 3 September 2021 will feature visits to four research demonstration sites, including ‘Enrich’ Forage Systems, Oestrogenic Subclover, Land Restoration Demonstration Site and The Avon River Critical Zone Observatory.

The UWA Institute of Agriculture Associate Director Professor Phillip Vercoe will explain how his research has shown that perennial forage shrubs can be a valuable addition to pasture systems.

“We took a unique approach in the ‘Enrich’ project, combining the use of Australian plants with management approaches that take into account the nutritional behaviours of grazing herbivores,” Professor Vercoe said.

“We demonstrated that implementing the principles of ‘Enrich’, and selecting species for both their nutritive value and low methanogenic potential, can improve year round productivity and reduce the environmental footprint of grazing sheep.”

A collaborative UWA research team is leading the research into Oestrogenic Subclover: Identification, Livestock Impacts and Remediation.

“We have been conducting pasture surveys across southern Australia to identify how widespread some of the older sub clover varieties known to contain oestrogenic compounds are in these grazing areas,” project leader Dr Kevin Foster said.

“The demonstration site will cover how to identify high-oestrogenic sub clover varieties on your farm.”

UWA Emerita Professor Lynette Abbott established the Land Restoration Demonstration Site to show how upscaling novel soil restoration practices can re-establish productivity on degraded areas of farmland.

“The site is on degraded pasture exposed to localised salinity and erosion,” Professor Abbott said.

“It demonstrates how to install permeable biomass (waste organic matter) barriers among recent plantings of native trees and shrubs to fast-track soil restoration on localised pockets of degraded farmland.”

UWA School of Agriculture and Environment Dr Matthias Leopold said The Avon River Critical Zone Observatory located at UWA Farm Ridgefield was one of five core sites of the new OZCZO-network across Australia.

“Critical zone science is a holistic approach to study our environment from the top of the tree canopy down to the bedrock,” Dr Leopold said.

The UWA Institute of Agriculture Director Professor Kadambot Siddique said all members of the WA agricultural, academic, local and regional community were welcome.

Register to attend the UWA Farm Ridgefield 2021 Open Day.

Book a seat on the free return bus from UWA Crawley Campus to UWA Farm Ridgefield.

Source: UWA

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