The program, which engages farmers with science to make informed fertiliser decisions, is a collaborative effort delivered in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, seven catchment groups, farmers and industry representatives.
Healthy Estuaries WA program coordinator Jennifer Stritzke said the most immediate and direct human impact on WA’s waterways was the oversupply of nutrients ‒ primarily from agriculture.
“Such oversupply can cause excessive growth of algae, pushing the ecosystem out of balance,” Jennifer said.
“This is why Healthy Estuaries WA is working with farmers to reduce the loss of nutrients from agricultural land.”
Sustainable agriculture program coordinator Dr Deborah Holtham said more than 1,000 farmers across south-west WA had taken part in the program since 2016.
“This year’s cohort of 290 farms will soon join the program ‒ the largest group we’ve had to date,” Deborah said.
“Through industry collaboration, soil testing, and a range of workshops and field days, farmers are empowered to make informed decisions about the fertiliser they apply. This is making an impact to improve the health of our waterways.”
Read more about the Science Engagement Initiative of the Year 2023 category and finalists.
For more information on the Fertiliser Management Program, visit the Healthy Estuaries WA website.
Pictured: Farmers in the Peel-Harvey catchment learn how to take their own soil samples.