The 12-month project is part of MLA’s phosphorus use efficiency program and aims to identify opportunities for producers to reduce their cost of production through improved fertiliser management.
The first step in getting a more detailed understanding of phosphorus use is a comprehensive survey of livestock producers and a series of producer and industry focus meetings.
This will be led by Helen Burns of the NSW Department of Primary Industries at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute.
“We need to hear from producers about what is happening on the ground, in the grazing and mixed farming zones of NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia,” said Ms Burns.
All producers in these areas can participate in the project through an online survey, to provide a snapshot of the current nutrient management practices, the role of soil testing, the resources and information sources that producers use in their nutrient management decisions, and also who influences these decisions.
While reluctant to ask producers to fill in yet another survey, Ms Burns said that it is the most cost-effective way of gathering a lot of information from a very large group of producers.
“There are no right or wrong answers to the survey questions, and there should be no need to search through files and records,” said Ms Burns.
“We encourage all producers to have a say in future research and extension investment by filling out the survey, which will be available on the MLA website throughout July,” she said.
Producers who set aside 30 minutes of their time to fill out the survey will also have the opportunity to enter a draw for one of two $500 gift vouchers from a major national retailer.