7 December 2017
On Wednesday 6th December 2017 a field day was held at Rowsley, west of Melbourne, to explore the outcomes of a pasture cropping trial that has been running in the area since 2015.
The trial has been based on a practice that 2014 Bob Hawke award winner Colin Seis developed to regenerate native grasses using cropping.
The site, owned by Jacob Pearce, selected for the trial was a northern aspect with steep slope and little topsoil. A very harsh site. The area was tilled and oats sowed in autumn at wide tine spacing so as not to disturb any perennial grasses. The trial has been complemented with a secondary trial into spray cropping on a neighbouring site, owned by John Lakey.
It was clear to see that the results on the field day. An area that was bare ground in 2014 has started to grow natives such as windmill grass, spear grass and wallaby grasses with many different forbes coming through. Attendees at the field day could not believe their eyes.
Long-term advocate of grassland restoration, Frances Overmars said “It was wonderful to view the on-ground results of the new landowners who are taking this long-term ecological approach.”
Well done to Jacob and John for taking the initiative and restoring some of our valuable grasslands.
The trial has been supported by the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA, through funding from the National Landcare Program.
To learn more about pasture cropping, see Colin’s presentations from when he visited in July 2017.