Back Paddock Agronomist Robyn Tuck talks with experienced Elders agronomists about the role of soil/plant testing and SoilMate in their business.
Alf Weaver of Elders Jamestown
“Clients value what we do to help them with soil nutrition and productivity, and SoilMate adds value to the service our Branch delivers.
I love that we are now using the web-based version of SoilMate. I’m getting the most up-to-date information every time, and I don’t have to mess about updating the program myself. It’s a simple to use.”
I use SoilMate purely for customers soil tests. I don’t do a lot of this as Beth Sleep is covering this aspect with our customers, and she’s at the cutting edge of soil nutrition and management.
I really like talking things through with Chris Dowling, he’s brilliant and its fantastic to have that resource within SoilMate to call on. He has such a vast knowledge of Agronomy. He explains very complex soil chemistry and makes it simple to understand. If I have a soil test result come back that looks unusual, or questions about how it should be interpreted I can discuss that with him.
Clients value what we do to help them with soil nutrition and productivity, and SoilMate adds value to the service our Branch delivers. I like to use the report option that gives interpreted results. I print that out and give that to farmers. We go through it and discuss the comments. They use it in conjunction with my recommendations with detailed comments to refer back to if they need to. I can also put the comments in the SoilMate rec process straight into my own recommendation report to farmers.
I asked Alf what scope he saw for BPC to further assist Elders in improving the delivery of services.
A training session with our staff could be helpful, to get more out of the soil testing and interpretation process. Not necessarily how to use the SoilMate program but interpretation of the results and the agronomic side of things. A webinar over the summer would be good, Alf suggests.
I understand you’ve had some outstanding results on your farm with regards to lime applications.
It’s a double bonus we get more efficient use of lime, more yield per ha, and less ryegrass.
We are using more variable mapping to help us get the best value from our lime applications. We have a grid across the farm of soil test sites and a spatial map that contractors use/connect to when spreading lime. It’s a double bonus we get more efficient use of lime per yield and less ryegrass. It’s a good system, Beth is specialising in this. I am mostly involved in chemical-based Agronomy and systems based agronomy. I use my experience on my farm and the results I’ve seen and discuss this with our clients