Farmers Connect EP

August 2022

Regenerative Ag update

Welcome to the latest edition of Farmers Connect EP from the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board and facilitators of our Regenerative Agriculture Program, Ag Innovation and Research EP (AIR EP).

This newsletter provides a summary of local sustainable agriculture issues and work happening under the Regenerative Agriculture Program which is supported by the Board, through funding from the Australian Government.

It was great to see so many people this week at the EP Field Days as they stopped at the AIR EP stand. We had good chats with people about a range of AIR EP projects including the Resilient EP project and soil moisture probe network; issues like weather stations, multi-species cover crops and salinity; and internship opportunities.

Naomi Scholz at the AIR EP stand at the field days.

If you missed us at the EP Field Days, you can contact us as any time (during business hours) to find out about the latest opportunities in regenerative agriculture.

Sustainable Agriculture Project Officer
Josh Telfer
0460 000 290

Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator
Amy Wright
0467 004 555

Executive Officer of AIR EP
Naomi Scholz
0428 540 670

Multi-species cover crops: success with winter cover crops and grant opportunities for spring-summer demonstrations

There has been good use of our demonstration grants for landholders to try different combinations of plant species to address varying soil, pasture and ground cover issues. The benefits include increased nitrogen fixation of pastures, growing more autumn cover and feed, improving summer cover from winter pastures, increasing infiltration on sloping soils and improving forage performance on saline land. 

After running for nearly four years, 21 different demonstration grants have explored both winter and summer species mixes. The final four grants to investigate winter species mixes have now been allocated, from Elliston to Kimba and Koppio.

However, there are four remaining grants of up to $6,000 for spring-summer plant species establishment.

Demonstrations can include things like millet and sorghum establishment on a winter pasture or hay cut land, or innovative things like aerial spreading of summer species either just prior (say at crop desiccation) or just after grain legume harvest. 

If you would like to know more about applying or just want to chat about your options, please give Josh Telfer a call on 0460 000 290 or email You can also check out the EP Landscape Board website for guidelines and expression of interest forms.

Success for mixed species trial on Tumby hills

In the Tumby Bay hills, farming can be marginal with the sloping, rocky land. We’ve worked with a local farmer there to investigate increasing production by planting mixed species pastures.

The trial has resulted in finding out what can work on this land, including discovering that the use of a multi-species approach can result in a pasture that is more resilient. Find out more about this trial.

Seasonal update

Things are generally good, or even starting to get a bit too wet in areas on lower EP. What a nice change from not that long ago. Both June and July were below average rainfall for most of EP, but these rainfall bearing clouds seem to have roared back to life at the end of July and early August, which has put the season on a much better footing.

This, combined with some of the high rainfall events experienced back in Janary across part of the region, have led to good soil moisture levels as we head into spring. The rains in the far west have continued to support the early sown crops, however, the driest part of the region is that to the north of Cowell. 

For the most part, this has held the region in good stead given the strong wind around the end on July. In previous decades, this might have been a far more damaging set of wind events.

Left: Rainfall for July 2022. Right: Rainfall for the first week of August. Source: Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology.

Salinity: is the sleeping giant of the 80s and 90s starting to wake up again?

An Eyre Peninsula Mallee seep that is being remediated through our Mallee seeps project.

Dryland, water table-linked salinity was a big focus through the late 80s and early 90s. Successive state and federal governments along with the Landcare movement attempted to address the issue with reasonable levels of success. This, along with a series of dry years in the late 90s, saw the issue drop off the agenda somewhat. However, there has been a general re-engagement with the salinity issues following years like 2010, 2016, and now into 2022, where excess water in the landscape has turbo-charged the growth of saline patches, and further north on EP, Mallee seeps.

While there are numerous resources about revegetation, drainage and the use of salt tolerant plants, there has been a generational change in farming communities. Along with lots of other changes in farming systems - such as widespread no-till, more diverse rotations, more profitable livestock enterprises and ever-increasing land prices - this has created some new challenges as well as opportunities for the current generation of famers.

Is this something you would like more resources or information about? Please contact as we plan upcoming events and projects that could be useful. Call Josh Telfer, Sustainable Ag Officer on 0460 000 290 or email

For resources about Mallee seeps, see our project page which includes video resources for help in identifiying and treating a seep.

Sub-surface acidity breakthrough

A lower Eyre Peninsula farmer has used our one-on-one technical support opportunity to work out the best way to treat sub-surface acidity after lime only improved surface pH.

Getting the appropriate machinery settings and mixing depth were found to be two key factors. Find out more about the result of our technical support.

Sandy soils masterclasses

Sandy soils will be explored in two upcoming workshops for Eyre Peninsula farmers.

Two major sandy soils events will be held at Murlong (near Lock) and Buckleboo (north of Kimba) at the end of August. This will be a valuable event for anyone who is grappling with sandy soils and thinking about different amelioration or mitigation options. The half day in-field workshops will cover:

  • What is my constraint?
  • What tools can be used to address this constraint and how do I optimise their operation?
  • What are the impacts of the treatments available?
  • What are the profit/risk implications of these treatments?
  • How does it work in reality?

The events will be facilitated by Dr Therese McBeath (CSIRO), with presenters including Brett Masters and Nigel Wilhelm (PIRSA), Jack Desbiolles (UniSA), Sam Trengove (Trengove Consulting) and Patrick Redden (Pinion Advisory).

The events will run from 9am-1.30pm with morning tea and lunch provided. RSVP is essential.


For more information, please contact Naomi Scholz from AIR EP on 0428 540 670 or

The sandy soils events are brought to you by the Grains Research & Development Corporation, the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Drought Resilient Soils and Landscapes grants program and is supported by the SA Drought Resilience and Adoption Hub, in collaboration with AIR EP.

EP regional tour by Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Top: Looking at a newly developing Mallee seep on eastern Eyre Peninsula & then at a Mallee seep that has been successfully contained with lucerne planted around it. Photo below: Steven Cunningham and Simon Goodhand from DAFF talking to David Foster from Louth Bay.

In late July, the EP Landscape Board, and AIR EP jointly hosted two representatives from the Australian Government department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). This is the department that funds the core projects in the Sustainable Agriculture program across Eyre Peninsula - along with various other projects across Australia.

While they were only here for a short period of time, we were able to brief them about some of the characteristics of both the agriculture and natural capital of the region, how it is administrated, and some of the successes of the Sustainable Agriculture program.

We were also able to undertake a short tour of some of southern and eastern EP, visiting farmers and crops, and seeing different land issues like recent flooding damage, as well as developing Mallee seeps. They also looked at multi-species crops, and the effects of ripping and organic amendment additions.

They commented they were very impressed with the bit of the region they saw, and we made them to promise to come back and see more of the region (which is the size of Tasmania) another time.

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