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July 2022

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The latest sustainable farming news from GeoCatch

Dear Sally,

Welcome to our Kicking the Dirt newsletter for Winter 2022, featuring all the latest sustainable farming news, events and updates for the Geographe Bay Catchment.

Nutrient planning for your farm


Are you finding yourself fumbling through paperwork or searching for hours on your computer to find your soil test results or agronomic advice? Do you want it to be easier to monitor trends on your farm over time? Are you struggling to get a good farm map that includes your paddocks, boundaries and the waterways that you navigate your stock and equipment around?

Let us help put the pieces of the puzzle together to ensure that you are operating your farm business to meet best practice and your budget.


GeoCatch can assist you to package all your farm nutrient information together into a holistic Nutrient Plan that outlines your goals and vision, whilst providing clear and achievable recommendations for your farm for nutrient management into the future.

To register your interest in obtaining a free Nutrient Plan customised for your farm, please contact GeoCatch by email

GeoCatch resources available to

Geographe farmers

Did you know that GeoCatch have a range of resources that can be borrowed through our Busselton office.

This includes:

  • Pottiputkis and belted planting buckets to help with your winter planting
  • Fox & feral cats traps 
  • Dieback treatment kits
  • Library resources such as CSIRO's latest book 'Natural Asset Farming: Creating Productive and Biodiverse Farms'.

To organise a loan of any of our resources, contact GeoCatch on 0491 069 078 or email

Grazing Matcher farmers get down to business

The sun was out for the July Grazing Matcher meeting at the Payne Farm in Metricup last week.

A healthy discussion on the influence of soil type and residual phosphorus in south-west soils was led by Joel Hall, from Department of Water & Environmental Regulation. The group had lots of interesting questions about how fertilising can affect water quality in the Geographe catchment.

Then it was out to the paddock and our farmers put some of the Grazing Matcher principles into practice. Firstly condition scoring sheep to determine the nutritional wellbeing of the flock, then reviewing weed control and pasture growth.

Dan Parnell gave farmers an insight into how to determine the cost of production and measuring farm operational costs. It was a real eye opener for all, considering the rising price of many farming expenditures.

The successful program helps to increase farmer knowledge and skills in best practice grazing management to improve productivity and profits while minimising impacts to the environment.

Thanks to Meat & Livestock Australia Profitable Grazing Systems, Western Beef Association Inc. and South West Catchments Council (SWCC).

How's the weather affecting your farm?

Weather is usually right at the top of most farming conversations. When's the break of season? How wet will it be this winter? Will we get any summer rains?

Department of Water & Environmental Regulation have just released the latest rainfall and streamflow data across the South West Land Division (SWLD), as well as 3-montly forecasting. Results indicate that the south-west corner of the SWLD, Perth to Dunsborough and inland to Majimup, has received below average rainfall so far in 2022.

To find out more about how your catchment and the south-west region is tracking and rainfall predictions for the next 3-month, refer to the full summary.

DWER's Rainfall & Streamflow Summary for June 2022

Another valuable resource is the Climate Kelpie News, providing climate management tools and information to the Australian agricultural sector.

To learn more about BOM's new forecasting tools specific for agriculture and how they can work for your farm business, check out their latest quarterly news, developed as part of the Management Climate Variability Research & Development Program.

The Climate Kelpie News - 15th Edition

Enhancing our waterways with planting days

With winter truly set in, farmers in the Geographe Catchment are making the most of the rains by kicking off planting programs to revegetate waterways on their properties. 

GeoCatch Project Officers got their hands dirty recently, along with Capel River farmers Greg and Midori Norton, assisting with his re-vegetation project as part of the WA Estuaries Stream Restoration program.

Plants were selected from local wetland species known to currently or historically grow in the area. The Norton's site will be used as a trial for the area, which is often inundated with water over the winter months. GeoCatch will be monitoring the site so results can guide future stream restoration projects in the area.  

In 2022, GeoCatch have 20 landholders involved in the Stream Restoration program who have committed to 20km of stock proof waterway fencing and 13ha of waterway revegetation using local native species.

Planting native vegetation can assist with reducing erosion, provide a nutrient buffer, improve biodiversity and provide shade, all the while enhancing your property!

This year's program is fully subscribed, however if you wish to register for 2023 Stream Restoration, email us.

Back to basics with carbon farming

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Low Carbon Future Team recently presented a series of carbon farming webinars for farmers and landowners.

With the topic of carbon farming becoming a hotly discussed new revenue stream for agricultural enterprises, its important for farmers to gather information from independent and qualified sources.

In this webinar, DPIRD experts, Kerry House and Catherine Turnbul, discuss the pros and cons of planning a carbon farming project on your property. 

Carbon Farming – How to Get Started

Sub-Catchment in focus:

Annie Brook

There are sixteen waterways that flow across the Geographe catchment into Geographe Bay or via coastal wetlands and estuaries. Most of Geographe waterways are ephemeral (only flow in winter months) except for the Capel River which flows all year round due to groundwater inflows. 

The waterways have important aquatic values, some providing habitat for threatened and priority species, and are of high value to both the local community and visitors to the area.

In this edition, we are looking at Annie Brook sub-catchment, located in the west of the Geographe catchment, which contains three streams: Station Gully, Annie Brook and Mary Brook. These waterways converge and flow directly into Geographe Bay via Station Gully Drain, and host a diversity of flora and fauna, including the endangered Dunsborough burrowing crayfish. 

Read more about Annie Brook sub-catchment

Keeping your nutrients on your farm

The IMG (Iron Man Gypsum) soil amendment trial in the Sabina Catchment is looking at improving phosphorus (P) retention on sandy soils, to keep P in the farming system and prevent its loss to waterways by leaching or runoff.

Dairy farmer Robin Lammie is hosting the trial in the Geographe catchment in partnership with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) with support from GeoCatch. This trial will also look at how well IMG holds P where dairy shed effluent is applied.

This new trial, along with data from other IMG trials, will help DWER develop best practice guidelines for the application of soil amendments on coastal sandplains to protect waterways. 

Read more about the IMG Trials

New uPtake trial to assess alternative phosphorus product

One of 30 underground collection devices is installed to capture water as part of a new uPtake trial to measure the effectiveness of low water-soluble phosphorus fertiliser for pastures and the environment.

A new trial in the Peel-Harvey catchment is examining if the use of low water-soluble phosphorus fertiliser can improve pasture growth, while reducing nutrient loss to local waterways.

The trial is a part of the four year uPtake project, delivered by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and seven local catchment groups, including GeoCatch. 

Trial plots have been sown to a ryegrass and subclover pasture mix with varying rates of the two phosphorus fertilisers applied, while dry matter production will be measured throughout the growing season.

The research will compare two fertiliser products applied at the start of the season over seven treatments, ranging from 0 to 40 kilograms of phosphorus per hectare.

The trial site is typical of the sandy soils on the Swan Coastal Plain, which have extremely low phosphorus binding capacity resulting in phosphorus runoff contributing to poor water quality and algal blooms.

Read more about the uPtake Trials

What sustainable farming topics do you want to hear about?

A recent survey of Geographe farmers indicated you are keen to receive more independent science around carbon farming. Are there any other burning questions you have? 

Please complete our short survey to tell us what topics your interested in.

Tell us what you want to hear more about

Want to work with us?

We have been working with farmers for over 20 years! If you'd like to increase productivity and profitability while supporting the environment then contact us at to chat about what opportunities we have!

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