GeoCatch Horizontal.png

April, 2022

Copy of Copy of Copy of Farmer Update 2 _3_.png

The latest sustainable farming news from GeoCatch

Dear Sally,

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

Grazing Matcher group photo_adjust resize.jpg

Grazing Matcher wrap-up

The 2021 Grazing Matcher group recently wrapped up their last meeting at Rob McFerran's Treeton property. Despite a fire blazing nearby, Rob was a gracious host as always! 

This group of local beef and sheep farmers invested their time to learn about best practice grazing, to reduce their environmental impacts and improve their farm business. 


The group received information and hands-on tools to help guide their decisions around rotational grazing, feed budgeting and making hay and silage.


"I can calculate the grazing rotation for my property now rather than just visually assessing and guessing which is helpful. And I've learnt how leaving pasture residue of 4-6cm allows pasture to regrow quicker and can increase dry matter production" said Rob. 

Felicity Bradshaw, who farms at Carbunup said getting to understand the principles of rotational grazing was a huge learning.

"I know more about how grass grows and how temperature and sunlight affect rotation speeds in different seasons" said Felicity.


The group's knowledge on the importance of reaching the 2-3 leaf stage before grazing was well established by the end of the course. The 2-3 leaf stage in ryegrass allows the pasture’s ‘solar panels’ to recover and energy levels to replenish before the next grazing. The importance of resting paddocks until this leaf stage was put into practice during the course, with good results.

"We’ve been following the 35 day rotation speed, allowing the ryegrass to get to 3 leaf stage, and now we have a lot of feed in front of us" said participant Duncan Anderson who farms near Donnybrook.

A big thanks to everyone involved in the 2021 program, especially course facilitators Jeisane Accioly and Dan Parnell and Bree Brown who coordinated the group on behalf of GeoCatch.

The Grazing Matcher program is a joint initiative of Western Beef Association Inc and South West Catchments Council, and is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia’s Profitable Grazing Systems program (PGS) and GeoCatch.

We look forward to working with a new group of farmers this year. If you are interested in joining, sign up at the link below.

Register Interest for Grazing Matcher

What's happening to rainfall in WA: Webinar

Check out this webinar recording from Climate Systems Hub on rainfall projections. The presentations address:

  1. What do the latest global and national projections mean for WA's rainfall?
  2. Why is WA's South West drying out at one of the fastest rates in the world?
  3. Will this trend continue and how do we know it's being caused by greenhouse gases?
Nikki Slee with Bear.JPG

Restoring Streams a win for farmers

Local farmers protecting streams in the Geographe Bay Catchment are finding their actions benefit more than just the environment.  

As part of GeoCatch’s Rivercare project, 15 local farmers will undertake stock-exclusion fencing and revegetation along waterways on their properties in 2022.

Local father and daughter team, Ian and Nikki Slee, have signed up for their fourth continuous year of stream restoration on their beef farm in Hithergreen. They have witnessed firsthand the benefits of restoring the landscape.

“We got involved in the GeoCatch program with the mindset to improve the health of our wetlands and waterways, and in turn to create a better environment for our cattle,” said Nikki.

Read more

Making cents of soil testing

A recent soil testing workshop brought Geographe farmers together face-to-face and online to get a better handle on their soil nutrients.

Thirty-six farmers were involved in this year’s soil testing program, with over 20,000 soil samples collected across 688 paddocks.

The workshops are part of the Geographe Soil Testing program which aims to give farmers greater confidence in planning their fertiliser program by providing them with nutrient maps of their properties based on results of whole farm soil testing.

This year the workshops were held online as a three-part series, with one face-to-face workshop to collect maps. The modules included how to determine production targets, how pH can impact nutrient availability and how to fine-tune nutrient budgets to cost effectively meet production aims.  

Agronomists were on-hand to help farmers interpret their maps and soil test results.

Local farmer Rebecca Slade said she would highly recommend the soil testing program to those who wanted to get the most out of their farm. 

“I wanted to know how to better read a soil sample, and where my dollars are best spent” said Rebecca.  

Read more

Hear from Rebecca Slade about her experience in the Soil Testing program.

VIDEOS: 1) Highlights from soil testing and 2) Benefits of tissue testing

Rebecca Slade's highlights from soil testing
Rebecca Slade's insights on tissue testing

We asked farmers the main factors influencing their fertiliser decisions in our annual Farmer Survey - check out the results below:

Soil testing factors.jpg

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 the fertiliser recommendations from your agronomist? 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? Do you need help to 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 on 97810 111 or email

Sabina collage.png

Sabina River is a dry season refuge

Nine local farmers got up close and personal with their aquatic neighbours last week, including south-western snake-necked turtles, nightfish, blue-spot goby and macroinvertebrates. They joined the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Healthy Rivers Assessment Team to monitor the Sabina River.

Although many of our rivers don’t flow all year, they provide critical refuge pools for native species over the drier months. As part of DWER's comprehensive monitoring program, data is collected on key river health themes including water quality, fish and crayfish, morphology and streamside vegetation, and the results are used to evaluate ecosystem management and environmental flows. The Sabina River was last assessed in 2017 and is one of 300 core sites that are sampled on a 3 to 5 year rotation in the South West.

Farmers play an in important role in protecting the health of our rivers and the life they support. Engaging them in science and Rivercare activities helps to build connection between farming practices and the environment.

Healthy Rivers South West
Floodplain mapping.JPG

DWER FloodPlain Mapping

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation's online floodplain mapping tool has recently been updated to include flood studies in the Greater Bunbury region.

WA Floodplain Mapping

What sustainable farming topics do you want to hear about?


Would you like to hear more about the science behind carbon farming? Or regenerative agriculture practices? Soil amendments and improving soil health Please complete our short two-question survey to tell us what topics you would like to hear about.

Take survey

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!

Connect with us

Facebook  Instagram