Two Levels of Information are Required to Assist Extension of Liming in Western Australia

  • Fisher J
  • Gazey C
  • Andrew J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Recent soil surveys have shown that soil pH in the central agricultural area of Western Australia is lower than was suggested by previous estimates. This situation adds weight to data from lime sales suggesting that while lime use has increased from a drop in the early 2000s, it is still below the amount required to adequately treat existing and on-going acidification. Focus group workshops were conducted at three locations in the central and eastern wheatbelt of Western Australia to identify whether there are common barriers to the use of lime amongst farmers in this region. The responses and comments of the participants at the workshops highlighted the chief importance of economic factors (costs, returns and cash-flow) on the ability to carry out liming. Two groups of farmers were identified with differing, though related information needs. The first group is largely convinced of the value of liming. Their main information needs are for more detail in terms of lime requirements, responses to liming and efficiency of liming to make the dollars spent on liming as effective as possible. The second group did not appear to be entirely convinced of the value of liming. The main information needs identified by this group fell into two broad categories of fundamental information about lime, pH changes and rates as well as further information about responses to liming, the rates required to achieve pH targets and the economics of liming. The results of this study will help to direct extension of soil acidity and liming information for farmers in the Western Australian wheatbelt.

Author-supplied keywords

  • information needs
  • lime use
  • soil acidity
  • western australian wheatbelt

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Authors

  • James Fisher

  • Chris Gazey

  • Joel Andrew

  • Steve Carr

  • Désirée Futures

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