We have managed many projects over the years that have proved very successful. A list of some of the major projects are below. Many have links to reports and results that can be viewed.
Demonstrating Sustainable Farm Practices
This flagship multi-partner project ran from 2013-2018 and aimed to increase the understanding, development and uptake of innovative and sustainable farming practices through a diverse range of demonstration sites, field days, discussion groups, farm tours, and training workshops. The level of interest in the project was outstanding with trials, events and courses often being over-subscribed, and feedback from participants calling for more information.
Over the 5 years the project engaged with 7,362 participants, established 53 demonstration sites with detailed case studies on the results for all sites which can be found here. A diverse range of training courses were delivered to provide as many farmers as possible the knowledge and skills to effectively manage their farmland for the future. The final report can be viewed here.
Healthy Soils – Linking soil carbon and soil acidification with farm management practices
This project ran from 2010-2013 and benchmarked soil carbon & acidification levels on 109 farms. This project was delivered in partnership with DEPI and CSIRO. This project significantly increased awareness amongst farmers about soil carbon and how this relates to farm management practices. For comprehensive soil carbon results please click here.
Sub Soil Compost Trials
This project trialled the use of composts on five farms – vegetable, dairy, beef, lifestyle and a farm converting from cropping to beef. The compost was placed underground in the root zone and the soil health was monitored through the Rapid Soil Assessment Tool along with pasture yields monitored. This trial compared the soil health impacts of applying the products at the root zones as opposed to on the surface. To view the results from this trial click here.
Healthy Soils, Stock and Pasture
This was a research project running from 2007-2010 trialling a range of alternative fertilisers and amendments whilst measuring pasture production and soil microbiology. 2 replicated trial sites were established and monitored for 6 years (up to 2013). The results from this project was the catalyst for many farmers in the region to change fertiliser practices and inputs. To view very comprehensive results from the first 3 years of the trial click here, or to view the total results for the 6 years please click here.
Western Port Ag-Emissions Project
The highly regarded Ag-Emissions project was funded by Sustainability Victoria and was delivered in partnership with Bass Coast Landcare Network. 50 large beef and dairy farmers aimed to reduce emissions, improve on-farm water efficiency and reduce waste to landfill. On farm energy audits were conducted and experts such as Dr Richard Eckard were used to talk to farmers about Greenhouse Emissions (at a time when farmers had little idea about Methane and Nitrous emissions)! The 50 farmers reduced Greenhouse emissions by 18%, improved water efficiency by 35% and reduced waste to landfill by 54%. Farm productivity increased by 15%. The project received state and national attention. For a final report please click here.
This project supported on ground works on properties in Maryknoll, Officer, Cranbourne, Cannons Creek, Pearcedale and Tooradin. The project was delivered by the Western Port Catchment Landcare Network in partnership with the Western Port Biosphere as part of the Connect and Improve Habitat Corridors to Create a Resilient Biosphere project supported through funding from the Australian Government.
Targeted Land Stewardship
Conceived and delivered through three Landcare Networks, this project was an innovation in approaches to land stewardship. It took the idea of stewardship, combined this with locally-proven processes for supporting practice change amongst landholders, and integrated these with a tender process for delivery of ecosystems services. The program encouraged and paid farmers for land stewardship activities that provides ecosystem services that benefit the wider community (such as healthy waterways from revegetation) that are not rewarded in current markets.
Connecting Habitat for the Endangered Helmeted Honeyeater
This project assisted private landholders to undertake on-ground environmental works, in the Cannibal/Bunyip and Tarago catchments. These regions fall between the Bunyip State Park and the Western Port Swamp. By planting indigenous species and excluding stock from the project sites, biolinks were created between existing vegetation to support the recovery of the Critically Endangered Helmeted Honeyeater and build a more connected and resilient landscape. This project also supported other threatened species such as Eucalyptus Strzelecki and Eucalyptus Fulgens, Growling Grass Frog and the Southern Brown Bandicoot.