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Alternative Fertilisers Project

During sustained periods of drought, landholders have come to appreciate the quality and persistence of native grasses under stress compared to non-native pasture species. How we manage these pastures is therefore essential to maintaining a productive and profitable livestock industry in NSW

Almost 40% of pastures in the NSW Southern Tablelands are comprised of native perennial grasses

This project aimed to examine the impact of traditional fertilisers (typically single superphosphate) on native pasture species compared to a range of alternative phosphorus fertilisers.


In a six-year trial (2009 - 2014) at five sites, fertiliser impact on available soil nutrients, pasture production, botanical composition and soil microbiology were assessed.

Pasture production varied depending on the form of phosphorus present in the fertiliser treatment applied

In general, it was found that:​

  • Products delivering a significant proportion of water soluble P (i.e. plant accessible P measured as Colwell P) stimulated pasture growth. These included: single superphosphate, SEP Pig Manure products and Agriash

  • Products containing a significant proportion of unavailable P forms stimulated pasture growth to a lesser extent, and took longer to do so. These included: YLAD Compost Mineral Blend, BioAg Blend and Dical 64

The project and its findings were widely disseminated through field days and presentations, culminating in a symposium held in September 2015 attended by 140 landholders. 


This project was conducted by the Binalong Landcare Group (a subgroup of HMLG), with technical support from South East Local Land Services and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

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