Forthside, TAS

For over 50 years the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture’s Forthside Vegetable Research Facility has played a key role in the development of new crops, management practices and technologies in Tasmanian.

The 54-hectare facility is located on the rich red Ferrosol soil at Forth in the state’s northwest and hosts trials by a number of organisations.

The Soil Wealth team is working with Botanical Resources Australia and Cradle Coast NRM to look how soil amendments impact on soil structure and biology and whether these amendments can make sense for the bottom line in vegetable production.

For the past three years the effect of pyrethrum marc has been compared with biochar, oaten chaff and conventional fertiliser on green bean, onion and broccoli crops. Trials to date have shown that pyrethrum marc has potential as a soil conditioner and slow release source of nutrients potentially valuable to farmers.