Koo Wee Rup, VIC
The Schreurs family have been farming on the Koo Wee Rup in Gippsland, Victoria since 1963. Joe and Johanna Schreurs started the family farm and now Adam, Ben and Chris run Schreurs & Sons producing celery, leeks and baby leaf.
These crops allow for intensive summer and winter production. This is good for the business but has challenges for managing soil conditions, especially when the land area under production and the need to supply a market does not allow for breaks in production or for different rotations.
Adam knows that his soil structure comes off second best when mixing heavy harvesting equipment with wet soil during winter leek harvesting. But, when supply deadlines are looming and his crops need to come out, he sometimes has to go onto paddocks when the soil is wetter than he likes.
The need to meet market demands, along with a tight rotation has made its mark on the soil. Adam has noticed a decline in the soil’s condition, increases in water logging and increases in weed and disease pressure. With the purchase of new land he saw the opportunity to extend his rotation and try something new. That is why he joined the Soil Wealth and ICP projects.
Adam and the Soil Wealth and ICP team are trialling Caliente mustard, Rye Corn and Sorghum as summer cover crops in the Schreurs’ rotation as soil conditioners. These crops are compared with a fallow period (control).