Glasfurd Farm Soil Amelioration Practices Demonstration Site Project - Dandaragan

Project Plan


Reduce the short-term negative environmental impacts of wind erosion on soils that have been ameliorated, to reduce soil water repellency over the long-term.


The project will investigate a change in timing of soil amelioration practices and the types of crops and pastures that can be grown to significantly reduce the potential for wind erosion.  The change from an autumn timing to a winter timing will delay the amelioration practice until after the most damaging wind events, and when the soil is moist and less prone to wind erosion.


The key steps involved in the process include:

  1. Establish a demonstration site in the winter period by rotary spading or mouldboard ploughing at 'Warruga', Cataby Rd, Dandaragan, (property of R, R and D Glasfurd).
  2. Sow a range of pasture and crop species to evaluate the most effective crop type or mix to cover the soil surface in the quickest time possible, and which can provide the best financial return for the grower.
  3. Conduct a series of soil and plant measurements taken during the growing season to determine plant growth and final yield, along with recording the costs and income associated with each crop.
  4. Establish a gross margin comparison of each treatment to determine the profitability of each approach.
  5. Communicate the environmental and economic benefits of changing soil amelioration tactics to land managers in the West Midlands region.


The outcomes of this project will improve landholder management capacity across the region by increasing their confidence to change their amelioration strategies to reduce the negative environmental and social impact.  This may also lead to a greater area of land being ameliorated which will improve farm productivity in the region, as more fragile soils could be ameliorated without risk of erosion.

The project will benefit the natural environment by reducing the off-site impact of farming practices across the region.  The common use of soil amelioration practices across the region, and the increase in soil amelioration on poorer sands for pasture production means that these practices have potential to increase the prevalence of wind erosion.  The loss of nutrient-rich top soil farm farmland through wind erosion reduces the productivity of the farming land and can lead to nutrient enrichment in the native bushland.  Many of the local native plant species have evolved to live in a nutrient-poor environment, and large changes in the balance of species present can occur through changes in nutrient availability.

The broader benefits of the project include a better social licence for our region with landholders demonstrating that they are committed to improving farming practices along with community expectations.  The improvement in farm productivity across the region will bring greater wealth into the region that has the potential to underpin the regional economy, by providing greater spending in the region and potentially an increase in employment opportunities.  The increase in productivity is usually followed by an increase in land value which will drive an increase in rates value for the Shire of Dandaragan.

The Shire's Contribution

The Shire of Dandaragan approved a grant of $9,800 through the Environmental Grants program for this project with the following conditions:

  • Project coordinator to provide before and after images for reporting and promotion purposes;
  • Project coordinator to provide annual project report to Council / Shire of Dandaragan demonstrating agricultural and environmental outcomes;
  • Project coordinator to provide annual update to local newspapers identifying the project and partnership with the Shire;
  • Project coordinator to ensure project is promoted as a demonstration site;
  • Provide access to the project site at mutually agreed times to the Shire;
  • Share project details to facilitate community learning;
  • Grant to be acquitted at an agreed time with any unspent funds to be returned to the Shire.

Time Frame

The on-ground activities of the project to be completed by 30 June 2020.

Project Plan provided to the Shire of Dandaragan by West Midlands Group

Photo credit - Example of site conditions by West Midlands Group