What is the Evergreen Farming Group?
Evergreen Farming members are interested in perennial pasture based farming systems that are more profitable and sustainable. The majority of members are farmers, with a growing number of researchers, agronomists and consultants. The group shares information on perennial pasture systems through newsletters, field days, seminars and our website. This information is based on both farmer experience and research. Evergreen Farming research is usually conducted in collaboration with organisations such as the Department of Agriculture, CSBP and CSIRO.
What is the geographical spread of Evergreen Farming members?
Evergreen Farming members are located across Western Australia, from Northampton in the north to east of Esperance in the South. Initially members were mainly from the West Midlands area where the group originated. Today we have a more even spread of members from across the state. We also have a few members in South Australia.
What benefits do Evergreen Farming members receive?
Evergreen Farming members receive information on perennial pasture systems through regular Newsletters (4 per year), Field Days and Walks (~ 10 per year), Seminars, Workshops (1-2 per year) and Email updates. Members receive discounted entry to Field Days and Seminars and are first in line to host research trials and demonstrations.
What is the annual membership fee for Evergreen Farming?
$110 per year. Corporate membership is available at $330 per year (for 5 people).
Why are perennial pastures more profitable and sustainable than annual pastures?
Perennial pastures can be more profitable than annual pastures due to their ability to convert “out of season” rainfall into quality feed. This increases livestock production over the difficult summer and autumn period and reduces the need for costly supplementary feeding. Perennial pastures are more sustainable than annual pastures because of their deeper root system and permanent ground cover. The deep and permanent root system allows them to access and use more water, reducing the threat of rising water tables and salinity, and to recycle nutrients leached past the shallow root zone of annual pastures. Permanent ground cover also significantly reduces the risk of soil erosion.
What is the cost of establishing perennial pastures?
Full budgets for establishing perennial pastures are contained in the Members section of the website. As a rough guide it costs $100 to $150/ha to establish a perennial pasture which includes seed, sprays and machinery costs. The seed component is often $50 to $60/ha.
What is the Evergreen Mix?
The Evergreen Mix is a mixture of perennial pasture seeds developed by Evergreen Farming and Heritage Seeds. There are in fact 2 types of Evergreen Mix – a Southern Sandplain mix and a Northern Sandplain mix, each tailored to the conditions. The Documents section contains a brochure for the Evergreen Mix. The Evergreen Mix is sourced and distributed by Heritage Seeds and is available at your local rural merchandise store.
Is Evergreen Farming just about sub-tropical perennial pastures?
No, although our members have pioneered the use of these species in Western Australia. Evergreen Farming provides information on many perennial species including lucerne, tagasaste and temperate grasses. We also provide information on annual pastures.
Which perennial pasture species are Evergreen Farming members using?
A very wide range!
Sub-tropical perennial grasses:
Rhodes, Green and Gatton Panic, Bambatsi Panic, Setaria, Signal, Kikuyu, Premier Digit, Strickland Finger and Giant Bermuda Couch
Sub-tropical perennial legumes:
Siratro and Lotononis
Temperate perennial grasses:
Phalaris, Cocksfoot, Tall Fescue, Veldt and Perennial Ryegrass
Temperate perennial legumes:
Lucerne, Strawberry clover and White clover
Salt tolerant grasses:
Tall Wheat Grass and Puccinellia
Chicory and Plantain
Tagasaste, Saltbush, Bluebush and Rhagodia