Healthy soil is the backbone of sustainable, productive and profitable farming. Developing effective, efficient, long-term techniques to improve soil health is essential to sustainable agriculture. Improved soil heath leads to better production performance and better financial returns.
The Soil Health Group was initiated by Gill and Ian fry in 2009. It has blossomed to a group of over 50 members and has over 330 farmers, agronomists, agency, shire and companies receiving the Healthy Soils Magazine and attending regular seminars and field days.
The vision of the Soil Health Group is healthy, balanced, profitable, productive soils and farming systems which are managed effectively by informed landholders.
Their purpose is to raise the awareness of the importance of soil health and provide as much information as possible to land managers so they can make informed decisions.
Their goals are;
a) To create awareness, understanding and further improve skills of farmers in soils and soil management through events, such as field days and so that they can make informed decisions and will be farming for the future
b) To communicate and create awareness of soil health to the wider audience through the media, journal articles, newsletters and the website
c) To undertake independent trials on various soil types to implement, assess and analyse data for sustainable and profitable pasture, crop and livestock production which are essentially driven by soil health.
The recent drought and the possibility of climate change, highlights that farmers need to be flexible and adaptive. With the increased prices of fertiliser and its reduced availability, farmers need to consider options and alternatives to improving soils and pasture production. To make informed decisions, farmers need to be able to measure and understand their soil tests and the different management options available.
See our regional soil test map HERE.
The objectives of this group will be achieved by encouraging farmer leaders in the community to establish demonstration areas for showing best management practices such as improving soils through increasing soil organic matter and worms. It will also demonstrate how to improve soil structure with better pasture management.
The Soil Health Group now has a new website and can be found at www.soilhealthgroup.com.au
Our future is in our hands!
Maarten Stapper (centre) and the Demonstration Farmers Team
John Kane shows his aerator
Rohan examines the soil
Soil Stamina day at Nagorckas