Optimum soil health workshops across New England

DIRTY WORK: Enthusiastic participants in a previous Kings Plains soil search workshop get down to dirt level with presenters.
DIRTY WORK: Enthusiastic participants in a previous Kings Plains soil search workshop get down to dirt level with presenters.

Farmers have been digging into the latest research on soil health this month.

Landholders were invited to workshops across the New England last week, to get all the dirt on maintaining optimum soil health.

The workshops also focussed on how to maximise sustainable pasture production.

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services held the Soil Health and Production Workshops in Guyra, Bundarra and Glen Innes.

“It was all very positive,” Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Communications Officer Annabelle Monie said.

“I spoke yesterday [Thursday] to a landholder who hosted the Bundarra workshop and they said ‘if we had a few more hours we’d still be doing it’ … so they loved it.”

Northern Tablelands Land Services Officer Sandy Hodgens said the workshops were the latest in a long running series that have seen hundreds of farmers on the Northern Tablelands gain new insights into the soil that provides the literal bedrock for their businesses.

Mr Hodgens said the workshops helped landholders understand the fundamentals of soil health and how changes in soil management could improve farm profitability.

“We’ll be studying the physical, chemical and biological components of the soil and how they interact,” Mr Hodgens said.  

“The workshops will focus on how soil health impacts productivity of pastures, crops and livestock.”

Soil scientist David Hardwick gave a presentation on understanding soils and soil biology. 

The workshops also featured practical demonstrations on soil sampling and soil pit sessions looking at soil profiles and plant root structure down to one metre below the surface.