Current Projects - Land & Soil Health

Soil Care

Introduction

The Goulburn Broken CMA has received funding from the Australian Government to continue the SoilCare project which started in 2012.

SoilCare is working with farmers, community groups and industry to promote awareness, understanding and adoption of farming practices that improve soil condition. Through SoilCare, farming practices are trialed and demonstrated on-farm to test under local conditions and to test their ‘fit’ for individual businesses.

The project provides a great opportunity for groups of farmers to come together in support networks to promote ideas for better management of soil health and put into practice farmer led demonstrations.

At the same time, together with DEDJTR, we are developing resources to support the sharing of information for and with farmers.

With the ever growing uncertainty of seasonal outlooks and the demands placed on the services that soils provide, this project offers a great opportunity to further promote community driven soil health programs.

How To Get Involved

Soil Health Test Kits

We have a number of Soil Health Test Kits available for loan to community groups. The kits test soil pH, soil structure, soil stability, colour, pasture cover and other parameters, and are a great basic resource to establish a monitoring program for your soil health. Demonstration of the kits can be an interesting addition at group meetings.

These home-based soil tests can be supported by laboratory analysis of soil samples and soil test interpretation workshops.

SoilCare Project Grants

Through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, the Beyond SoilCare project provided project grants to non-profit community groups, such as Landcare and production groups, in the Goulburn Broken Catchmentd

 The funding was for projects that contribute to increased awareness, understanding and adoption of management practices that improve soil health and the promotion and adoption of sustainable farming practices.  Funding was available for small and large grants; small grants of up to $10,000 and larger grants through consultation with project staff.

Click here for a list of successful projects in 2017 - 18.

Click here for a list of successful projects in 2016 - 17.

Click here for a list of successful projects in 2015.

Click here for a list of successful projects in 2014.

Current Demonstration Sites

Below are links to demostration site summaries, including contact details, prepared February 2015.  Demonstration sites are run by community members, community groups and agency staff.

Strathbogie Alternative Fertiliser Trial

There has been a lot of science and money spent on what we could call mainstream fertiliser products. The Strathbogie Tablelands Landcare Group, led by some inquiring and motivated farmers, wanted to test other new and emerging products and make performance comparisons against known products.

Management practices demonstrated during the trial include use of soil tests and a soil health plan to bring the trial paddock up to conventional best management practice in relation to soil pH. That is, above 4.8 in CaCl2. Ground cover will be maintained at or above 80%, with grazing management aiming to leave 800‐1000 kg/ha of dry matter.

The demonstration site will also be used by the Strathbogie SoilCare Group as a discussion point and act as an information sharing network for the area.

Click here to access the summary.

Costerfield Subsoil Chicken Manure Trial

The most common soils in Victoria, Sodosols, are chemically inhospitable, hard setting in summer and waterlogged in winter, creating a significant constraint to productivity for many farmers. Plot research of subsoil manuring on a Sodosol has shown an average increase in crop production of 50% with lasting effects. The plot research was initiated on sodic clays in the Western District of Victoria. Given that large areas of the Goulburn Broken Catchment are Sodosols, this type of treatment may have great benefits for the region.

Click here to access the summary.

Katunga Subsoil Manuring Trial - Irrigation

Generally subsoil manuring uses a machine to rip a band of manure to about 40cm deep in hostile soil. This project took advantage of laser grading work on the property. In laser grading the topsoil is removed, the site leveled with a fall gradient and the topsoil replaced. This trial took the opportunity to spread chook manure at 20t/ha on the site before the topsoil was replaced.

Click here to access the summary.

Maindample Alternative Fertiliser Trial

Coordinated by Up2Us and SoilCare.
For further information contact Greg Bekker (DEDJTR) 5761 1631.

Healthy Soils Healthy Food

Coordinated by South West Goulburn Landcare and SoilCare.
For information, contact  Rhiannon Apted (GBCMA) 5797 4408.

Got a Soil Topic You’re Keen On?

If your group has a topic it is keen on finding out more about, for example soil acidity and lime, soil formation or geology, soil constraints and management considerations or soil test interpretation to name a few, get in touch and we can arrange an information session with a specialist.

Project Contacts

Productive Plains, Upland Slopes. Commuting Hills (dryland farming):

Rhiannon Apted

GBCMA Yea

5797 4408

0429 964 609

rhiannona@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Greg Bekker

DEDJTR Benalla

5761 1631

0417 340 236

greg.bekker@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Karen Brisbane

GBCMA Shepparton

5822 7734

0409 955 396

karenb@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Agricultural Floodplains (irrigated farming):

Helen Murdoch

GBCMA Shepparton

5822 7744

0419 006 124

helenm@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Rebecca Pike

DEDJTR Echuca

5842 0426

 

rebecca.pike@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Nick O’Halloran

DEDJTR Tatura

5833 5303

 

nick.ohalloran@ecodev.vic.gov.au