Valley

Chance to dig up the good dirt at free soil biology workshop

Friday 18 October, 2013
Landholders interested in improving paddock management and boosting productivity are invited to attend a free Farming for Soil Biology workshop with well-respected soil expert Nicole Masters in Benalla on Friday, November 1st , followed by a visit to Graceburn Farm, Glenburn on Saturday, November 2nd.

Landholders interested in improving paddock management and boosting productivity are invited to attend a free Farming for Soil Biology workshop with well-respected soil expert Nicole Masters in Benalla on Friday, November 1st , followed by a visit to Graceburn Farm, Glenburn on Saturday, November 2nd.

Ms Masters is director of Integrity Soils NZ, an agro-ecologist and a qualified educator who believes that adopting a "soils first" approach is the key to farmers producing best quality food.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Land Health Manager Rhiannon Apted said the workshop would help participants identify the microbes that improved soil biology.

"Nicole will discuss the different microbe groups, their functions, how they benefit the soil and farm and what farmers need to do to build up the good microbes in the soil," Ms Apted said.

Other topics to be covered will include grazing management, types of techniques to trial to improve soil biology, and the effect of chemicals and inorganic fertilisers on soil biology.

"We're keen for this workshop to be practical and interactive so the afternoon will very much be about how what we learn from Nicole can be applied back on our farms and is also an opportunity for participants to share and discuss their experiences," Ms Apted said.

"Then on Saturday, we're inviting people to Graceburn Farm, a beef cattle and paddock egg enterprise at Glenburn run by Sally Abbottsmith and Tom Abbottsmith Youl, to learn first-hand how to apply management practices to improve soil biological activity in the paddock."

The Friday workshop will be held at the Lakeside Community Centre, Benalla from 9.30am to 3.30pm. The Saturday Glenburn farm visit runs from 9.30am to 2pm.

Both events are free, however, RSVP is essential as numbers are strictly limited. To RSVP please contact Chris Burnett on 03 5736 0100 or chrisb@gbcma.vic.gov.au

The events are presented by the Goulburn broken CMA's SoilCare project, with funding from the Australian Government's Caring for our Country initiative.