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Soil biology - intense interest among farmers!

Soil Biology workshops held in Bathurst and Cumnock have sparked intense interest in the intricacies of soil structure and nutrients amongst the more than one hundred landholders who took part in these events.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services Officer, Phil Cranney, says the Soil Biology workshops were hosted by Central Tablelands Local Land Services to provide independent advice on soil management.

"We were concerned that only one side of the Soil Biology story was being told and that the scientific research on the subject was not being heard in the Tablelands region,” explained Phil.

"While the risks of over-fertilising are well known to most producers, it is also critical to reiterate the importance of replacing the nutrients that have been lost due to normal agricultural practices.  Essentially, what goes out must be put back in.”

“The workshops have given farmers the opportunity to evaluate soil health issues from a scientific perspective."

Expert speakers explained the importance of soil organic matter in grain cropping systems and the phosphorus cycle in grazed pastures, as well as the impact of herbicides on soil biology.

“The health of the soil underpins the productive potential of any agricultural enterprise so the workshops helped producers understand what’s happening down in their dirt and how management practices and fertiliser application can help or hinder optimal productivity.”

“We had excellent feedback from people who attended the workshops, saying they’d gained a greater understanding of the importance of fostering healthy soil biology, and they now had the capacity to make better soil management decisions on farm.”

In response to the strong interest in soil management expressed by local landholders, Central Tablelands Local Land Services has also held a series of smaller Soil and Pasture Health Workshops in Neville, Orange, Bathurst, Gooloogong, Mudgee, Trunkey Creek, and Molong.

More Soil and Pasture Health Workshops looking at the physical properties of soils and field testing are scheduled for Cowra on Saturday 4 June and Orange on Saturday 18 June.

To RSVP for the workshops at Cowra or Orange in June, or for more information about soil health contact Phil Cranney on 0458475478 or email phil.cranney@lls.nsw.gov.au or contact Clare Edwards on 63791709 or clare.edwards@lls.nsw.gov.au

The Soil Biology and Soil and Pasture Health workshops have been supported by the $25 million National Landcare Programme investment that Local Land Services is delivering to boost farm gate productivity and improve environmental health across NSW.

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439608370