International soils experts coming to the NAR

Giving landholders a better understanding of what’s going on underfoot in their properties across the  Northern Agricultural Region’s landscape will be a key focus of a soil health workshop in Dandaragan this month.

Soil Restoration Farming, in partnership with the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) are excited to host Nicole Masters – agro-ecologist, educator and systems thinker from New Zealand, as well as Walter Jehne – soil microbiologist and soil ecologist from the ACT, in the last leg of their WA tour at a Soil Health forum in Dandaragan on 23 March 2016.

Key note speaker Nichole
Key note speaker Nicole Masters will be in the Northern Agricultural Region this month.

The forum “Answers and Actions for Healthy Soils in a WA Climate” will cover a topical theme of enhancing and protecting our soil microbes in order to combat limiting factors in plant performance, as well as exploring available versatile techniques to address soil related issues, and unlocking the potential in maximising yield, quality, food nutrition & profit potentials, now and for the future generation.

The presenters

Nicole Masters is the director/owner of Integrity Soils New Zealand, and has extensive practical and theoretical experience in regenerative/holistic farming practices. She has been communicating these methods throughout Australasia and North America since 2003; helping to inspire and guide farmers into new and innovative ways to produce food with soil as a major driver for ecosystem health.

Walter Jehne is the co-founder of Healthy Soils Australia and has extensive field and research experience at a national (CSIRO) and international (UN) level in the management of soil biology for regenerating soil health to improve productivity and resilience in agricultural systems. Last year he spoke at a UN conference in Berlin, Germany celebrating the Year of the Soil.

Key note speaker Warren
Key note speaker Walter Jehne will also be in the region this month.

NACC CEO Richard McLellan will kick-off the forum by sharing a local and international perspective on the future of farming in the climatically-changing environment. Christine Smith, who farms in Dandaragan with her husband Kingsley, and has passionately orchestrated the forum, said this is “a not to miss” opportunity for our landholders to draw on the international knowledge and expertise to help unlock the potential and harness what our soils have to offer in this ever demanding social, economic and environmental climate.

“The forum will also showcase a wide range of topics including combining the best chemistry, physics, biology and microbiology with sound farm practices; and addressing and solving weed, disease and inspect pest problems at their root causes rather than masking the symptoms with chemicals,” Mrs Smith said.

“Furthermore, attendees will have an opportunity to participate at a “Soil Pit Talk” and hear local Dandaragan organic beef farmer David Cooks – who through trialling and learning, has introduced a number of sustainable techniques.”

To be held at the Dandaragan’s Community Hall from 9am to 5pm, the forum will cost $50 per person or $90 per couple. It will conclude with a Sundowner and BBQ. To register your intention to attend, please contact Rachelle Armstrong of Soil Restoration Farming on 0407 879 053 0r 02 6020 9676 or email: soilrestorationfarming@gmail.com.

This event is supported by NACC through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. Other key funders and partners include Best Environmental Technologies, NutriSoil, Eco-Growth, Hi-Tech, Wheatbelt NRM, Healthy Soils Australia, National Australian Bank, Shire of Dandaragan, and Midwest Optimal Health.

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