MASG is currently seeking local farmers keen to work with us within a 60km radius around Castlemaine.
Funded by the federal government’s Smart Farms Small Grants: Soil Extension Activities program, and delivered in collaboration with Federation University, the Healthy Soils Project will span a 2 year period, headed by Bill Grant, Research Fellow and soil scientist at Federation University.
This project offers the opportunity for 20 participating farms to:
- receive free soil constraint assessments and soil testing, as well as assistance with developing a soil health management and monitoring plan.
- help road-test planning tools and information resources developed under the project.
- attend field days held on local farms already working to build and maintain healthy functioning soil. Dates and locations for field days in September will be announced shortly.
“We’re focusing on how farmers can cost-effectively benchmark their current soil constraints, plan practical and cost-effective ways to rectify these constraints, and then monitor changes in soil performance without the need for frequent laboratory testing of soils”, says Bill. “Laboratory tests are useful and should be undertaken as needed, but there are fairly simple field and ‘kitchen table laboratory’ tests, as well as precision farming and nutrient management tools, that can help farmers monitor and manage their soil all year round.”
The aim is to have a diverse range of participating commercial farms within the region including grazing, cropping, orchards, groves, vineyards and market gardens, ‘Conventional’, ‘Regenerative’, and ‘Organic’. A small landowners network for those farming for some income on smaller more ‘lifestyle’ properties will also be supported by the project.
If you are a farmer interested in obtaining more information, participating in the project, or attending the upcoming field days, please either contact Bill Grant directly via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0407 882 070.
Or sign up below to receive email updates on the Healthy Soils Project.