Monday, February 26, 2024



Invasive weed could be turned into a viable economic crop: UniSA

One of the most invasive Australian weeds is being touted as a potential economic crop, with benefits for the construction, mining and forestry industries, and potentially many First Nations communities. The prickly paddy melon weed, which costs the agricultural industry around $100 million a year in lost grain yields, cattle deaths, and control measures, could turn into an unlikely money spinner...

Get help to reboot your soil

Local landholders will once again be able to tap into specialist support to ensure their soil is at its productive best. "What is a healthy soil?" was the question discussed by participants of the Upper Murray Landcare Network’s two four-day Soil Health courses which ran over four months in 2023.

Moojepin Foods – cultivating change

David Thompson is a farmer but he’s also a cultivator of change. David runs a 3000 hectare property just outside Katanning in WA and like thousands of farmers he’s seeing the effects of man-made soil salinity first hand ... Several years ago David decided to diversify his business (from solely grain crops and sheep) and start to grow sustainable, saline-infused food products. His business, Moojepin Foods, now produces saline greens that have won numerous awards and accolades.

Revolutionising viticulture: The movement to adopt new practices and technology to improve quality and yield 

Wine and grape growers need to break with tradition in production methods as new studies identify yield and quality improvements can be achieved through changes which focus on soil health ... “It’s like a dead zone when you create that space of exposed bare earth between rows of vines,” says AgTech specialist and Bactivate CEO Mark Gabsch.

Carbon farming a growth industry

Denmark cattle farmers Michael and Laura Sinclair will make their operations more sustainable and profi table through carbon farming. They are among 43 landowners, including three Aboriginal enterprise properties, seeking Carbon for Farmers Vouchers of up to $15,000 so they can gain advice and develop carbon-farming plans.

The government wants your soil

The thing that should be worrying farmers is not just the fact that the government has claimed the credit (and credits) for itself of not allowing landholders to clear land to help make the 2030 target, but they are now banking on farmers burying the emissions of the rest of the nation in their soil to help reach the unachievable 2050 target ... don’t sign up to any soil carbon contract until you are sure you won’t need those credits yourself when the inevitable carbon taxes arrive.

Aussie farmers are more prepared for adverse weather conditions now, than in the past five years: Kellanova ANZ

This World Soil Day, Kellanova ANZ, parent company of Kellogg’s, is shining a light on how farmers are preparing for the upcoming El Niño summer season, with soil health at the very heart ... New research reveals that 9 in 10 Aussie farmers already have a plan in place to deal with drier weather; Almost a third are confident the practices they use will help them prepare for potential drought.

EU glyphosate decision welcomed by GrainGrowers

The decision by the European Union to extend approval for the use of glyphosate is welcome news for Australian farmers. GrainGrowers CEO Shona Gawel said the decision followed an earlier assessment by the European Food Safety Authority that found no critical areas of concern. 

Webinar: Biochar as a livestock feed supplement – implications for carbon, profit and sustainability, 21 November 2023

Brief webinar to showcase research conducted on a commercial farm in Tasmania, where steers were allowed ad libitum (free) access to feed-grade biochar. The webinar will discuss results measured for liveweight gains, pasture composition and growth, manure and soil organic carbon, enteric methane emissions and cost-benefit modelling

Achieving sustainable food production and reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Scott Duxbury from YF.TV discusses the challenges and opportunities in achieving sustainable food production and reducing greenhouse gas emissions with Matthew Harrison, lead author of the research report 'Clarifying confusions over carbon conclusions' from the University of Tasmania. The discussion explores strategies such as soil carbon sequestration, regenerative agriculture, and reducing food waste that can help us move towards a more sustainable and equitable food system.

Longest running landholder survey results are in

Wimmera farmers have provided a valuable insight into changes in farming practices, future priorities and key challenges in Australia’s longest running research project of its type.

Tyrrell says private members bill will protect prime agricultural land in Northern Victoria Region

Member for Northern Victoria Region Rikkie-Lee Tyrrell has introduced her first bill of the parliamentary year, aimed at protecting Victoria’s prime agricultural land from large-scale solar farm development. Mrs Tyrrell introduced The Planning and Environment Amendment (Soil Protection) (Solar Power Generation Facilities) Bill 2023 in State Parliament last week to protect precious agricultural land and water catchment areas from large scale solar farms.

Soil security evaluation tool: AFI

Farmers aspire to leave their farm to the next generation in a better condition they received it in. Improving and securing soil is an important part of achieving such an aspiration ... The University of Sydney and AFI are undertaking research to deliver a process to measure human connectivity to soil.

New CSIRO handbook to guide businesses towards nature positive future: CSIRO 

A new handbook released by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, will guide businesses – including farmers, forest growers, mining companies and non-governmental organisations – on how to report and account for their natural assets to better protect our environment. Much of the value and growth from our economy is drawn from natural resources as a variety of industries depend on, and profit, from them.

Yanchep caves and Gingin ironstone soils home to threatened ecological communities

An aquatic root mat community found in caves in the Yanchep National Park and ironstone soil areas featuring massed everlastings in spring are included among the first 65 threatened ecological communities listed under WA’s Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 … the aquatic root mat … is a threatened ecological community, which also supports a critically endangered cave shrimp.

AgriFutures Australia reveals trailblazing insights from its Carbon Initiative Program

In a monumental leap towards a greener future, AgriFutures Australia proudly presents the outcomes of the Carbon Initiative Program, a $2 million commitment fueling 15 pioneering research projects. The 15 projects have not only enriched current industry-specific endeavours towards a net-zero future but have also forged new frontiers in cross-industry carbon research.

Labor makes more cuts to the national soil strategy: Littleproud

The Federal Labor Government has scrapped the National Soils Advocate and cut funding to programs that previously had bipartisan support … “Labor also redirected $11.7 million from the National Soils Strategy to ‘other priorities’. They continue to make cuts instead of investing in this much-needed strategy”: David Littleproud.

CBA supports innovation in soil carbon sequestration: CBA

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has entered a strategic alliance with plant nutrition company RLF AgTech, financing an innovative pilot program that aims to generate soil carbon credits ... RLF AgTech, a specialist in plant nutrition, has launched a soil carbon pilot program with Australian farmers who will utilise its Accumulating Carbon in Soil System (ACSS) technology.

Regional Australia key focus of new Cool Soil partnership: CSU

Charles Sturt University is leading an important advancement in the Australian agriculture sector with an initiative that will enable a global on-farm emission calculator (Cool Farm Tool) to be customised for a region-specific focus ... The Cool Farm Tool is already used in 150 countries to estimate GHG emissions, soil carbon sequestration, water stewardship and biodiversity by tens of thousands of users, including farmers, crop advisors and agribusiness leaders.

Drought-resilient shrub goes east to support farmers in dry times: CSIRO

Sheep and cattle farmers are planting hundreds of thousands of an elite variety of Oldman Saltbush across Australia’s southeast this winter to supplement feed during dryer conditions heralded by a potential El Nino. Anameka Saltbush is a specially selected variety of the drought-tolerant native shrub, developed over 15 years by CSIRO.

New soil practitioner accreditation hits the ground running: DAFF

Farmers and land managers can have more confidence in soil practitioner knowledge thanks to a new $1 million accreditation funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The Registered Soil Practitioner (RSP) accreditation, which was developed by Soil Science Australia in collaboration with soil scientists, industry, government and land and natural resource managers, opened for applications on 22 May.

Costs of transitioning to net zero emissions under future climates

Assoc. Professor Matthew Harrison presents the results of a comprehensive study on the costs of transitioning farming systems across Australia to net zero emissions using a range of practical models. The study found that there are multiple pathways to net zero.

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