Wednesday, March 29, 2023



Lemon Springs update

EPA Victoria. Clean-up of Lemon Springs continues. We have removed waste from 30 of the 32 burial sites. We have cleaned up 16 of the sites and filled them with clean soil ... We continue to remove acetylene cylinders. We have removed more than 43,000 cylinders to date. We are working with industry to create a new facility to dispose of the cylinders. This facility is the first of its kind and located in Stawell.

Snapshot shows strength behind the numbers: ABARES

The latest ABARES Snapshot of Australian agriculture shows the industry continues to grow and perform strongly in a number of key areas including exports, incomes and risk management. Industry production and export values are forecast to hit record levels in 2022-23, with broadacre and dairy farm cash incomes remaining well above historical benchmarks.

New trial will transform Wangaratta’s green waste into soil: Shing

A new program to help reduce carbon emissions by converting household sewage and green waste into biochar, a carbon-rich material made from biomass, is to be trialled in Wangaratta ... The ground-breaking trial will see biosolids from Wangaratta’s wastewater treatment plant mixed with the city’s green waste then processed into biochar in Melbourne.

Wimmera expands soil moisture probe network

Dryland farmers, agronomists, plant breeders and emergency services are among those to benefit from an extra 72 soil moisture probes and weather stations across the Wimmera. Wimmera CMA is coordinating the region-wide installation of probes and stations across 30,000 square kilometres.

Peat fire keeps bushfire advice in place for Gingin localities

Firefighting volunteers are monitoring a sprinkler system set up due to the February 4 bushfire getting into peat, which means it will produce smoke for some time ... “Peat has a high carbon content and is naturally porous": Department of Health.

GRDC Updates explore the current state of the northern soil nitrogen bank

After three consecutive wet years and multiple high production seasons in the north, experts are warning growers that the old rules of thumb for calculating nitrogen (N) rates won’t cut it this season.

Mineral sands project set for public environmental review

A public environmental review has been set for a mineral sands project proposed for about 21km east of Ledge Point and 800m south of the Moore River due to the extent of further information required, the number of preliminary key environmental factors identified and the moderate level of public interest in the project. When the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) published its decision to assess the Bidaminna project proposal it said out of the 156 submissions received 153 had called for public environmental review.

Naracoorte High Ag news: Happenings on the Ag Block

Kristin Murdock. With the school year approaching an end, students have been busy finishing off projects ... Shearing and marketing of the lambs has also occurred recently, with Agricultural Studies students from all year levels taking part in the process.

Adelaide to host premier grains forum: GRDC

South Australian grain growers and agronomists are set to gain advance access to the latest research findings, meet experts and network at SA’s premier grains research forum next month. The 2023 GRDC Grains Research Update – Adelaide will be held on February 7 and 8, with more than 400 people expected to attend. Keynote presentations will also be livestreamed.

Labor’s soil deception: Littleproud

In a cruel blow to Australian farmers, the Federal Labor Government has confirmed it has axed the $54 million pilot Soil Monitoring Incentives Program (SMIP) because of flooding ... "Labor’s decision to end the SMIP is disgraceful and it reflects their contempt for our farmers and the $85 billion agriculture industry": Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud.

Kialla recognised at national awards

Greenmount-based business Kialla Pure Foods has been awarded the Brand of the Year award at the 2022 Australian Organic Industry Awards ... Kialla’s flour mill is one of the last remaining in Australia which operates in the farmland where the grains are grown. “We’re proudly based in the heart of the Darling Downs, surrounded by the rich black alluvial soils that run through this region”: Quentin Kennedy.

PyroAg Wood Vinegar leading the Australian charge to combat rising fertiliser costs and amplifying premium regenerative farming methods

With the price of Australian fertiliser imports rising by a record 128 per cent, PyroAg, a leader in creating commercial quantities of Pyroligneous acid or wood vinegar, is urging Australian farmers to embrace the next generation of sustainable farming practices, as well as stripping their fertiliser costs significantly, with scientifically backed high density liquid that will provide proven substantial benefits to the Australian agricultural sector.

Libs continue to support moratorium

Chris Oldfield. The Liberal Shadow Cabinet will continue to support a moratorium on fracking in the SE which runs until 2028. It will also continue to work on land access through agricultural properties to mines because “both agriculture and mining are important to the economy”.

World Soil Day – soil needs a partnership approach: DAFF

This year the theme of World Soil Day is ‘Soil: Where food begins’, highlighting the importance of healthy soil as a crucial element of food production ... “Soil in good condition is more productive. It has higher water-holding capacity, supports biological activities and resists erosion during extreme climate and weather events": Lisa Nitschke, DAFF.

Soil carbon markets: science or snake oil? Matthew Harrison, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

Matthew Harrison's presentation covers a range of issues relating to soil carbon markets, from changes in soil carbon over time to whether we should rethink soil carbon markets, beginning with the key question: why all the hype about soil carbon?

Dirt-cheap solar evaporation could provide soil pollution solution: UniSA

A team led by University of South Australia researchers has pioneered a new soil remediation technique that is significantly faster, simpler, safer, and more cost-effective than currently available method … a new remediation technique that uses a super-efficient solar evaporation surface to draw water from the soil through a sponge-like filter that traps contaminants, mimicking the process of transpiration that occurs in natural plants, but at a greatly accelerated rate.

Keeping crops a head above water: GRDC

With wet conditions saturating large areas of crop production land across Victoria and Tasmania, a GRDC project is identifying ways to maximise crop performance when waterlogging occurs ... Applying nitrogen can help crops recover after being waterlogged, and looking at where waterlogging occurs when it is happening can help growers to plan improved drainage to prevent future waterlogging.

Review – Farm – the making of a climate activist

A good place to start reading Farm is at the back. That may sound counterintuitive but by taking a look at the extensive bibliography you’ll quickly see how intensely researched the book is which adds weight to the arguments and questions it presents. While Farm is a memoir that chronicles the journey of Nicola Harvey and her husband after they leave their city lives to farm cattle in rural New Zealand, it is far more than that.

Naturally smart farming

Kylie Cook. Natural Intelligence Farming improves pasture diversity and productivity, rebuilds soils, repairs landscapes and benefits human and livestock health. The manager of Prospect Pastoral Co, a Wheatbelt mixed cropping and livestock operation of more than 60,000ha, Di Haggerty, spoke to the Wilson Inlet Growers Group in July ... She said Wheatbelt farmers faced many challenges, a drying climate, ‘gutless’ sandy soils, salinity and erosion of bare ground between cropping seasons.

Have your say on the National Soil Action Plan: DAFF

Public consultation is now open on Australia’s first national action plan on soil ... “As the first action plan under the 20-year National Soil Strategy, it is important that there is a focus on setting good foundations for future actions to halt and reverse soil degradation and improve soil health”: DAFF

Another step for rare earths

Chris Oldfield. A Koppamurra Landholder Reference Group (KLRG) has been formed by Australian Rare Earths as it takes another step towards developing a mining lease application ... The aim of the landholder reference group is to share information and seek feedback on the Koppamurra project.

Mapping report shows salinity still a significant issue: MacTiernan

Sustainable land management in Western Australia has been boosted by a ground-breaking initiative that has more accurately calculated the extent of salinity in the agricultural region to support new approaches to conserving natural assets and agricultural productivity. The 'Mapping salt-affected land in the South-West of Western Australia using satellite remote sensing' report by the national science agency, CSIRO, and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) was released at a forum in Perth.

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