EP cropping soils to go under the microscope

Samples being examined under a microscope

Results of soil sampling across eastern and lower Eyre Peninsula will be analysed and discussed at a Soil Quality workshop at Cummins this month.

 

The workshop, supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), will enable local grain growers to receive expert commentary on the quality of their soils.

 

To be held on August 28 at the Ramblers Football Club, Cummins, the workshop will introduce growers and consultants to the National Soil Quality Monitoring Program, which is funded by the GRDC through its Soil Biology Initiative II (SBI II).

 

Through the national program, an innovative website, www.soilquality.org.au, has been launched to enable growers to compare the condition of their soils with that of their regional farming counterparts.

 

Those attending the Cummins workshop will be shown how to use the online resource, according to workshop organiser David Davenport, of Rural Solutions SA.

 

“By using the tools provided on the website, growers and their advisers can gain a better understanding of the health of their soil, and they can compare data and examine soil relationships,” Mr Davenport said.

 

Through GRDC SBI II funding, more than 100 SA farm soils (including many on EP) have been sampled and analysed for a range of chemical, physical and biological indicators of soil health.

 

The SBI II program has been able to link with sites being assessed for soil carbon as part of the Soil Carbon Research Program (SCaRP) which is managed by CSIRO and funded by GRDC and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).

 

The results of these analyses will be available via the Soil Quality website and growers will be able to see where their farm sits relative to others across the region.

 

The workshop at Cummins will provide an opportunity for growers to receive feedback on the results of the analyses on their farm.

 

The event will also feature researchers from the University of Adelaide and Rural Solutions SA addressing topics such as the measurement, management and functions in the soil of soil biology; organic carbon; plant available phosphorus and DGT testing; and soil bulk density and its relationship to soil quality.

 

To register for the workshop, which runs from 9am to 12 noon with lunch to follow, email mary.crawford@sa.gov.au or phone 0407 187878.

 

 

More information about GRDC’s Soil Biology Initiative II research, development and extension program is available via www.grdc.com.au/soilbiology.

 

 

Ends

 

Caption: A soil quality workshop at Cummins this month will put Eyre Peninsula cropping soils under the microscope.

 

 

For further information: David Davenport, Rural Solutions SA

Phone 08 8688 3404 

 

Contact: Sharon Watt

Porter Novelli

0409 675100

GRDC Project Code UWA00138, DAV00102, DAS000111, UWA00142, UWA00139, DAV00106, CSP00138, UA00119, DAQ00164, CSP00135, DAV00105

Region South, West, North