Local Farmers Help Spread the Word

Elaine Seager
August 25, 2016

With up to 600 people expected to converge on Cairns at the end of October for the National Biological Farming Conference, local farmers are lining up to help spread the word.

This is the second National Biological Farming Conference to be held in Australia and reflects a growing trend towards sustainable food production and biological farming, which is being driven by consumer demand for clean foods, regulations around the use of toxic pesticides, pest resistance to conventional products and demand from farmers for increased yields.  

The conference will feature more than 40 speakers including 11 from the Wet Tropics, who are all keen to share their knowledge and learn from other experts in the field of chemical-free agriculture.

They include Dr Geraldine McGuire, a fruit farmer from the Tablelands, Mark Savina, a cane grower from Cairns and Matt Abbott, an organic banana farmer from Innisfail, who will be sharing their stories about the lessons they’ve learned from adopting biological farming methods.

They will be lining up alongside other national and international experts including:

  • Gabe Brown – Pioneering regenerative farmer from the USA
  • Dr Vic Galea (University of Queensland) - Bio-herbicides
  • Dr Dean Metcalf (TAS) - Soil-borne disease suppression
  • Graham Stirling (QLD) - Control of soil-borne diseases.
  • Dr Denise Manker - Bayer CropScience's global director for agronomic development
  • Professor Brajesh Singh (University of Western Sydney) – world expert in the field of microbial ecology.

Organiser Fiona George, Terrrain’s Regional Landcare Facilitator, said the conference aims to put a lot of information in front of farmers so they can scrutinise it, discuss with others and decide what’s best for them.

“We’ve been really lucky to attract such a broad range of experts in the field to attend the conference and it is pitched particularly at large-scale farmers across a range of industries. This is a great opportunity for farmers to learn more about biological farming methods and network with other farmers from right across Australia,” she said.   

For more information about the National Biological Farming Conference go to www.nationalbiologicalfarmingconference.org.au