Grazing Naturally & Soil Building Workshop

March 4, 2019

Far Northern graziers will get a better understanding of soil-building practices at a free workshop on natural grazing and soil health on the Tablelands in April.

Terrain NRM is bringing ecological grazing expert Dick Richardson and soil fertility specialist David Hardwick to the area for a workshop focused on basic soil-building methods and how to use animal grazing practices and plants to improve soil health.

Both workshop leaders are well-known presenters at on-farm events, with Dick Richardson drawing on a lifetime of work in grazing farming practices and resilient ecosystems. David Hardwick is an agricultural ecologist with a focus on soil health and food systems.

Mr Richardson said managing grasslands with grazing animals, using paddock-specific patterns, could capture water and build soil carbon and whole ecosystem health.

“It can be a very powerful tool,’’ he said. “The economy, ecology and community all benefit, while runoff and nutrient loss are being addressed by nature’s own methods.”

Graziers will receive an overview of soil properties and soil health, and learn how each of these affect grass growth and how to enhance their soils.

They will also learn about easy-to-replicate paddock grazing patterns for up to six paddocks, which incorporate the wet season or 12-month spelling practices. The workshop covers different grazing pressures for different paddocks and managing land on a case-by-case basis.

Mr Hardwick said the focus was on helping farmers build on their own soil management skills, and on improving carbon, organic matter and nutrient levels.

“The most important asset for every farmer’s livelihood is the soil, and understanding how to manage soil health better has long-term benefits,’’ he said.

The Grazing Naturally and Soil Health workshop is on Tuesday 9 April at a Millaa Millaa grazing property. It is a joint initiative of Terrain NRM’s Upper Johnstone Integrated Project, funded through the Queensland Government’s Natural Resource Investment Program, and Terrain’s Digging Deeper Plus Project, funded through Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Graziers can phone Terrain NRM’s Evizel Seymour on 4095 7108 or email evizel.seymour@terrain.org.au to register or learn more. Registrations close on Friday 29 March.