Digging Deeper Plus – Soil Management Program

Learning more about soil health and fertility on farms, reading soil tests with confidence and taking action to address soil issues - that's what Digging Deeper Plus is all about.

Digging Deeper Plus includes soil management programs and workshops for farmers and other land managers in the Wet Tropics, Cape York and Northern Gulf regions. 

This project is supported by Terrain NRM through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program. It began in mid-December 2018 and will run until May 2019.

A new Digging Deeper Plus soil management program starts in November 2019, following on from a successful program in 2018-2019. See below for details including an Expressions of Interest form for landholders.

Program details

Digging Deeper Plus programs are led by well-known agriculture ecologist David Hardwick, with support from Terrain NRM staff and specialists.  

They include:

  • One day per month (for six months) of practical soil health sessions, with visits to participating properties 
  • A soil test and comprehensive analysis
  • Development of soil action plans for all participating farming businesses

What farmers learn:

With real soils, real situations and soil tests, this program increases land managers' confidence to manage their own soils. The program is delivered in a group so everyone learns from each other. The course is holistic and covers biological and chemical approaches to soils management.

It covers:

  • Soils and how they function
  • Soil nutrients on-farm
  • How different farm practices affect soil health and fertility
  • Soil tests - How to read them with confidence and assess your soil health in the paddock
  • Monitoring, identifying and mapping soil types across your property
  • Identifying soil constraints such as low organic matter, pH, soil salinity
    and compaction
  • Setting benchmarks for your soils and taking effective action to address issues
  • Biofertilisers, fertilisers, soil amendments and the range of fertility input options

To be part of the upcoming Digging Deeper Plus program, please use the link below to fill out an Expressions of Interest Form and/or learn more. Applications close Friday 18 October.

2019 Digging-Deeper-Plus-EOI-Form-and-Info-Sheet

For further information, email diggingdeeper@terrain.org.au

Soil Health Hub

The Soil Health Hub for the Wet Tropics region is an ever-expanding resource library for the collective 'dirt' we have compiled on the What, Why, Where, Who and How of great soil biology. You can search the full list of soil health technical resources, videos and case studies, find contact details for local soil health groups and see soil maps for the Wet Tropics region.

Soil Health Videos

Learn more about soil health in the Wet Tropics by watching this series of short videos, presented by agroecologist David Hardwick. Videos are "Soil Health in the Wet Tropics", "Life in your Topsoil in the Wet Tropics", "Nitrogen on you Farm in the Wet Tropics", "Soil Organic Matter in the Wet Tropics", "Soil Acidity in the Wet Tropics", "Soil Strucure in the Wet Tropics", "Peter Salleras: Regenerative Horticulture" and "Ray Zamora: Regenerative Cane Farming".

Visit the Australian Government's National Landcare Program 'Regional Landcare Partnerships' webpage for more information.