Wet Tropics Soilcare Field Day

SOIL HEALTH, MULCH & MORE…

Soil health, mulch trials and spray drones were hot topics at the recent Wet Tropics Soilcare (WETS) field day and annual general meeting.

Forty farmers from across the Wet Tropics visited farms in the Tablelands region to make plans for the year ahead, hear from soil specialists and share knowledge on soil health practices.

Terrain NRM Landcare Leader Sally Fields said it was great to see a broad range of growers and landholders participate and share their knowledge and experience.

“Community groups like WETS are important in our region because they foster information and knowledge-sharing and provide a platform for soil health discussions within the agricultural industry,” she said.

“Building soil health and agricultural resilience is a major priority for Terrain NRM and our region and supporting groups like WETS means the momentum of soil health advocacy grows.”

Avocado, custard apple, soursop and lime crop soil health were in the spotlight at the field day’s first stop – John Jennings’ family farm in Mareeba.

Comparing hay, woodchip and tea tree mulch with normal practices on the Caamano’s lime farm was also an insightful experience for growers.

Presentations from BioHub Solutions on their range of bio stimulants, used to help improve the biological balance in soil, and from Brolga Tech on the capabilities of drone technology, including spraying of herbicides, fertilisers, seeds, and beneficial insects for pest control, were also part of the field day.

Tully tropical fruit grower and the WETS group’s newly appointed vice-chair Warren Orsmond said being actively involved in groups like WETS helps to keep soil health front-of-mind and enables growers to learn from each other.

“There’s a broad range of people in the group who all bring different skills, knowledge and experience to the table,” he said.

“I’m continually learning and fine-tuning our practices on the farm – healthy soils help grow a healthy crop and provide environmental benefits, so it’s an important part of our business.”

This Wet Tropics Soilcare event is supported by Terrain NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

To learn more about soil health projects in the Wet Tropics or to get involved in the Wet Tropics Soilcare group or Lower Wet Tropics Soilcare Group, contact Terrain NRM’s Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator Evizel Seymour – Evizel.seymour@terrain.org.au or 0429 091 440.

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