Its well known that composting will build better soils. However, many people don’t link composting with sustainability.
Composting for better soils is a sustainable farming technique that has been around for hundreds of years. The soil get several important benefits; including increased carbon content, increased water holding capacity, and in general healthier soil. The environment benefits by taking a waste product, and converting it into an asset, better soil.
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Bowen and Ayr growers late last year attended a composting workshop which aimed to motivate them to look at how traditional farming practices can be modified to promote continual soil improvements, reduce fertiliser and chemical inputs, and improve production outcomes.
Guest speaker, Mike Harrison, owner and operator of Compost Works, imparted many years of experience as a corporate farming manager, soil health activist and composting practitioner.
Growers received practical hands-on explanations of soil health including biology, structure and the benefits to production from the practice of using compost amendments to soils. Interest was also expressed in conducting on-farm trials in 2017.
The agriculture consultancy community and other agricultural production sectors attended both workshops
and all agreed that the message about soil health needs to be promoted as they see the decline in our soils daily.
Thankfully, early adopters of this new/old farming practice are realising significant improvements in soil health, crop health, productivity, quality and shelf life of produce. As always, these sustainable and profitable farmers will lead the industry in making practices such as composting, cover cropping and more biological strategies commonplace.
Under the Australian Government’s Reef Alliance: Growing a Great Barrier Reef program, one-on-one extension and training services, along with comprehensive support networks across all field production systems including administration and compliance, will be delivered via Growcom’s Hort360 program, the best management practice program for horticulture. Growers in the Bowen, Burdekin, Burnett or Fitzroy Reef Catchments are invited to take part to identify potential business gains.
Growcom’s Hort360 program is designed to give growers a 360 degree view of their farm business operations, identifying potential risks, capitalising on business opportunities, adhering to compliance requirements and highlighting unnecessary farm expenses.
Growers seeking further information or wanting to book a property visit, should contact:
The water quality module is funded through the Australian Government’s Reef Alliance: Growing a Great Barrier Reef program.