Farmers' role in maintaining soil health recognised on World Soil Day

Farmers' role in maintaining soil health recognised on World Soil Day

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WORLD Soil Day is being celebrated tomorrow to highlight the importance of soils and the vital role people and farmers have to sustain, create and regenerate healthy soils across the globe.

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World Soil Day is celebrated on December 5 each year.

World Soil Day is celebrated on December 5 each year.

WORLD Soil Day is being celebrated tomorrow to highlight the importance of soils and the vital role people and farmers have to sustain, create and regenerate healthy soils across the globe.

Natural Resources South Australian Murray-Darling Basin sustainable agriculture team leader Tony Randall said we want to highlight the significant role the SAMDB regional farmers play in maintaining healthy soils which keep us fit and healthy.

"With more than 80 per cent of land in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region used for the production of food and fibre, our farmers understand that looking after precious soils, water and bush make good business sense," he said.

The SAMDB NRM Board, in partnership with Consolidated Co-operative Winery, is undertaking a five-year project to investigate soil corrective research and trial work, specifically looking at increasing soil carbon.

"The first year of the project undertaken in 2018/19 saw extensive field benchmarking of soil and viticultural conditions at the two trial sites," Mr Randall said.

"These investigations identified and linked the issues and recorded the severity of differing problems at each site.

"As part of the first year of the project, cotton underpants were buried for three weeks at trial sites, and the degradation rate of the material indicated the biological activity present in those soils.

"The data collected from the undies, along with other monitoring, helped to create a baseline assessment of the issues."

A technical steering committee has been formed comprising of wine grape growers, researchers and project participants, with a range of comprehensive site treatment options designed to address differing issues.

Results are ongoing, and a more detailed project update will be published once spring/summer monitoring of both soils and crops are completed.

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