— Mount Alexander Sustainability Group
The Soil Health, Nutrition and Carbon management project is being funded by the Commonwealth of Australia through the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, under the Smart Farms, Small Farms grant program.
The project will work with existing and new grower networks and communities of interest in Central Victoria to assist farmers to develop Soil Health, Nutrition & Carbon Management Plans. It will provide and promote tools for farmers to cost effectively gauge the health of their soils on a day-to-day basis. The 2-year project will work with a core of at least 20 farmers to develop documented management plans, as well as developing factsheets and planning tools. It will establish and report on case study demonstration sites and conducting field days. The work will promote practices such as reduced tillage, stubble retention, cover crops, green manures, plant species diversity, sensitive and more precise use of chemicals, and composting and compost use.
The project aims to work with mainstream as well as biological and organic farmers to first identify their soil constraints through on-site and soil testing, and then develop management plans to build, maintain and monitor soil health, with an emphasis on field observations throughout the year and nutrient budgeting as well as periodic soil testing.