Digging into World Soil Day

16th December, 2020
Cec McConnell

The World Soil Day event at Muresk was a successful and illuminating look at the work being done by Western Australian farmers and scientists to improve soil health in our region.

World Soil Day, an initiative by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), highlights the importance of soil health throughout the world each December 5.

Perth NRM and RegenWA were proud to host its first major World Soil Day event in the wonderful setting of Muresk in Ballardong country near Northam, bringing together farmers from across the region to learn about current, new (and revived) soil management techniques.

We were fortunate to be joined by the Hon Alannah MacTiernan to open the day’s presentations and introduce Cec McConnell as the Commissioner of the recently reinstated Soil and Land Conservation Commission.

The day included opportunities for guests to examine their own soil under the microscope and see the level of biological activity inherent in their greatest asset – the earth they farm on.

The day concentrated on the dual role of farming: creating a sustainable businessand being a successful land manager.

There was spirited discussion between (and sometimes during) the presentations, representing the diversity of approaches and the appetite for implementing change under different conditions throughout our varied landscape.

However, the general consensus was that everyone was there to learn and exchange information and techniques, making the event a success.

The organisers thank all who presented and attended, especially the farmers who braved the stage, Brendon Savage (Kulin), Dean Ryan (Manjimup), and Blythe Calnan (Uduc). The onground work of these farmers is a credit to our state.

Perth NRM and RegenWA also thank Steve Wainewright, the Muresk Farm Manager, both as a host and presenter.

Special thanks also to Soil Science Australia and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for their important contributions on the day, including Chris Gazey’s presentation on the fascinating Soil Quality e-book series and supporting activities throughout the day.

 

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