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Dorrigo Soil under the microscope

Image of soil, plant and handsNorth Coast Local Land Services has been working with farmers on the Dorrigo Plateau to investigate ways to improve soil health. Soil is a major farm asset and is the foundation of any farming enterprise.  Making the right decisions about the management of the soil can help farmers achieve the best outcomes for a sustainable and profitable future on the land.

North Coast Local Land Services recently held a Soil Analysis Workshop for farmers in Dorrigo designed to help them understand their soil analysis results and what the numbers mean.  The workshop was funded through the National Landcare Program and Catchment Action NSW.

The Dorrigo Plateau supports a number of highly productive agricultural systems including vegetables, dairying and intensive beef production. Healthy sustainable soils underpin these industries and in turn these industries contribute to our local community through food production.

Selina Miller, Land Services Officer said, “Land managers on a wide variety of soil types and climates can achieve healthy soils.

“The implementation of flexible farm management systems and practices based on good soil health can address land degradation issues such as water quality and wind and water erosion - which are symptoms of a management system not suited to the soil type and climate.

The workshop discussed the importance of soil sampling as a management tool and highlighted how landholders can achieve good results when taking soil samples from individual paddocks.

Participants were provided with an overview on the different soil analysis methods used by and the indicative ranges for each nutrient. Soil analysis results were presented from farms that have participated in a soil health project over the last year.

Selina said “Soil tests are a snapshot of your soil nutrient status at the time of sampling and should be used in consideration with other management tools such as plant tissue testing and fertiliser history.”

If farmers are considering adding any nutrient to the soil to balance nutrient levels and improve productivity they are encouraged to seek advice from their local agronomist or horticulturist prior to application.

Media contact:

Selina Miller, Land Services Officer
Phone 02 6604 1112

Photo captions:

Soil health is in your hands.