The Mulgowie Farming Company is a family-owned producer growing conventional and organic sweet corn, green beans and broccoli across Australia. With a strong focus on innovation and sustainable farming practices, Mulgowie has teamed up with Soil Wealth ICP to take their soil management to the next level.

Andrew Johanson, Mulgowie’s Agronomy Process Improvement Manager, has driven improvements in soil health through controlled traffic farming, cover crops and minimum tillage.

“This has seen the soil’s water infiltration and holding capacity increase, the soil become more friable and less compacted, and yields increase, with plants showing more resilience to weather extremes,” Andrew said.

A focus on soil biology

The next step in improving their soils is to understand how to manage beneficial soil biology. Working with Kelvin Montagu from the Soil Wealth ICP team, Mulgowie will be looking at how to get the beneficial fungi, mycorrhizae, back into their soil.

Previous sampling has shown very low levels of mycorrhizae in the soil and corn roots at the home farm at Mulgowie in the Lockyer Valley.

“Mulgowie’s reduced tillage is giving mycorrhizal fungi a fighting chance to re-establish in the soil now that they are not being regularly chopped up by cultivation. We now need to see if we can use soil phosphorus test results to target paddocks to give the mycorrhizal fungi the best chance to re-establish,” Kelvin said.

Keep an eye out for future updates on re-establishing mycorrhizal fungi in vegetable soils and what benefits this brings to the corn and bean crops and soil.

For more information on boosting mycorrhizal fungi in Australian vegetable soils see this report produced by AHR’s cover crop project.