Earlier this year, the Soil Wealth ICP, PotatoLink, and VegNET teams collaborated to bring an event to Queensland’s Wide Bay-Burnett region, highlighting the benefits of sustainable soil management.

Growers met near Bundaberg for an afternoon of presentations led by soil health expert Dr Kelvin Montagu.

Kelvin’s informal presentations encouraged open conversation with growers, who could relate the content directly to their own applied contexts.

Many attendees shared their experience with the group, with some growers indicating they would adopt cover cropping, or change the way they use cover crops.

Key topics discussed included:

  • Rotations: Discussions explored the role of crop rotations in breaking the cropping cycle and the importance of integrating cover crops into rotations. Selecting the right option for specific environments and considerations for timing of planting and termination methods were also discussed.
  • Managing input costs: Kelvin highlighted cost-effective nitrogen management strategies including nitrogen budgeting to maximise efficiency and legumes as natural nitrogen fixers.
  • Soil biology: Understanding soil biology, with emphasis on its impact on soil health, was an important part of the discussion. Attendees learned about practices that build or degrade soil biology, as well as the tools for measuring and understanding the soil ecosystem.
  • Improving soil health: Enhancing soil health was identified as crucial for sustainable agriculture. Kelvin discussed approaches such as reduced tillage, increasing soil organic matter, and improving soil structure and infiltration. Practical strategies that boost soil health were shared.

The event also featured a demonstration of the Horsch Cultro TC.


Workshop participants watching the demonstration and in discussion with Dr Kelvin Montagu (photo credit: Dr Naomi Diplock, AHR).

The new Soil Wealth ICP website has an expansive knowledge library including resources on many of the topics discussed at this event. Type any key words here to search the available resources.