TRIAL – Building Drought Resilience Through Soil Health

Matt and Justine McLeod are starting a trial to tackle two of the biggest issues in hay farming – water and money.

With industry experts, Fitzroy Basin Association and the University of Queensland, the McLeod’s will look at how they can optimise water and inputs to improve profits, while enhancing soil properties. Experimenting with 96 plots, the trial will monitor the impact of different rates of organic amendments, fertilisers and plant species. Tracking soil health, water efficiency, plant health, yield and profitability the trial aims to find solutions that increase drought resilience.

This event will cover:

  • The trial – what is it and who is involved (Matt McLeod)
  • Soil health and other basics (Justine McLeod)
  • Soil health including trial measurement and monitoring (Johannes Biala)
  • The soil amendments – what they aim to achieve (John Brown)
  • Forage – crop and pasture systems (Ross Newman)
  • What’s happening below the ground (George Mingin)
  • The trial sites and measurement tools – field exploration

This is the first of three field days. Come along and follow the outcomes of the exciting new central Queensland trial.

The Presenters

Matt McLeod
Land owner – M.D McLeod & J McLeod Partnership
Matt is new to hay production but not farming. Growing up on a cattle enterprise, Matt is a practical land manager who is keen to find a way to make agriculture good for producers and country.
“I can’t explain the theory of what happens in the soil, and I’m not interested in reading about it, but I can tell you what we’ve tried, what has worked and how that’s made us so keen to find out more of what’s possible.”

Justine McLeod
Land owner – M.D McLeod & J McLeod Partnership
Justine is a passionate land manager who is dedicated to improving the condition of her property and helping others to do the same. As a lover of reading and learning, Justine is excited to harness the power of nature to create profitable and sustainable farming enterprises.
“I want to help be a step in the right direction by showing how farming can be great for the land and the environment. I also want to prove how we can overcome and work better with the challenges of drought and the rising costs of farming inputs by working with nature rather than outside of it.”

Johannes Biala
director – crown, university of Queensland
Equipped with degrees in Agriculture and Environmental Science, Johannes has worked in organics recycling, composting and the use of recycled organics products for over 30 years. He has extensive experience as a consultant and researcher in all key areas of the organics recycling supply chain, including the use of recycled organic products in agriculture and horticulture. Johannes will talk about the direct role compost can play in improving physical soil properties that enhance water infiltration and moisture retention, while also touching on indirect benefits, such as improved root expansion.

John Brown
Manager – Organic Nutrients Comp osting
John has been involved in the composting business since 2011. Over this time, he has worked to create premium composted soil conditioners and fertilisers and helped landholders get the best out of their properties by using them. During this workshop John will explain the different soil amendments that will be used during the McLeod’s trial and what they aim to achieve.

Ross Newman
Agricultural and Pastoral Consultant – Gracemere Veterinary Surgery
With a lifetime of farming experience, a Bachelor of Applied Science – Rural Technology (Hons) and 20 years of experience in forage crops and pasture systems throughout Australia, Ross is a central Queensland expert. While being an agronomist, Ross also grows Lucerne in conjunction with his father at their home property at Fairy Bower. This property is Ross’s “laboratory” where he experiments with many different concepts and systems to identify opportunities for his clients throughout the Fitzroy region.

George Mingin
Director – Kookaburra Worm Farms and Kookaburra Environmental
George is passionate about growing healthy nutrient-dense food. Specialising in fungi, bacteria, archaea, protozoa, nematodes and earthworms, George is an expert in understanding what is happening below the ground. Using rapid DNA analysis as well as traditional soil testing methods, George will help you learn how to understand what is happening with your soil and how to best nudge them back into becoming self-regenerative and fertile.

When – 1 September | 8:30am – 4:30pm
Where – Lake Pleasant 521 Fiveways Lake Pleasant Road, Goovigen QLD

RSVP by 20 August
Kate McLucas – FBA Land Management Officer
07 4993 1004 | 0417 938 022 |

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided. Please bring a hat, water bottle, chair, a pen and notepad.

This project is supported by Fitzroy Basin Association, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, Organic Nutrients Pty Ltd, University of Queensland – CROWN, and Gracemere Veterinary Surgery.

Download the event flyer

Event Times

08:30 am - 04:30 pm Wednesday 1st September, 2021

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