A productive 2018 starts in our soils with 4 free workshops

To kick off a sustainable International Year of the Reef, Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) and delivery partners are hosting four free workshops in regional locations on healthy soils this January/February.

Tailored specifically for landholders who undertake any type of cropping, workshop facilitator and field agronomist David Hall says the workshops focus on understanding and knowing how to take care of ‘the stuff you can’t see’ which is fundamental to productive soils.

“Soil health is absolutely pivotal to building a sustainable business and there’s a lot we’ve learnt over previous decades through research that all landholders should know,” says David who has over 30 years’ experience working with soils in the agricultural industry. 

“Without the right mix of soil biology, structure and aeration, you’re not creating the optimal growing medium for your crops even if you fertilize.”
David also says maintaining and restoring healthy soils is fundamental to maintaining resilience when it comes to extreme weather events like flooding.

“Soil health suffers dramatically from flooding and the scouring it causes – knowing how to keep soil healthy beforehand and restore it after with the right ingredients means you spend less and return to production sooner.”
With flooding impacting farmers through lost soil and production, the resulting sediment runoff also has negative consequences for local waterways, the Great Barrier Reef and industries that rely on healthy landscapes.

“Increased sediments in creeks and on the reef means the natural balance is lost. Increased water temperatures and algal growth are just two changes that create a chain of problems.” says Fitzroy Basin Association CEO Paul Birch.

With $14 million recently announced by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to initate a 10-year Reef Island Refuge Initiative program on Lady Elliot Island just south of the Fitzroy Basin, and significant investment by State and Federal governments in reef protection, reducing sediment loads is also a key goal of FBA’s Central Queensland Sustainability Strategy 2030.

“Keeping soils healthy, in the paddock, out of our waterways and off our Great Barrier Reef is simply good practice. And it saves everyones’ resources.” says Paul.

Funded through the Australian Government and delivered through Reef Trust, the free workshops will be held in Wandoan, Emerald, Dysart and Monto from 29 January – 2 February, 2018. Places are limited and RSVPS are required by 5pm 24 January. To register your interest or find out more about these and other workshops, visit our events calendar

Read more about Reef Achievements in the Fitzroy Basin 2008-2016.