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TAS Country : October 25th 2012
10 Tasmanian Country Friday, October 26, 2012 News Farmers focus on making soil healthy DOWN AND DIRTY: Field day participants find out what is under the grass. ROGER HANSON THE Healthy Soils field day at Pooley Wines' Belmont Vineyard in south- ern Tasmania allowed producers to scratch below the surface. Interest in soil biology is becoming more of a focus for farmers. David Sanderson, industry devel- opment and extension officer, who has been with Wine Tasmania for more than three years, organised the field day at the Richmond vineyard. He said there was much interest from members to learn about soils. ''Wine Tasmania members asked for further information on how they can improve the sustainable manage- ment of their vineyard soils,'' he said. ''They wanted to know what is happening below the surface of the soil and (how to) keep the soil healthy. Previous soil-focused work- shops looked more at soil moisture management. ''With the assistance of the Grape and Wine Research and Develop- ment Corporation and Macquarie Franklin we organised this work- shop. With the positive feedback we have had from this field day we will be looking at holding another Healthy Soils day in the near future.'' Presenters Joel Williams, from BioLife Agriculture, and Sam Rees, of Macquarie Franklin, helped the 31 field attendees, mostly from southern Tasmania, learn about the basics of soil biology. Mr Sanderson said many of Tas- mania's wines were made from single vineyard selections. ''We have a story to tell about the wine and the vineyard behind it,'' he said. The presenters went through understanding soil carbon and why is it important to the vineyard, managing vineyards to build soil carbon practices and products. Both soil scientists advocate soil health and sustainable land manage- ment. Mr Williams has a keen inter- est in managing soil microbial bal- ance, plant and soil nutrition to opti- mise soil health and crop production. Mr Rees has a background in soil science regarding soil management issues and options. He has more than 10 years of experience in soil assessments in Tasmania, specialising in soil map- ping, site suitability and environ- mental management. Matt Pooley, who hosted the field day at his Belmont Vineyard, said the information was quite scientific, and really applicable to other agricul- tural applications. ''Most definitely I learned a few things from the day, it was really worthwhile,'' he said. ''One of the keys learned about soil biology was achieving the right balance between the different organ- isms in the soil food web -- a balance between bacteria and fungi which can reduce weeds and costs.'' Soil biology is attracting more interest, especially with the advent of carbon trading. ''The issue of carbon and trading attracted and stimulated good conversation about cutting diesel use and getting scales of efficiencies,'' Mr Pooley said. landmark.com.au L 7 / Our expertise. Your success. Know-how is at the heart of everything we do. or 50 years, Landmark as el ed farmers across e coun ry o run rofi a le and sus aina le en er rises. ake Luke arrison, one of our re ional nu ri ionis s. e as crea ed a feedin ro ram for re-lam in e es a arkdale ® oll erino ud a as seen a 0% increase in lam s orn ali e is season. W en i comes o reedin ro rams, our ex er s can i e ad ice a ou nu ri ion, drenc in and accina ion. ur commi men o ro idin you i ex er ad ice is as s ron as i 's e er een. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.
October 18th 2012
November 1st 2012