Rethinking farm practices

Tough times cause a rethink of farm management practices

Local Business Feature
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The current dry or drought conditions across most of the country have encouraged many graziers to rethink their practices and approach to land management.

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Kalfresh's Rob Hinrichsen is one of the guest speakers at this year's Australian Biological Conference.

Kalfresh's Rob Hinrichsen is one of the guest speakers at this year's Australian Biological Conference.

The current dry or drought conditions across most of the country have encouraged many graziers to rethink their practices and approach to land management.

That’s according to Dr Judi Earl, one of the speakers at the upcoming Australian Biological Farming Conference next month and a grazier herself in the New England region of NSW.

“The movement toward regenerative agriculture is gaining momentum, not least due to the many examples now being provided by graziers who have successfully applied biological principles to their farming practice and used livestock to improve land condition,” Dr Earl said.

“Understanding natural processes and working with nature allows you to build resilience in your land and increase the productive capacity of pastures in dry times.

“As a grazier, your soil is your most fundamental resource and management during drought will have a significant influence on the productive potential of your soil when favourable conditions return.”

This year will be the third Australian Biological Farming Conference, being held on the Gold Coast campus of Southern Cross University from November 9 – 12.

The conference has 29 speakers including the executive director of the Rodale Institute in the US, Jeff Moyer, who is a world-renowned authority in organic agriculture.

Mr Moyer conceptualised and popularised the No Till Roller Crimper for use in organic agriculture and is the author of Organic No-Till Farming, a publication that has become a resource for farmers throughout the world.

Another international speaker is Michael Phillips who is the author of several highly regarded books on holistic practices in orchards and farming.

The speakers, many of whom are farmers themselves, will cover topics like weed management, compost production, improving soil fertility, no-till management, crop agronomy, transitioning to biological farming practices, integrated pest management, and enhancing farm biodiversity.

​One of the speakers, Nick Kelly, is a broad-acre farmer from WA where he no longer uses synthetic fertilisers and plants cover crops over summer after the wheat, barley and other crops have been harvested.

Other key speakers include:

  • Professor Carlo Leifert - director, Centre for Organics Research at Southern Cross University;
  • Rob Hinrichsen of Kalfresh, one of the biggest vegetable farming operations in Queensland; and
  • Dan Falkenberg, Barossa Valley’s Viticulturist of the Year for 2018, and a leading proponent of biological farming in vineyards.
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