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Upper North Farming Systems held an annual expo focusing on improving soil health to maximise profits in a water-limited environment. The day featured visits to soil pits and a range of speakers at Booleroo Centre. About 95 participants attended the day, as well as 12 senior students from Booleroo Centre School.

BACKGROUND

The Upper North Farming Systems (UNFS) Group conducts research trials and provides extension and networking opportunities for farmers, agronomists, researchers and primary industry in the Upper North region of South Australia.

Event Date:

4 August 2016

Project participants

Upper North Farming Systems: Ruth Sommerville.

The problem

Extension was required on the ways soil health can improve productivity in water-limited environments.

The research

A full-day expo was held in Booleroo Centre including a range of presentations and a visit to soil pits.

More information

Hannah Mikajlo, UNFS
0449 676 024
[email protected]

Research aims

The objective of the project was to hold the annual UNFS expo to improve growers’ skills and knowledge in managing soils in the water-limited environment.

In the field

The UNFS held the Productive soils and solutions for a profitable season full-day expo on 4 August 2016, at the Booleroo Centre Institute Hall including a visit to two soil pits in paddocks on the outskirts of Booleroo Centre.

The focus of the day was on soils and modifications to the system that would result in higher productivity and profitability within a water limited environment.

Topics included micro and macro nutrients, Russian Wheat Aphid, planning for a variable spring, crop physiology and the effect of heat shock on yield, maximising lamb growth rates, and nutrition and business risk.

Pre-event promotion included a media release to all news organisations in the district which resulted in articles in the Plains Producer, Flinders News, Jamestown Journal and on the ABC Radio.

Results

About 95 people attended the expo, with an additional 12 senior students from Booleroo Centre School participating in the morning session.

Feedback from the day was very positive.

Value for growers

The participants at the expo learnt to manage their soil management to improve profitability. A secondary outcome was discussion between presenters and UNFS on the day which has led to a new SAGIT-funded project to investigate soil types in the Upper North with higher probabilities of nutrient deficiencies or tie-up and investigate amelioration and application options to alleviate these micro-nutrient deficiencies (Increasing the knowledge and understanding of Micronutrient Deficiency in the UN).