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Hear a Wealth of Knowledge at Talkin Soil Health!

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Sustainable Industries

This year’s theme for Talkin’ Soil Health, ‘Building Resilience from the Subsoil up’ is close to the heart for Dr Lukas Van Zwieten both as a scientist and as a farmer.

For three decades his career has focussed on soil processes including carbon and nitrogen cycling, and how these relate to greenhouse gas emissions, contaminants in the soil environment, and unravelling microbial and chemical processes.  Among a long list of awards and achievements, Lukas has over 170 journal papers to his name and leads Program 4 within the Soil CRC.

At home in north coastal NSW Lukas runs cattle and farms figs and custard apples so he has the ideal opportunity to take his research out of the lab and put it to the test on his own property.  Conversely, Lukas has seen the effects of climate change as a land manager, seen how his soils respond to climate shocks and extreme weather events, which he has then taken into the lab to unravel.

Lukas views resilience in two parts, firstly the ability of a soil to recover quickly following wild fires, droughts and floods and secondly how resistant the soil is, that is, its ability to continue to function in times of stress.

At the core of resistance and resilience, Lukas believes, is soil organic carbon.  Program 4 of the Soil CRC seeks to develop a better understanding of the relationship between ecosystem-based management practices (e.g. cover cropping, organic amendments, regenerative agricultural management) and improvement of soil organic carbon and resilience.

Join Lukas at Talkin’ Soil Health in York on 11 August where he will share some interesting findings that have been emerging such as that certain biological functions can be better maintained when entering water deficit.  He will also share where resilience based research is heading and what management practices can be used to build soil carbon, even in sandy soils like we see in many parts of the West.

Reserve your tickets or find out more here.  

This project is supported by funding from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), the State Natural Resource Management Project and Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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