If you didn’t make it to Talkin’ Soil Health held in August in York, you missed out, as it was a sell-out at 200 participants. Feedback has been that it was not just the biggest, but also the best event held yet. ‘Building Resilience from the Sub Soil up’ clearly hit the mark in terms of where farming is at right now.
It wasn’t so very long ago that using the term climate change would get a lot of people hot under the collar but our farming industry has been at the coal face, maintaining production through winter rainfall decreases and increasing extreme weather events.
So how do we support our agricultural soils to become more resistant and resilient to climate shocks? This was what brought farmers and researchers from across Australia to discuss.
We listened to practitioners, what they are doing in their systems and why they think it works. We heard scientists explain the latest research and we looked at tools both biological and fabricated that we could use to improve soil health and resilience.
Debate, at times, was strong, and the keynote speaker Andre Leu got things off to a controversial start. He created a bit of a stir with his learnings from higher rainfall horticultural and organic grazing systems but he also made some good observations on agriculture at the global scale, trends and market expectations. We are in a period of rapid change and agriculture will be faced with some significant challenges in the coming decades.
For now, we are taking a short break, before commencing plans for the next Talkin’ Soil Health to be held in 2024.
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Published in Farming in Focus, December 2022