Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Two-day soil management workshop


Thursday 13th April

A two-day soil management workshop taking place in Cromwell at the end of June will be the biggest event of its type in the South Island in recent times.

Co-organiser Cherryle Prew of the SoilFoodWeb Institute said it was a coup for the South Island to secure key note speaker Dr Christine Jones, an internationally renowned soils ecologist and founder of the Australian Soil Carbon Accreditation Scheme.

“Dr Jones is booked years in advance, so having her speak for a whole morning at the ”Farming Soils – Starting Today” workshop is a real honour,” she said.

“She will be talking about the big picture; how the carbon, nitrogen and water cycles are intrinsically linked.  I think farmers will respect her years of experience working with landholders to restore water balance, increase biological activity and improve productivity”.

Ms Prew said all the speakers at the two-day conference are well versed in sustainable farming, including farmers who had made the switch to innovative soil-based production.

“The aim of the workshop is to empower the farmer with enough knowledge to make the best decision to suit his own farming system. Integrity Soils will be giving a farmer-friendly, in-depth explanation of the simple on-farm score-card system for assessing soils. Landcare Research will be talking about greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon issues.”

Ms Prew said the workshop will give participants all the information they need to start farming their own soils.

“It really is a one-off opportunity for South Island farmers to access a high level of expertise in biological farming which is not often brought together, especially in the far south.”

Co-organiser Ray Annan, from Sustainable Growing Solutions, said he had been working with different farming industries for seven years in Otago and Southland.

“I’ve seen outstanding results in my work with dairy farmers, beef and sheep farmers and vineyards. Once you get the soil working for you, everything else starts falling into place. Stock temperament and health improves, fertiliser use is enhanced, and soil structure and depth is improved. The water holding capacity of the soil is also increased, reducing water run-off and taking the pressure off rivers and streams.”

Mr Annan said anyone who relies on the soil would find the workshop relevant including dairy farmers, sheep and beef farmers, crop farmers, orchardists, vegetable growers and wine-makers.

The third leg of the organising team is Conal Wattam, the Otago Compost and Greenwaste manager for Delta. He was inspired to put time into organising the conference because of his passion for biologically active soils through composting.

“Biological farming is the way of the future,” said Mr Wattam. “By farming the biology in their soil, farmers can reduce input costs and maximise productivity.

“There’s no downside, and the earlier farmers get into it, the more of a competitive advantage they’re going to get from it.”

Mr Annan encouraged farmers who are interested in attending the workshop not to leave it too late to register.

“We haven’t even started advertising the workshop yet, and already we’re getting calls from all over the South Island. Word of mouth is spreading extremely quickly, and farmers are thirsty for knowledge about biological farming. I’d hate to see people miss out.”

The “Farming Soils – Starting Today” workshop runs 30th June – 1st July in Cromwell, and costs $180.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news