Field day promotes soil regeneration

SOILS for Life is hosting a demonstration and field day on ‘Gunningrah’, near Bombala, on February 20. 

Farmers are being encouraged to adopt regenerative landscape management practices to help build healthy, productive and profitable landscapes which are more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate. 

After identifying leading performance and producing 19 case studies in 2012, Soils for Life is now undertaking a program of demonstration and promotion to encourage wider adoption of these practices.

Charlie and Anne Maslin of Gunningrah were recognised for their leading regenerative farming practices. 

The Maslin’s approaches to landscape hydrology and grazing management have delivered a landscape that retains moisture in the soil and supports productive pastures even with reduced rainfall.

Retired Major General, and Soils for Life chairman, the Honourable Michael Jeffery, will provide the keynote address on the day.

“Healthy landscapes rely on the carefully integrated management of the soils, our water and a biodiversity of vegetation,” General Jeffery said.  

“The health of any one of these components relies on the good health of the other two.”

The Maslin’s story and our other case studies clearly bring this important point to the fore - and demonstrate the multitude of benefits that can be achieved.”

Mr Maslin said in his area, the annual precipitation over the last 160 years had an average just over 600mm.

The range within which the average comprises goes from a low of 250mm to a high of 1200mm. 

It is this variability, both within and between years, which causes the problems for farmers planning ahead.

“We realised that while we couldn’t influence how much rain falls, we could choose how to manage the rain we were lucky enough to receive,” Mr Maslin said.

“We thought that the changes resulting from the grazing and stream interventions would have been slow, and maybe not noticeable to the eye for some time. 

This couldn’t have been further from what happened on all fronts.”

Farmers and land managers are welcome to join Soils for Life for what is to be an inspiring and informative day. 

Presenting alongside General Jeffery and Charlie Maslin will be local farmer and agricultural change researcher, Charlie Massy, agronomist Stuart Burge and water management consultant, Campbell Wilson.

“Farming success stories like the Maslins need to be identified and promoted so that others can be encouraged to change their practices, realise triple bottom line results and benefit us all,” General Jeffery concluded.

• For further information and to register to attend this event, visit the Soils for Life website, http://www.soilsforlife.org.au/events.html

Soils for Life Field Day Managing Rainfall: A Good Dam is a Dry One,  ‘Gunningrah’, Bombala.

Date: Thursday, February 20

Time: 8.30am to 3.30pm.

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