That's a Wrap on the Sustainable Soil Skillsets!
The Territory NRM healthy soils team have delivered the final session of a year-long training program focused on supporting farmers, pastoralists, industry extension staff and land managers across the Northern Territory. The team collaborated with The University of Queensland (UQ Skills) to deliver the Sustainable Soil Management skillset from the Diploma of Agriculture in Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin. Territory NRM Soil Extension Officer Kimberley Pitt said final face-to-face training blocks were delivered in collaboration with UQ skills Professor Dr Doug George, Professor Bruce Alchin and Dr Guta Bedane, and covered topics including sustainable soil management, plant structure and function and sustainable practices in soil management. “It was great to get everyone together again for some great discussions and to share knowledge and experiences with the common goal of regenerating and maintaining healthy soils in the Top End for ourselves and future generations,” Kimberley said. For the on-ground field day component, the team visited the Desert Park in Alice Springs, Carbeen Park in Katherine and Turf NT in Darwin. “At the Desert Park, Bryce Shannon one of our students guided us around the park and explained some of the horticultural challenges they face in maintaining the native flora,” she said. “We were also able to explore the contrast in vegetation and soil over different landscapes such as sand country, desert rivers and woodlands.” At Carbeen Park the team were greeted by property manager and current Nuffield Scholarship candidate Munro Hardy. “Munro gave us an overview of the station and took us on a tour to see some of their current projects such as a compost trial by NT Farmers and water use efficiency measured by moisture probes in the soil,” Kimberley said. “In Darwin participants visited Turf NT where Gavin Howie discussed their unique farming system in the NT due to the intense nature of growing turf.” Kimberley said that as with all agricultural systems there were multiple obstacles to maintaining a healthy soil. “Both Gavin and Munroe discussed how they overcame these issues and the management practices they use to maintain a healthy soil such as biological material, fertigation and use of cover crops,” she said. This program was delivered as part of the Smart Farms Small Grants from the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s National Landcare Program to provide professional development skills and training to sample soils, interpret results and manage soils for production and sustainability. For more information Territory NRMs soil related program visit www.territorynrm.org.au or check out the NT Soil Consortium Facebook page.
The Territory NRM healthy soils team have delivered the final session of a year-long training program.