Soils for Life looks to west

Countryman - - COUNTRY LIFE -

Na­tional not-for-profit group Soils for Life is keen to ex­pand its WA foot­print, af­ter re­cently vis­it­ing a group of farm­ers in Gooma­lling.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion, which fo­cuses on restor­ing the health of the agri­cul­tural land­scape, has al­ready funded two trial sites in WA, one in Wyalkatchem and the other in the Gas­coyne catch­ment.

Chaired by Aus­tralia’s for­mer gov­er­nor-gen­eral, Ma­jor Gen­eral Michael Jef­fery, Soils for Life has plans to es­tab­lish another 10 trial sites of lead­ing re­gen­er­a­tive agri­cul­tural prac­tice in WA, cost­ing about $1 mil­lion.

With the help of nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment group Wheat­belt NRM, Maj-Gen Jef­fery said he wanted to con­nect with farm­ers who were al­ready work­ing to im­prove soil health.

“We’re keen to mea­sure the eco- nomic, en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and pro­duc­tiv­ity per­for­mance of these prop­er­ties as a nat­u­ral cap­i­tal mea­sure­ment and to en­cour­age them to men­tor other farm­ers,” he said.

“By re­ceiv­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tion through Soils for Life and ac­cess to our sci­en­tists, we hope they will re­ceive a pre­mium for their prod­uct and help to im­prove re­turns.”

Maj-Gen Jef­fery re­cently met about 25 farm­ers at the Leem­ing fam­ily’s prop­erty, just south of Gooma­lling.

The work­shop was or­gan­ised by Wheat­belt NRM and its pro­gram man­ager for sus­tain­able in­dus­tries, Felic­ity Gil­bert.

Ms Gil­bert said Wheat­belt NRM would now li­aise with Soils for Life staff to be­gin the process for se­lec­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of new trial sites.

Soils for Life chair­man and for­mer gov­er­nor-gen­eral, Ma­jor Gen­eral Michael Jef­fery, re­cently vis­ited the Gooma­lling farm of Ian Leem­ing, and met Wheat­belt NRM chair­man Jim Sul­li­van.

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