Farm­ers’ skills flour­ish through work­shops

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - RURAL LIFE -

LAND­HOLD­ERS on the North Coast have re­ceived sup­port for their agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion sys­tems through work­shops re­cently held in the Hast­ings, Nam­bucca and Dor­rigo ar­eas.

Through the North Coast Lo­cal Land District, the Soil Health Work­shops aimed to pro­vide land­hold­ers with the skills to as­sess their soil health and in­crease their knowl­edge on best man­age­ment prac­tices.

The work­shops were pre­sented by David Hard­wick, an Agri­cul­tural Ecol­o­gist from Soil Land Food, and in­volved sev­eral guest speak­ers cov­er­ing a range of soil health top­ics, dis­plays and out in the field hands-on as­sess­ment.

The three work­shops had a sim­i­lar fo­cus and agenda, how­ever the pre­sen­ta­tions were tailored to spe­cific lo­cal is­sues.

In the Hast­ings event, beef pro­duc­ers and gra­ziers as­sessed soil health and phys­i­cal prop­er­ties.

Land­hold­ers gained in­for­ma­tion on best man­age­ment prac­tices for poul­try ma­nure as a fer­tiliser.

Tech­ni­cal spe­cial­ist in pas­ture pro­duc­tion from NSW Pri­mary In­dus­tries, Neil Grif­fiths, spoke at the work­shop.

In the Nam­bucca area, land­hold­ers learned from Cathy Eg­gert about the ben­e­fits of dung bee­tles.

They were also taught about the soil field sam­pling method with speaker Jeremy Bradley.

Dor­rigo land­hold­ers got hands-on as­sess­ing soil bi­ol­ogy and how to best man­age it.

There were also demon­stra­tions on how to as­sess com­post and its qual­ity.

The work­shop was held in part­ner­ship with Bellinger Land­care and part-funded from Coffs Har­bour Re­gional Land­care.

Coffs Har­bour Re­gional Land­care re­ceived their fund­ing from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment Small Grants for Sus­tain­able Agri­cul­ture.

Selina Miller, Land Ser­vices Of­fi­cer, said the work­shops were a suc­cess.

“Across the three ar­eas there was a great deal of in­ter­est from land­hold­ers be­cause our work­shops are very in­ter­ac­tive and hands-on,” Ms Miller said.

If you are in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing in fu­ture work­shops, con­tact the near­est North Coast Lo­cal Land Ser­vices of­fice or visit www.north­coast@lls.gov.au.

PHOTO: NCLLS

HANDS-ON: Work­shop par­tic­i­pants learn about soil.

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