■ Grow­com col­umn

South Burnett Times - - RURAL WEEKLY - DAVID THOM­SON Grow­com CEO

IN A WIN for com­mon sense, Queens­land farm­ers now have clear right to cre­ate com­posts and other or­ganic prod­ucts on their own farms.

Af­ter a three-year re­view of the reg­u­lated waste clas­si­fi­ca­tion and the waste-re­lated En­vi­ron­men­tally Rel­e­vant Ac­tiv­ity frame­works, the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Science has fi­nally amended leg­is­la­tion to al­low farm­ers to legally man­u­fac­ture or­ganic com­posts on-farms.

The de­ci­sion fol­lows con­tin­ued ad­vo­cacy by the Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion (QFF), of which Grow­com is a mem­ber, on be­half of peak state and na­tional agri­cul­ture in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tions.

While most grow­ers may not have even re­alised they were po­ten­tially break­ing the law with some­thing as ben­e­fi­cial as com­post­ing (if pro­duc­ing more than 200 tonnes per year), it took sig­nif­i­cant ef­fort from QFF to get this is­sue re­solved af­ter a Grow­com mem­ber was threat­ened with a fine for com­post­ing with­out an En­vi­ron­men­tal Au­thor­ity from the state gov­ern­ment.

The hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try recog­nises the need to im­prove soil struc­ture and sup­ply or­ganic nu­tri­ents to grow a healthy crop.

For years farm­ers have been amend­ing their soils and im­prov­ing soil qual­ity through the ap­pli­ca­tion of their own man­u­fac­tured qual­ity com­post prod­ucts.

How­ever, the sec­tor has never had a clear ex­emp­tion for the man­u­fac­ture of th­ese com­posts on-farm un­til now.

Com­posts and or­ganic prod­ucts can help farm­ers to meet sus­tain­abil­ity out­comes as­so­ci­ated with best man­age­ment prac­tice.

They help to build nat­u­ral soil fer­til­ity which can lead to a re­duc­tion in the use of in­or­ganic fer­tilis­ers.

They are a win-win for farm­ers and the en­vi­ron­ment, re­duc­ing in­put costs and min­imis­ing the use of chem­i­cals. Be­cause of this, Grow­com wel­comes the new farm com­post ex­emp­tion as the ob­vi­ous an­swer to what is a com­mon­sense ac­tiv­ity.

We thank QFF for lead­ing the charge in ad­vo­cacy to amend the leg­is­la­tion so farm­ers can legally man­u­fac­ture com­post for use on their own farms.

PHOTO: ZUMMOLO

FARMER WIN: Ad­vo­cacy wins in al­low­ing on-farm com­post­ing.

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