Final Regen Ag Forum held at Cleve

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About 33 people attended the Regen Ag Forum at Cleve on Thursday 15 June, to hear from:

  • Dr Craig Liddicoat on soil microbiology – how it can impact plant growth, how different microbial communities are impacted by different farming practices, and how microbes can be used to measure soil health, once you know the soil physical and chemical characteristics.
  • Dr Michael Nash on invertebrates – who does what, how to look after the good guys, what pests might be saying about paddock soil nutrition and key tips including:
    • Diversify tactics to reduce pest populations
    • Diversify rotations
    • Use crops tolerant to pests
    • Ensure sowing at optimal times
    • Shrewd use of pesticides
  • Local farmers Ben Pugsley and Ben Ranford, on their journeys to improve their farm sustainability, with quite different goals (continuous cropping focus compared to a trade lamb focus).
  • Farmers in the room shared their experiences with the small grants projects they undertook as part of the EP Landscape Board’s Regenerative Agriculture Program funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Interestingly, each farmer had different aims or issues they wanted to overcome with their small grants, but the practices used were quite similar across many of the projects (using mixed species pastures in both winter and summer, and/or soil amelioration activities), and all had positive outcomes. The small grants program provided the catalyst for many of the farmers involved to give something a try and measure the outcomes, which has resulted in expanding some of the practices further in their farming systems.

Thanks to the Cleve Golf Club for exceptional catering and venue, Josh Telfer for organising and hosting, and to all the farmers involved. This project comes to end on 30 June 2023, we are awaiting announcement of possible future opportunities to continue the momentum gained in this current program.

Above: Michael Nash presenting to an engaged audience

Below: Speakers Ben Ranford, Ben Pugsley and Michael Nash. Craig Liddicoat presented via zoom.




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