Dr Elaine Ingham on the Flora Funga Podcast

PODCAST: Dr Elaine Ingham, How the Soil Food Web Works and Why it’s Important

kaitlyn kuehn, at the Flora Funga Podcast talks with soil Microbiologist Dr. Elaine Ingham about the soil food web and why it’s important. A world leader in soil research Dr. Ingham has her B.A. in Biology and Chemistry, and her MS in Microbiology and Ph. D. in Microbiology

Podcast covers how Dr. Ingham got into microbiology and her soil research. We cover diversity of species in the soil and what your soil should look like for certain crops. We learn what excudes are and why they are important to the ecosystem. We also learn how we can help the soil food web and how you can be apart of her classes to make a difference.

Find out more about Kaitlyn Kuehn and the
the Flora Funga Podcast at
https://www.florafungapodcast.com/

Find out more about Dr. Elaine Ingham & the Soil Food Web

Dr. Elaine Ingham is widely recognised as the world’s foremost
soil biologist, she’s passionate about empowering ordinary people to
bring the soils in their community back to life.

Landholders Kim and Judy have worked for more than half a century on improving the condition and productive capacity of their property near Goondiwindi, QLD.

National Landcare Program partnering with local Indigenous fire practitioners

Goondiwindi, QLD – 14th February 2021

Landholders Kim and Judy have worked for more than half a century on improving the condition and productive capacity of their property near Goondiwindi, QLD. Their land is rich in biodiversity including a healthy brigalow ecosystem.Following a Cultural Burning workshop run by SQ Landscapes and Victor Steffensen, a nationally recognised Indigenous fire practitioner, Kim and Judy have spent months preparing to put the theory into practice.

They’re partnering with local Indigenous fire practitioners as part of a SQL project to manage the wildfire threat posed by introduced grasses and overgrown native vegetation. Cultural burning is a cost-effective way of protecting this nationally recognised threatened brigalow ecological community, by promoting a natural balance of native species and improving habitat of rare and threatened species including the black-throated finch, koala, and glossy black cockatoo.

Knowledge sharing across different cultures is creating a strong shared vision for the future management of landscapes and biodiversity. This project is supported by Southern Queensland Landscapes, with funding from the National Landcare Program.

Find out more about Southern Queensland Landscapes great work: bit.ly/3ctHwVx

SQ Landscapes

microorganisms The Unsung Heroes of Our Soil

Soil; home to a quarter of Earth’s species

Our soils are bustling with life, home to a quarter of the Earth’s species, from beetles and springtails to worms, spiders, nematodes, and billions of other microorganisms. Healthy soils are vital for combatting climate change, feeding the planet’s population, and preventing flooding and droughts.

These unsung heroes of the soil all form a part of our diverse ecosystem and play a crucial role in keeping soils healthy.

Did you know that up to 10 billion microorganisms can be found in just a quarter of a teaspoon of soil?

There’s more carbon in our soils than there is in all the world’s plants, forests and the atmosphere combined!


A large proportion of this is bound up in the organic compounds produced by fungi. Studies show that healthy soils on organic farms are able to store (‘sequester’) up to 25% more carbon in the long term. Fungi play an important role here, making them a vital piece of the climate puzzle. 

Soil erosion is a big concern for both farmers. Half the topsoil on our planet has been lost in the last 150 years, due to erosion, and much of this is due to intensive farming. The dense mesh of mycelium in healthy soils holds them together; its networks wind through plant roots and shoots. Without it, soil would be washed away.  
  
Did you know that healthy soils can filter out pollutants? Fungi have been shown to be amazing cleaners of our soils, filtering out everything from heavy metals to pesticides, and even radioactive waste. 

READ MORE AT

The Soil Association is a UK charity that digs deeper to transform the way we eat, farm and care for our natural world

Farm Compost

Farm composting now a TAFE course

We are excited to learn of a new TAFE course “Manage on farm composting” (AHCORG408 – Release 1)

This TAFE course will show you how to implement and manage an on farm compost system, explain the chemistry and flow of the composting processes and what’s involved with manage a composting site.

Once you have completed TAFE course you will be able to make compost, evaluate it’s quality and implement remedial actions if required. The business side is also covered with modules on implementing workplace health and safety policies, site quarantine and biosecurity protocols.

The candidate must demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Compost quality standards
  • Basic principles of composting
  • Different methods of composting
  • Characteristics of a range of raw materials
  • Fundamental characteristics of compost quality
  • Steps in pre-processing compost materials
  • Batch documentation techniques
  • Site and equipment requirements for on farm composting
  • Key process control stages critical to consistent compost production
  • Overview of systems and technologies used in compost production, particularly as relevant to farm
  • Characteristics and categories of a range of compost products.
  • Relevant environmental, work health and safety legislation and regulations
  • Record keeping requirements
  • Site quarantine and biosecurity protocols
  • Agro-ecological principles
  • Principles, practices and inputs allowable under the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce if applicable

Competency is to be assessed in the workplace and/or a simulated environment that accurately reflects performance in a real workplace setting.

To find out more visit https://training.gov.au/TrainingComponentFiles/AHC/AHCORG408_R1.pdf

Farm Fantastic 2013 Caboolture

JPH Equipment exhibit at Farm Fantastic 2013 Caboolture

More than 35,000 people will visit farm fantastic expo here at Caboolture and with so many exciting events and almost 900 exhibitors on display it’s easy to see why. We talk to jarn Hanson from JPH Equipment about the turnout at the show. JPH Equipment CT360 & CT270 Windrow Turners are ideal for Dairy farm & Feed lot composting turning Waste into effective and environmentally friendly quality fertilizer.

We asked him how the show was going today and he said “it’s going really well thank you, we have had a great turn out turn out yesterday and it seems to be a good day today. We asked how you finding the crowds he said “Really good they are really exciting about the machine”

I asked what’s the thing that’s got the most interest for the people that are visiting the stand “I think it’s mainly the windrow turner and the Bag and seals is getting quite a lot of interesting too” If you’d like to find out more about the products produced by JPH visit us at www.JPHequipment.com.au or call 0400 897 575

composting for soil type

The future of fertilisers

The future of fertilisers and waste recycling – why composting for soil type is so critical for farmers

by Adam Willson, Soil Systems Australia

Current challenges facing dairy producers

Over the last few years there has been a steady movement towards biological dairy
farming practices like use of manures, composting and remineralisation. Producers
have begun to realise that what we have been told about only needing nitrogen is
not the complete picture. The wheels have begun to fall off the cart and of particu-
lar concern to most is the decline in soil structure and herd health.
Some of the challenges faced by dairy producers include;

  1. Skyrocketing costs of production – both fertilisers and brought in feed
  2. Soils are becoming compacted – increased runoff and less utilisation of rainfall and irrigation water
  3. Pastures are not very palatable to stock – leading to reduced feed utilisation
  4. There is a strong dependance on brought in feeds
  5. Irrigation efficiency is low and expensive with increased electricity prices
  6. Herd health is declining and vet bills keep souring
  7. Researchers, consultants and industry don’t fully understand that all of these issues are related to declining soil health

The following article is not about pointing the finger but getting you the dairy producer to “wake up and smell the coffee”. Composting is one of many ancient farming practices that has been used for around 3000 years. Its role in improving the profitability of your business cannot be underestimated. It is not about throwing out the new and returning to a horse and cart. It is about learning to work with nature and forget about trying to control her.

What to do with your unwanted wastes and local resources

Have you ever considered the value of that waste material around the farm? Most of us ignore these piles until either they get too big or cashflow has forced us to look at alternatives. This is what happened in 2008 following the huge hike in oil and fertiliser prices. Farmers began searching for alternatives, recycling perceived waste and using local resources. It was the beginning of large scale on-farm composting and the germination of common sense.

Some of the local resources that can be utilised for on-farm composting include;

  1. Stockpiled cow manure
  2. Brought in chicken and pig manures
  3. Spoilt silage or hay
  4. Spoilt feed
  5. Separated effluent solids
  6. Liquid effluents and washdowns

Why produce quality compost?

It’s really a “no brainer” why dairy producers should be getting into composting and recycling of what are perceived waste products. Some of the benefits of producing quality compost include;

  1. The valuable humic and fulvic fractions produced in quality compost increases water use efficiency by up to 50% making your pastures and crops require less water. Humus holds up to 20 times its weight in water and acts like a sponge.
  2. By building this soil humus, the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) of soils can be increased by up to 70%. The CEC of a soil is a measure of the total amount of nutrients held in the soil.
    This means that with the addition of quality compost, the soil can hold more nutrients and make these available to plants. As plant stress is primarily driven by nutrient and water
    availability, points 1 and 2 are essential for financial success.
  3. Major reduction in weeds – weed seed doesn’t live through a composting process
  4. Applied fertilisers and minerals are made more bio-available when applied with quality compost. This results in less leaching of nutrients and improved financial outcomes. Reductions in your fertiliser bill of up to 25-33% is not uncommon.
  5. The soil becomes more friable leading to reductions in fuel by up to 25%. One example was a farmer who increased the speed of rippling his paddock with a Yeomans from 4km/hr to 8km/hr. This was due to the softening of the soil.
  6. There is an observed even production in pasture growth. There are less variations across the paddock on the same soil type.
  7. Increased Metabilisable Energy (ME) of pastures and improved utilisation of home grown feed. This means less brought in feed.
  8. There is little to no environmental or off farm effect in stark contrast to water soluble fertilisers.

The key thing to remember with these benefits is that they don’t happen overnight but rather
build upon each application.

Soil Foodweb Tick of Approval.

JPH Equipment granted the Soil Foodweb Tick of Approval.

https://www.jphequipment.com.au/images/soil%20food%20sticker_v1.jpg?crc=106644383

The Soil Foodweb Institute (Australia), has assessed and granted the SFI Tick of Approval to the range of compost turners produced by JPH Equipment. The Soil Foodweb Institute (Australia) have found that;

  • The JPH Equipment CT360 & CT270 Windrow/Compost Turners compost mixing ability to be the best current available, offering increasing dissolved oxygen levels, whilst lowering waste carbon dioxide levels produced by microorganisms in the compost
  • The JPH Equipment CT360 & CT270 Turners are very effective at distributing water evenly throughout the windrow during the turning process.
  • The JPH Equipment CT360 & CT270 Turners, treat the windrow material evenly, mixing thoroughly without pulverising

Agromek

JPH Equipment visits Northern Europe’s premier agricultural show

In November 2014 JPH Equipment managing director Jorgen Hansen travelled to the Agromek show in Denmark.

Agromek is Northern Europe’s premier agricultural exposition and was attended by almost 50 thousand visitors all excited to see a record number of exhibitors showing the very latest in agricultural machinery, automation and technological innovation, with over 290 new products alone.  This event showcases product from Agriculture & Forestry industry with the huge display of  tractors, machinery and field equipment.

Watch our report