Discover what's under your feet at Soil Symposium

Monday, 18 June, 2007

Soil is the backbone of every farm, and a national conference early next month will get down and dirty on this vital agricultural resource.

The Healthy Soils Symposium will bring together farmers, agronomists, soil scientists and experts of all kinds with a mutual interest in the soils that support Australian farming.

The conference, part of the federal government's national Healthy Soils for Sustainable Farms (HSSF) Programme, will be held on Queensland's Sunshine Coast from July 3-5.

The keynote speaker will be Swedish Professor Olle Andren, an outspoken soil microbiologist specialising in soil carbon.

Andren's address will draw upon his experiences with European agriculture as well as the more recent evidence he has collected from a recent two-month stint in Africa.

Other highlights include farmers sharing advice on how they boosted soil fertility and what it meant for their enterprises. Also, national experts will talk about how to get the biggest bang in soil health on your land.

Some of the topics to be aired at the symposium include:

  • stubble burning
  • the farmers' perspective on carbon
  • the dollar value of soil health and
  • beneficial soil fungi

The symposium features a number of practical sessions where delegates will learn how to analyse their own soils.

"BYO soils and discover what treasures lie under your feet," said HSSF coordinator Dr Tom Davison.

"We will provide the microscopes, the infrared gas analyser, in fact all the equipment and all the know-how you'll need to analyse your soil. And you will learn to understand what soil analysis means for your farm operations."

The symposium will be held at the Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast, with support from gold partners Elders and Incitec Pivot.

The symposium features a welcome BBQ and an industry dinner as well as complimentary industry tours before and after the event (subject to bookings).

For more information, visit

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