Past Events

A Healthy Soils GMOs & FOOD SAFETY Forum
is being held in Rockhampton on 17th August 2018

 

Want to know more about GMOs and FOOD SAFETY

Who can attend? —

  • Famers/ graziers
  • Mums and Dads
  • Scientists and students
  • Councillors
  • Concerned people

Key Questions include —

  • How is food genetically modified or engineered?
  • How are the crops and food tested for safety?
  • Is GMO food safe to eat?
  • Who is approving GMO foods?
  • Is GMO feed safe for livestock?
  • How do we know if we are eating GMO food?
  • Are GM foods labelled?

Topics —

  • How to make a GMO (biolistics/Agro/Tissue Culture/names/Nos terminator/PPs)
  • Consequences of the imprecision of this method: The case of yield drag in soybeans
  • Example of a GMO hazard. (I) TheCaMV 35S promoter
  • Example of a hazard. (II) Cry/Bts are Super toxins?
  • The genetic Paradigm of modern biology. Its limitations and the mergers.

  • The promise of GMOs
  • Taking on the giant
    *   Reporting what we see, not what we want
    *   Finding kinks in the armour
  • The perception of an industry
    *   The crop we don’t eat
    *   Pesticides, the environment and you
    *   Is ignorance bliss?
        #   Dihydrogen monoxide
        #   Sewage sludge
        #   Cotton seed and CSM
        #   Your perception of risk
    *   Realists or worriers?

  • Cotton farmer - benefits of fewer sprays

  • The safety testing that is required for GMOs before they enter the food supply in Australia
    and how that compares to the gold standard
  • What happens when you exceed the little testing that is required. Results from research.
  • Labelling requirements in Australia - what is covered and what is not.
  • New GM techniques coming to a plate near you. Are they safe? Will they be labelled?

  • What we can do to manage food safety?

  • Questions from the floor / discussion / debate

When — Friday 17th August 2018
Time — 8:30am to 5:00pm
Where — Rockhampton Leagues Club
Cost — $50 per person

Guest Speakers: —

  • Dr Jonathon Latham PhD - A former genetic engineer and one
    of the worlds leading experts on genetic modification. He is the co-founder
    and executive officer of the Bioscience Resource Project
    and editor of Independent Science News. Dr Latham holds a Masters
    Degree in Crop Genetics and a PhD in Plant Virology. He was
    subsequently a post doctoral research associate in the Department of
    Genetics , University of Wisconsin, Maddison.
  • Dr Judy Carman has a BSc, an Honours Degree in Organic Chemistry, a PhD in Medicine in the field of nutritional biochemistry and metabolic regulation and a Master of Public Health, specialising in epidemiology and bio-statistics. Dr Carman is a world expert on the risk assessment of genetically modified crops and has conducted research in this area for more than a decade.
  • Dr Oliver Knox BSc, PhD is originally from Scotland with degrees from Uni of Aberdeen in Genetics and Plant Soil Sciences. He worked in Australia in the cotton industry from 2003 - to 2008 and again from 2014 to present day when he works for the Cotton RDC.

Healthy Soils Inc has been very lucky to secure some highly credentialed speakers to inform our region of the benefits and potential problems with GMO crops and foods.

We welcome you and your families and friends to attend the exciting Rockhampton event to learn the science.

For more information —    
or   .Mick 0438 395 255

See Flyer for more information

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Healthy Soils Field Day and General Meeting Saturday 23rd June 2018

Keith Rea's Property Tour

Who — Keith Rea and Robin Atkinson
When — Saturday 17th June 2018
Time — 9:00am to 3:00pm
Where — 2371 Drumberle Road, The Hirsel, Biloela
BYO — Please bring your lunch, hat, boots, chair and water

We will provide smoko and cuppa.

The day will include: —

  • Water management/ swales/ contours
  • Leucaena establishment, alley farming
  • Healthy gardens
  • What has happened in 3 years?
  • Alternative nutrition
  • Cattleyard design

This was the first of a number of planned field days being run across Central Queensland in coming months.

For more information —    
or   .Keith 0407620142   .Mick 0438 395 255

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Healthy Soils AGM, Workshop and Property Tour

On Saturday 28th April 2018, we have the opportunity to visit the only Organic Restaurant (Beaches Bistro) On the Capricorn Coast and the farm which supplies vegetables to the restaurant.

When — Saturday 28th April 2018
Time — 9:30am
Where — Beaches Bistro — 34 Vin E Jones Memorial Drive, Rosslyn Bay 4703 and Ross
                O’Rielly’s Organic Vegetable Farm.
BYO — Please bring hat, boots and water

Callide Valley Healthy soils Group hosted a field walk and demonstration of the carbon coring unit with the support of Dr Thakur Bhattarai (CQU) and Grazing BestPrac.

Guest Speakers: —

  • Eustie King (Organic Auditor)
  • Ross O’Rielly

Maybe we could pick some veggies on the day.

For more information —    
or   .  Mick 0438 395 255

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Rockhampton 10th to 12th September 2017


Agriculture and Human Health Solutions Forum

When — Rockhampton 10th to 12th September 2017

10-9-2017 Field day: — Jambin

  • Weed Control and Solutions

11-9-2017 — Rockhampton
Topics for Forum day 1 — Agricultural Solutions: —

  • Microbes and their role in soil and plant management
  • Explain pathogens and microbes
  • Soil and plant matrix
  • History of Agriculture / farming systems
  • Link between nutrition and disease
  • Soils naturally balanced
  • Management has made them unbalanced to grow crops
  • Impact of pesticides
  • Pathogens – result of management
  • Solving plant diseases – plant nutrition aspects
  • Weed control options
  • Crop dry down /desiccation options
  • Humus/ building soil carbon –
  • Monitoring Brix levels
  • Soil and leaf testing methods
  • Biofertiliser options
  • Weed control
  • Affect of GMOs
  • Animal production & health
  • Link between food & human health
  • Q & A

12-9-2017 — Rockhampton
Topics for Forum day 2 — Human Health Solutions: —

  • Gut microbes and personal situation
  • Link to food
  • Intro to Gut/brain link
  • Intro to probiotics
  • Different types of solutions
  • Overall health situation
  • Gut brain solutions
  • Analysis of food quality (acute vs chronic)
  • Ag connection to microbiome
  • Effects of chemicals on our food
  • Situation today (chronic inflammation, solutions)
  • Prebiotics/probiotics
  • Gluten/wheat
  • Family stories – case studies
  • Current research in human health
  • Q & A

A range of world class Presenters
Professor Don Huber (USA)
Dr Judy Carman
Dr Sandrine Makiela
Dr Dana Stanley
Kim Kruse
Graeme Sait
Anita Rossiter

Emeritus Professor Don Huber is one of the worlds top plant patholoogists with nearly 50 years experience researching cereal crop diseases and biological impacts. Dr Huber will present the latest information on glyphosate and other chemical impacts as well as genetically modified crops.

Dr. Judy Carman (Institute for Health and Environmental Research (IHER)) has a Bachelor of Science, an Honours Degree in Organic Chemistry, a PhD in Medicine in the field of nutritional biochemistry and metabolic regulation, and a Master of Public Health specializing in epidemiology and biostatistics.

Dr. Dana Stanley PhD in Molecular Microbiology, is a Senior Lecturer with CQU in Molecular Microbiology and Research Scientist Clinical Immunology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology.

Graeme Sait (Nutri-tech Solutions) - a specialist in sustainable agriculture who has worked with more than 20 countries to improve nutritional and disease solutions on farm.

Kym Kruse (RegenAG) - a designer, consultant and educator who works with farmers, NRM's, government and industry representatives, schools, developers and indigenous communities to establish collaborative regional partnerships and farmer to farmer networks that support practice change. Kym’s background is in Integrated Rice and Duck Cultivation, Permaculture Design and Regenerative Agriculture methodologies.

Who benefited
Anyone who is interested in human health and primary production including:
Farmers, graziers, gardeners, families, agronomists, consultants and extension staff.
Agricultural Industry suppliers, professionals and researchers.
Anyone interested in the health of the food chain of foods avaliable in Australia.

See Flyer for more information — or email     .  0438 395 255

Do You Know What You Are Eating?
Agriculture and Human Health Solutions Forum, September 2017

Healthy Soils Incorporated (Healthy Soils) has had numerous requests to explain the link between food and human health. Many in the community have doubts about the safety and health of food.

While it is common knowledge that there is food (junk food) that should not be consumed on a regular basis, there is increasing doubt about the food (regarded as healthy food) available for human consumption. The increased popularity of backyard veggie gardens and organic foods demonstrates the lack of confidence in main stream foods.

More than 200 people attended the latest Healthy Soils events from the 10th - 12th September in the Rockhampton region, to learn the latest proven science showing the links between the food we grow and the health of our families. Scientists, farmers and graziers travelled from Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, around Queensland who are interested in how our food is impacting our health. Furthermore, they are curious about the safety systems and controls on the food chain (food, food processing and food production methods).

Key speakers included, Professor Don Huber (USA), Dr Judy Carman (South Australian Health Specialist), Dr Dana Stanley (CQUniversity Researcher), Dr Sandrine Makiela (CQUniversity Microbiologist), Graeme Sait (Nutri-Tech Solutions), Anita Rossiter (Eat3&Veg) and Kim Kruse (Regen Ag). The local Landcare group, Healthy Soils Incorporated was the co-ordinator of the highly inspiring and educational program while working closely with, and support from the Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA), their Regional Landcare Facilitator and local businesses.

Chairman of the Healthy soils Group, Mick Alexander said, "The three days were certainly inspiring for all who attended. The key message from the program was that a chemical commonly known as glyphosate is having a huge impact on the health of all of our families and communities." He added, "This came as a surprise to many people who were still being told glyphosate was safe because we have been using it for so long.”

According to Professor Don Huber, Glyphosate has never passed a long term safety analysis and the chemical manufacturers simply used the acute (short term) testing to say it was safe for humans. What they are telling us is, if it does not kill you today, it is safe. Even the chemical regulators (AVPMA) do no testing to ensure it is safe.

Mr. Alexander declared, "However, chronic diseases such as cancer develop over years of contact with food containing toxic chemicals. In fact, without long term testing how can we be sure that the buildup of chemical residue in the soil, plants and animals for human consumption is not also accumulating in our bodies and effecting our health. It is surprising that our government regulator has not established long term (chronic) trials with all chemicals that are in or in contact with the food chain, so we can be assured that our families will consume safe food."

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) was invited to participate at the forum to demonstrate how Australia’s food safety is controlled, but declined.

Mr Alexander said, “We constantly hear agronomists and scientists and some farmers say, ‘we need these chemical because they are so cheap and easy to use and they kill the weeds.’ However, they are not cheap if they are causing our families to get sick and suffer long term illnesses. There were participants from various parts of Australia as well as many local farming and grazing families who wanted to know about the links between agriculture and our food." He explained, "Our communities need to be informed about the impact which glyphosate and other agricultural chemicals are having on our families health and to allow them to make informed decisions."

Every speaker at the forum gave their time for free to support the health and well being of families around Australia. Most participants were excited to learn from so many scientists who have spent their life researching agricultural and food safety.

Mr Alexander said, "We as farmers and farming communities are at the coal-face, getting the direct impact from the contact of poorly-regulated chemicals." "It is time for communities and families to take health into their own hands and learn about the long term impact of chemicals on our families", he said.

The program included a Field day at Bongers Farm, Jambin, on Saturday the 10th of September followed by a two day forum in Rockhampton. The field day program highlighted the world leading work which GRDC scientists, have undertaken to ascertain the levels of residual herbicides which are still sitting in our paddocks and built up from the past twenty years of chemical farming.

The initial data from trials conducted in 2016 in every state of Australia showed varying levels of glyphosate from small to very high amounts depending on soil type. Local farming family, Tony and Peter Bongers had paddocks tested and found large amounts of glyphosate as well. Interested farmers at the forum are willing to work with GRDC to find out the impact of these chemicals on our food supply.

Key note speaker, Professor Don Huber explained, "Glyphosate is simply not breaking down like the experts said it would. The chemical has changed the soil microbial composition, being toxic to beneficial organisms, promoting pathogens and tying up key minerals such as manganese, copper and zinc." "The longer it is used, the more impact it will have on soil and crops", he explained.

see photos

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12-11-2016 — Microbiology Forum at "CQUniversity" Rockhampton.

Healthy food is the foundation of human health.

When — 12th November 2016
Time — 9:00am
Where — CQUniversity Rockhampton
BYO — Lunch / Smoko was provided

Key Topics were: —

  • Human digestive system
  • What are microflora?
  • The role of prebiotics?
  • The role of probiotics?
  • Leaky Gut explained
  • Symptoms of Leaky Gut
  • How to repair Leaky Gut
  • Toxins in the Human digestive system
  • The Effects of Poor Nutrition on Human Health
  • Using Nutrition to improve Human Health
  • Reducing stress and depression with improved Nutrition

Healthy Soils Incorporated & Callide Valley Healthy Soils presented to following
Guest Speakers –

Dr. Sandrine Makiela – Soil and Human microbiologist at CQUniversity, Rockhampton.
Anita Rossiter – Holistic Nutritionist BSc, BAppSci(MedRadiations), GradDip(HumNutr),
                          MINDD Practitioner - Eat and 3 Veg (Yeppoon based nutritionist).
Vic Milward – Rural Agronomist with Landmark, Rockhampton.

The aim of this forum was to inform attendees about the connection of the types of food and their origins to Human Health. The day provided an exciting and informative day with three top presenters discussing diverse subjects with the same aim of producing healthy food for the country. Discussions about the options for creating healthy food in your kitchen, the importance of specific foods and the health implications.

Who benefitted
This was a wonderful learning experience for all attendees including farmers, graziers who wanted to learn about connection of food to Human Health.

For more information contact —
   .  Mick 0438 395 255   .  (07) 4938 3919 or email

see photos

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8-10-2016 — Healthy Soils Field Day at "Princhester" Marlborough.


Healthy Soils - Healthy Food
Comparisons between management systems in C.Q. and cooking healthy
food for families were explained.

When — 8th October 2016
Where — "Princhester" Marlborough
Cost — Healthy Soils inc members $20 non-members $30 per person.
BYO — Lunch, Chair and Hat / Smoko was provided

Key Topics were: —

  • Rotational grazing - local successes and set up
  • Cropping rotations - what works / new ideas
  • Establishing legumes - progardes and others
  • Soil carbon and nutrition levels in CQ
  • Cooking options for a healthy family
  • Gardening vs farming systems
  • How to measure and monitor soil and plant nutrition?

Benefits of Fermenting Food: —

A workshop and demonstration included the following; Learn how to ferment foods for better gut health, and doing it on a low budget cost for families for eg - Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Kefir, Cultured Vegetables, Beet Kvass as well as Bone Broth, whey from yogurt.
Included a cooking session.

Presenters
Dr Thakur Bhattarai (CQUniversity) carbon specialist
Dr Sandrine Makiela (CQ University) microbiologist
Mick Alexander (Grazing BestPrac)

These Field days were organised with two outcomes in mind - “the paddock and the kitchen”.
We looked at paddock practices being undertaken by the Armstrong and Bongers families and also looked at some great cooking tips for the families.
Some of the topics included rotational grazing, legume establishment, cover cropping, green manure crops and managed rotations.
We compared the latest data from the Landcare Soil Carbon and Nutrition analysis of 10 properties across the Callide and Capricornia regions and discussed the results.

Who benefitted
This was a wonderful learning experience for farmers, graziers and all who wanted to learn about new and old alternative practices.

For more information —
   .  Mick 0438 395 255

See Flyer for more information for 8-10-2016
or email     .  0438 395 255

see photos

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1-10-2016 — Healthy Soils Field Day at Bongers farms, Jambin.


Healthy Soils - Healthy Food
Comparisons were explained between management systems in C.Q.

When — Jambin 1st October 2016 & Marlborough 8th October 2016
Where — "Bongers farms" Jambin & "Princhester" Marlborough
Cost — Healthy Soils inc members $20 non-members $30 per person.
BYO — Lunch, Chair and Hat / Smoko was provided

Key Topics were: —

  • Rotational grazing - local successes and set up
  • Cropping rotations - what works / new ideas
  • Establishing legumes - progardes and others
  • Soil carbon and nutrition levels in CQ
  • Cooking options for a healthy family
  • Gardening vs farming systems
  • How to measure and monitor soil and plant nutrition?

Presenters
Dr Thakur Bhattarai (CQUniversity) carbon specialist
Mick Alexander (Grazing BestPrac)

These Field days have been organised with two outcomes in mind - “the paddock and the kitchen”.
We looked at paddock practices being undertaken by the Armstrong and Bongers families and also looking at some great cooking tips for the families.
Some of the topics included rotational grazing, legume establishment, cover cropping, green manure crops and managed rotations.
We compared the latest data from the Landcare Soil Carbon and Nutrition analysis of 10 properties across the Callide and Capricornia regions and discuss the results.

Who benefitted
This was a wonderful learning experience for farmers, graziers and all who wanted to learn about new and old alternative practices.

For more information —
   .  Mick 0438 395 255

See Flyer for more information for 1-10-2016
or email     .  0438 395 255

see photos

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Toowoomba 26th July 2016 & Rockhampton 28th July 2016


Weed Control, Chemicals and Agricultural Systems

Key Topics: —

  • Glyphosate and its impact on soil, microbes and plants.
  • Chemical residues and buildup.
  • Weed resistance tools.
  • Disease / nutrient interaction.
  • What chemicals are building up in our soils (Austrailian data)?
  • How do we minimise the chemical buildup?
  • What options do we have for future weed control?
  • How do we build healthy soils and healthy crops?

Presenters
Professor Don Huber
Dr Lukas van Zwieten
Dr Mike Rose
Dr. Dana Stanley

Emeritus Professor Don Huber is one of the worlds top plant patholoogists with nearly 50 years experience researching cereal crop diseases and biological impacts. Dr Huber will present the latest information on glyphosate and other chemical impacts as well as genetically modified crops.
Dr Lukas Van Zwieten is a Principal Research Scientist for the NSW DPI, investigating the impact farm chemicals are having on farming soils in Australia. Lukas will discuss results of a GRDC research project.
(Presented at Toowoomba only)
Dr Michael Rose is a Senior Soils Researcher with NSW DPI and will present the results of the GRDC research project showing the impact of chemicals on farm soils.
(Presented at Rockhampton only)
Dr. Dana Stanley PhD in Molecular Microbiology, is a Senior Lecturer with CQU in Molecular Microbiology and Research Scientist Clinical Immunology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology.
(Presented at Rockhampton only)

Who benefitted
Anyone who is directly or indirectly linked to primary production including:
Farmers, graziers, gardeners, families, agronomists, consultants and extension staff.
Agricultural Industry suppliers, professionals and researchers.

See Flyer for more information — or email     .  0438 395 255

see videos and photos

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Banana Workshop, Field Day & Property Tour

Soil Health, Soil Carbon and Farming Systems

This Workshop, Field Day & Property Tour was organised to specifically look at some exciting new farming and grazing practices being undertaken by Myles and Julie Ballentine. These included, multi species cover cropping, intensive grazing management, green manure crops and managed rotations.

The latest data from the Landcare Soil Carbon and Nutrition analysis of 10 properties across the Callide and Capricornia regions was presented.

Lengthy discussion were held with the soil specialists who undertook the sampling and compiled the results.

Nangoorie is a mixed farming and grazing property that has undergone several trials of alternative farming practices. These and many other issues where discussed relating to increasing productivity and profi tability.

When — Friday 6th May 2016
Time — 9:00am
Where — “Nangoorie” Banana
BYO — Lunch, Chair and Hat / Smoko provided

 

The day included: —

  • Cover cropping - what is it?
  • Green manure cropping - old and new again?
  • Intensive grazing of pastures?
  • What is this soil carbon we keep hearing about?
  • How does carbon affect soil health and profitability?
  • How do we make a start to improve the soil nutrition?
  • How do I measure and monitor soil and plant nutrition?

Presenters
Dr Thakur Bhattarai (CQUniversity) carbon specialist
Dr Sandrine makiela (CQUniversity) soil microbiologist
Mick Alexander (Grazing BestPrac) grazing specialist
Stephen Nussio (Specialist from Nutri-tech Solutions - NTS)

Who benefitted
Anyone who directly or indirectly is linked to primary production including:
Farmers, graziers, consultants and extension staff.
This will be a wonderful learning experience for anyone who wants to learn about new alternative practices being trialled in our region.

For more information —    
or   .  Mick 0438 395 255

See Flyer for more information — or email     .  0438 395 255

see photos

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Soil Health Field Day, Workshop and AGM

The Healthy Soils Incorporated AGM was held on Saturday 13th February with 21 people attending All the members of the executive were re-elected unopposed.

The Bongers family are converting some of their farming land back to pasture as well as incorporating trees and strip / rotational grazing. Tony and Peter Bongers baseline tested their pastures to assess the level of soil carbon under the latest Australian Govt soil carbon program. The topic of discussion was about the coring and analysis that had been completed to date as well as the cost of baseline testing and the potential benefits of carbon farming.

Dr Thakur Bhattarai from CQUniversity updated the meeting on the project soil collection and analysis of the data. He explained the variations in Carbon in soil around the region.

Dr Sandrine Makiela from CQUniversity provided a presentation on the role of soil microbes and results from the recent soil testing from the same paddocks.

A Progress Report on the Landcare projects which are due to be finalised by end of June 2016 was presented.

The draft copy of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management was discussed and distributed for comment and feedback from industry stakeholders.

The Bongers then conducted a farm tour demonstrating the highly successful improved pasture establishment on the black soil flood plain. Ideas on how to reduce the substantial soil erosion that the Bongers were attempting to control were discussed.

Myles Ballentine explained the capabilities of the DJI Phantom 3 drone and provided a live demonstration.

When — Saturday 13th February 2016
Time — 9.00am
Where — Bongers Farm — (Burnett Highway, Jambin)
Cost — Free, includes a smoko.
BYO — Lunch, Chair and Hat

The day included: —

  • Carbon levels / soil nutrition
  • Progardes trial and establishment
  • Pasture program
  • Flood repairs and future tree planting program
  • Grazing property layout
  • Farming and grazing ideas
  • Microbe levels in soils
  • Drone capabilities and demonstration

For more information —    
or   .  Mick 0438 395 255   .  (07) 4938 3919

see photos

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Healthy Soils on farm Carbon Testing

Carbon Testing on farm Field-day

A workshop and discussion on carbon in soils was followed by a field walk and a demonstration of carbon core drilling and sampling.

When — Friday 18th September 2015
Time — 3.00pm
Where — Bongers Farm — (Burnett Highway, Jambin)
Cost — $20 per person — includes a BBQ.
BYO — Chair and Hat

Callide Valley Healthy soils Group hosted a field walk and demonstration of the carbon coring unit with the support of Dr Thakur Bhattarai (CQU) and Grazing BestPrac.

Tony and Peter Bongers baseline tested their pastures to assess the level of soil carbon under the latest Australian Govt soil carbon program. The topic of discussion was about the coring and analysis that had been completed to date as well as the cost of baseline testing and the potential benefits of carbon farming.

This was the first of a number of planned field days being run across Central Queensland in coming months.

For more information —    
or   .  Mick 0438 395 255   .  (07) 4938 3919

See Flyer for more information

see photos

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Healthy Soils Keyline Principals Workshop & Field-day

A Healthy Soils Workshop was held at “Sandys Creek” Stanage Bay Road, Kunwarara on the 13th September 2015.

The topic were design and construction of swales, level contours and planting trees in windrows.

When — Sunday 13th September 2015
Time — 10:00am start
Where — "Sandy’s Creek" 671 Stanage Bay Road Kunwarara (80 km north of Rockhampton)
Cost — Including Lunch; $20 for non-members, Free for members.
BYO — Chair and Hat

The field day was held at Donald McCartneys property to develop a pasture regeneration program for Indian Couch pastures.

The first stage was to reduce runoff and increase infiltration. Several designs of swales on the flood plain and contours on the keyline up to the existing natural tree line to maximise rainwater harvesting were discussed. The benefit and disadvantages of each design was explored including comparing the cost of construction and the most efficient equipment required for each design when applied to different soil types.

The day included: —

  • Keyline principals
  • Property design
  • Construction of swales and contours
  • Selecting, location and planting of trees
  • Management after construction.

The day included a workshop discussion and in the paddock demonmstration and field day.

For more information —    
or .  Tina 0417 356 111 or Mick 0438 395 255  
— or email

See Flyer for more information

see photos

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Healthy Soils Natural Sequence Farming FieldDay and Workshop

Guest speaker Peter Andrews (Natural Sequence Farming) presented his views at the FieldDay / Workshop on the flood plain that was attended by thirty-three farmers, graziers and other industry practitioners.

When — Saturday 13th June 2015
Time — 9:00am start
Where — “Bindaree” Garnant (42km from Rockhampton)
Cost — $60 per person for non-members
             $20 for Healthy Soils Members.
BYO — Lunch, Chair and Hat

This is the first time in five years that Peter Andrews has visited Central Queensland to present the Natural Sequence Farming (NSF Model) to farmers and land managers who are interested in developing a sustainable farm plan.

Peter is famous for the work he has undertaken throughout Australia in drought proofing his own family farm in the Hunter Valley NSW. He is also extremely well known for his many episodes of Australian Story on the ABC tv.

During a tour of the property Peter commented and made suggestions on how to improve the design of the water and flood management work which has already been established on Bindaree, and assisted with the compilation of a water management plan to improve drought management on the flood plain. The plan included location and design of contour banks and erosion minimisation of the creek beds and weir construction.

Peter also —

  • Explain the landscape functions and how to identify the critical factors of the landscape
    in terms of Natural Sequence Farming.
  • Explain where we have gone wrong and how to repair the damage to date.
  • Show examples of various fundamental problems and solutions on Bindaree.
  • Demonstrated how to design a water system
  • Demonstrated construction techniques.

The day included a workshop/ discussion and in the paddock field day.

For more information —    
Mick .  0438 395 255,  .  (07) 4938 3919 or (07) 4934 5127

see photos

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Healthy Soils Field Day & Workshop

Forty-one people attended the Healthy Soils Field Day was held at Oombabeer via Moura on the 6thJune 2015.

Naturally Energetic Grazing Systems
The topic was how to improve pasture and animal health using
natural energy systems in CQ and make a profit ($).

When — Saturday 6th June 2015
Time — 9:30am — 3:00pm
Where — Oombabeer via Moura
Cost — Smoko provided;
             $20 for non-members
             Free for members.
BYO — Lunch, Chair and Hat

Oombabeer, Moura operates as a growing and finishing property which turns off high quality MSA graded cattle to local meatworks. Debbie McBryde and property manager, Mervyn Mason’s success has been highlighted in both the Qld Countrylife newspaper and the MLA Feedback magizine for their ability to meet market specifications using bought in cattle.

Deb spoke about the tools she uses to improve animal, soil, plant and human health within her business. As a result attendees had in depth discussions during thye workshop after the property tour.

Topics for Discussion— :

  • Stock Rotation
  • Free choice minerals / deficiencies
  • Broadcasting towers
  • Soil health
  • How to improve MSA / PCAS gradings
  • Stock management female vs male
  • Biodynamic management of soil and stock
  • Adverse energy
  • Stress
  • Control of weeds, pests, vermin and parasites

Guest Speakers were—
Ms Debbie McBryde
Mr Mervyn Mason
Mick Alexander
 
For more information —     .  0438 395 255    or   .  (07) 4938 3919

See Flyer for more information — or email     .  0438 395 255

see photos

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Soil and Plant Health Workshop

The next Healthy Soils event was held on the 11th February 2015.
Guest speaker, Graeme Sait from Nutri-Tech Solutions (NTS)

When — Wednesday 11th February 2015
Time — 8:30am — 5:00pm
Where — 440 Cawarral Road, Cawarral via Rockhampton
Cost — Including smoko and lunch;
             $50 for non-members
             $20.00 for members (members’ discount).

We were extremely lucky to catch Graeme Sait for a day to learn and review some exciting hints about agriculture and how it impacts on human health. Graeme is a world renowned speaker who constantly travels the world speaking to farmers, scientists and governments about sustainable farming systems. He is reputably one of Australia’s most informed speakers on soil and plant management, advancements in technologies and issues of human health.
This was a one day workshop in Central Queensland.

Graeme Sait presented the following Topics :

  • Humus Saves The World
  • Profit From Soil Life
  • Composting
  • The Importance of Mineral Balance
  • Ten Two Minute Tips
  • Options for organic fertilisers
  • Mastering Micro-Nutrients
  • Reclaiming Wellness

Scott Aldred's tour included —

  • Planning and preparing permaculture garden beds
  • Layout design of plants in permaculture garden beds
  • Composting
  • Planning, preparing and constructing Mandala gardens
  • Preparing Mandala gardens for planting
  • Constructing and using a Bio Fertilizer Brewer
  • Constructing and using a Compost Tea Brewer
For more information —     .  0438 395 255    or   .  (07) 4938 3919

See Flyer for more information — or
email     .  0438 395 255

see photos

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Healthy Soils Field day and AGM

When — 6th December 2014
Time — 9:30am to 2:30pm
Where — 894 Keppel Sands Road, Joskeleigh
Off the Emu Park / Rockhampton Road.
Cost free BYO — Lunch / hat and chair (Smoko was provided)

Topics for Discussion were— :

  • Analyse, compare three soil tests of different soil types for this property
  • discuss solutions based on soil tests
  • soil health
  • soil nutrition
  • soil carbon levels
  • methods of regenerating degraded soils
  • pasture decline

Guest Speakers —
Soil microbiology (Dr Sandrine Makiela CQU)
Dung beetles in CQ (Mick Alexander)

See Flyer for more information — or
email     .  0438 395 255

see photos

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Soil Biology Forum

Central Queensland Farmers and Graziers ask,
"How can we improve profits whilst maintaining soil quality?"

Healthy Soils inc. asked Dr. Pauline Mele and two of Australia's top agricultural soil microbiologists to come to Central Queensland and provide some answers to this question.

There was substantial interest from farmers, graziers, agronomists, consultants and other industry practitioners with eighty-one attending the Biloela and forty-nine attending the Rockhampton Soil Biology Forums.

Healthy Soils with the support of the Regional Landcare Facilitator, and Grazing Best Prac conducted forums in Biloela and Rockhampton. The outcomes from the past twelve years of research into how soil biology impact on soil health for the grains industry was presented. This was combined with other research from around the country. The forum was ideal for farmers and graziers who learned from experts and asked senior scientists questions about management options that build healthy soils and higher production. There were many questions asked by industry practitioners about soil related issues which generated a substantial amount of discussion and advice.

The Soil Biology Forum was held:
When —
13th October 2014

Where — Biloela - 9:00am to 3:30pm
94 Callide Street, Biloela QLD 4715

Rockhampton - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Frenchville Sports Club
105 Clifton Street, North Rockhampton QLD, 4701

Cost — Free everyone welcome

Topics for Discussion— :

  • Is managing soil biology going to help me improve production and profit?
  • How can soil biology help me?
  • What changes can I make in my farming system?
  • How does biology impact my grazing?
  • How relevant is soil biology to me?
  • How can I monitor soil biology?
  • What are the key issues in your district? (Weeds, disease, nematodes etc)
  • What science is proven and what is not proven?
  • What areas would you like to learn more about?

Guest Speakers —
Dr. Pauline Mele:
Soil Biology Initiative II, Department of Primary Industries Victoria and La Trobe University.
Dr. Nikki Seymour:
Senior Soil Microbiologist, Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Dr. Sandrine Makiela:
Soil Microbiology, Central Queensland University

More Information —     .  0438 395 255
Biology Forum info . . .
Biology Forum details

see photos
see Newspaper articles

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Field Day

A Healthy Soils Field Day was held at “Bindaree” Garnant:
When — 12th July 2014
Time — 9:00am
Where — “Bindaree” Garnant
Cost — Free everyone was welcome

Topics — Carbon, Property Planning, Feed Budgeting -

  • Measuring Carbon in grazing soils today (CQ University) and Trading Carbon in the future.
  • Property Planning (Staged)
  • Watering systems
  • Fencing (Gallagher electric/ conventional)
  • Observant Telemetry
  • Support funding (FRCC/ FBA)
  • Feed Budgeting
  • Soil Health
  • Future projects

Guest Speakers —

  • Professor Kerry Walsh research Professor of Plant Sciences (CQ University)
  • Dr Thakur Bhattarai Postdoctoral Research Fellow researching measurement
    methodology in increased Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) (CQ University)
  • Dr Sandrine Makiela research scientist of Microbiology (CQ University)

Smoko — Supplied

Bring — Lunch, hat and boots etc.

For more information — Carbon & Grazing field day 12-7-2014

Directions to — “Bindaree” Garnant

see photos

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Healthy Soils Meeting & Field Day

A Healthy Soils Meeting & Field Day was held at Belmont Research station:
When — 17th May 2014
Time — 9:30am
Where — Belmont Research station
                 Etna Creek Road, Etna Creek
Cost — Free

Topics

  • Dung Beetles
  • Carbon trials
  • Agforce updates
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Bimrose Oils
  • Grazing trials and more. . .

Please join us for an exciting workshop discussing carbon, dung beetles and future research into monitoring soil health.

This event is supported by Agforce and Bimrose Oils.

Everyone Welcome
Map to Belmont Research Station

More Info . . .

see photos

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Workshop, Field Day and Meeting

A combined Central Queensland Healthy Soils Group workshop, field day and meeting was held in Calide Valley; Jambin and Biloela, in February 2014
When – Saturday 22nd February 2014
Time – Start at 9.30am – 12.30
Where – Bongers farms (42832 Burnett Hwy, Jambin) 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
- phone 0429 501 208
and – Keith Rea Property (2371 Drumberle Road, Biloela) 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
- phone 0407 620 142
Meals - Smoko and Lunch sponsored by Progardes
              Please bring a hat and chair
Cost - FREE
Topics
– Restoring Degraded Soils
- Rotational Grazing/ soil management

Guest Speakers will include:
- Ian Hannah and from Progardes
- Chris Gardener from Agrimix
- Mick Alexander from Grazing BestPrac

Car pooling – several members will be leaving from Rockhampton,
Bongers Farm is 75 km south of Rockhampton on the Burnett Highway.

The day was held over the two properties.
All members and non members were welcome to attend.

More Info . . .

see photos Biloela
see photos Jambin

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Workshop on 23rd November

A Healthy Soils Group workshop was held at Ridgelands and field day at Garnant:
Time:
9:30am Start
Venue:
Ridgelands Hall

Topics were:

  • Organic certification process
  • What is and isn’t allowed
  • Options for chemicals not allowed
  • Costs involved
  • Example/ case studies/ markets
  • Telemetry
    (Next G and UHF systems)
  • Controlling pumps and
  • Monitoring tank levels / rainfall
  • Controlling water

Guest speakers:

AUSTRALIAN CERTIFIED ORGANICS (ACO).
Presented by Organic Certifier “Michael Baker”
Please join us at this “CUTTING EDGE” information session to learn how to establish an organic operation. We have all heard about the benefits of organics and the problems being faced by many primary producers. This half day workshop will introduce the topics and explain the process involved. Monitoring Systems for the 21st Century.

The second session will be presented by Geoff Goldburg from OBSERVANT. Observant are the first company in the world to esatblish a comprehensive farm and irrigation watering system that allows the farmer to know what is happening on his farm from anywhere in the world. Geoff will demonstrate the technologies available today and show a working example of water monitoring on “Bindaree” in the afternoon farm walk.

Cost:
$20 for non-members. Healthy Soils financial members free.

AGM and General Meeting

Directions: Ridgelands Hall

Field Day

Venue: “Bindaree” Garnant
Telemetry watering systems.

more info . . . and more info . . .

see photos

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Field Day at Sandy’s Creek, Kunwarara

On Sunday the 6th October 2013 following a Healthy Soils Inc general meeting at Sandy’s Creek members inspected and assessed the condition of the ponded pastures and how it had been effected by grazing and dry season.

A number of Brix meter readings were taken and recorded. Sandrine from Central Queensland University demonstrated and explained the use and functions of the Fluorescence Meter. Donald explained his system of managing the water in the ponded pastures and the associated problems. Members discussed a number of strategies to improve animal, plant and soil health.
more info . . .

see photos

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Spotlight on Best Practice at Princhester

More and more graziers are looking for new strategies to address the issues of pasture health and lack of vigour in pastures around the Capricornia and Central Queensland regions. On the 29–6–2013 nearly 30 landholders from Clark Creek, Marlborough, Biloela, Yeppoon and Alton Downs visited Princhester, Marlborough for the latest “Healthy Soils Inc” Field day. The field day had a real focus on localised on–farm trials to enable good decision making. key topics included: Progardes as a legume and establishment techniques, rotational grazing, impact of phosphorous and trace minerals on plant growth, matching supplements to plant tissue tests and using foliar treatments to correct nutrition.
More info. . .

Property owners, David and Robyn Atkinson, “Neerim” and Tina and Brendan Armstrong “Princhester” have planted 60 ha of Progardes (Desmanthus) using various planting methods. Tina Armstrong explained the trials were to find out the most successful method of establishing a new legume into poor performing pastures. The Progardes seed was donated by Iain Hannah, Agrimix and so the trials compared ploughed paddocks to direct drill zero tillage into Indian couch pasture with application of dry fertilizers and liquid injections, she said. She explained, the trial results have been patchy to date due to the competition from existing pasture and the extreme rainfall of 300 mm and flooding a week after planting in January. However, our entire paddock has had 6 months rest from grazing and the section which was direct drilled is looking the best it has ever looked. Participants on the day found a high number of new desmanthus plants that have germinated in the past month, which may be a sign of a high percentage of hard seed.

Mrs Armstrong said, we have been trailing rotational grazing for the past year and will now break the 60 ha paddock into 3 or 4 paddocks so we can rest as much of the new desmanthus as possible. Each paddock will get a quick graze with the aim of looking after the newly germinated plants. She added, the field day has been a great opportunity to get feedback on the success of the trials they had run to date and to look to future strategies for improving pasture productivity.

Guest speaker on the day was Andrew Childes of Blue ribbon Stock feeds, Rockhampton who also explained the importance of matching nutritional supplements to plant tissue tests, so that stock are able to gain weight throughout the dry season. Mr Childes used a local analysis of Indian couch pastures on “Sandy’s Creek” to demonstrate the need to conduct specific pasture analysis to ensure the supplement was going to do the job. He said often it is a small amount of trace minerals that can make a big difference to weight gain. The approximate costings to balance nutrition were $0.15 per day for weaner stock.

The Healthy Soils Inc group will be meeting for field days and workshop activities on a two monthly basis. If you wish to join or be involved, call Cathe on (07) 4938 3919.

see photos

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Soil Health & Human Health:

The future of our families health and sustainability

World renowned soil, plant and human health expert, Mr Graeme Sait came to the Capricorn Coast to deliver a four day “Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture” conference on 25th to 28th February 2013. Mr Sait discussed the links between the nutrition in our food and the many diseases prevalent today and link this back to our soil and plant health. The program included mineral management (nutrition), microbial management, plant management and pest management with all linkages back to human health. More info. . .

Healthy Soils Inc supported the course to ensure local families and families have access to this important information. Healthy Soils Inc Chairman, Mick Alexander assisted in the organising the course. Mr Alexander explained, "This is an exciting opportunity as this is the first time Mr Sait has ever presented the four day course in Central Queensland or on the coast. He added, Healthy Soils Inc had secured some funding from Community Action Grants to assist in the promotion of the course.

During the program, we learned how to look after our families health and reduce ongoing health issues. We made green smoothies, assessing our own nutritional issues and designing an action plan for our own health and a way forward for our families. Farming and graziers learned how to assess the key nutritional issues with their soil and plants and develop strategies for correcting the imbalances”.

Mr Alexander said, “There is so much confusion as to what we should eat and what is good for us and this information will demonstrate the linkages which have been well documented for many decades and many experts agree world–wide disease levels have reached an epidemic proportion. However the knowledge about how soil nutrition impacts on the quality of food has been ignored in the same period. This is especially important information if you have a garden”.

Mr Sait is a highly experienced healthy systems educator, author of “Nutrition rules” and well known as one of the most knowledgeable speakers and soils professionals in the world. His focus is on biological farming and working with mother nature to produce high quality food. He is able to explain the connections between soil health, food quality and human health and suggest proven solutions to most problems.

This was a rare opportunity to hear first hand from a world class speaker on practical solutions to the problems we are encountering in our farming/cropping and grazing production systems. Some of the topics covered were:

  • Human health issues
  • Weeds that are chemical resistant
  • Less production from higher rates of fertilizers
  • Reduced psture yields and weight gains
  • Increased disease problems – fungal

For more information contact Cathe on (07) 4938 3919.

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Healthy Soil Field Day at Alton Downs

Exciting new landcare based community group, “Healthy Soils Incorporated” had its first birthday earlier in the year and ran a special “Soil Health” Field Day and AGM on the 28th November 2012. The field day focused on assisting local farmers and graziers to better understand their soils and plant health from a practical perspective. Guest speaker for the day was world renowned soil to human health specialist, Mr Graeme Sait of Nutri–Tech Solutions (NTS), who is based at Yandina. Mr Sait has been presenting a series of workshops and training sessions around the world in 2012 and will round off his tour in central Queensland. NTS have supported farmers and graziers for nearly 20 years with high quality products for organic and conventional production.
More info. . .

Group Chairman, Mick Alexander explained the Field day on the 28th November has been designed as an information and training day with support from the Australian Government (Community Action Grant) and NTS. He said, the “Healthy Soils Inc” has been successful in securing funding to deliver a series of educational and training activities to help farmers to improve their natural resource condition. The Australian Government is keen to support innovation and new technologies that will help farmers in the region to become more resilient with changing climatic conditions.

Mr Alexander added, “This group is the newest landcare group in the region and welcomes members from larger holdings, small landholders and urban areas”. He said, “Every person can make a difference to soil and plant health and can impact the health of the Great Barrier Reef and the day will have something for everyone”. “We had a number of sessions looking at soil testing protocols, pasture management, improving ground cover using livestock and other practices, improving effectiveness of fertilizers, direct drilling into pasture country, reducing impact of herbicides and the latest on organic farming systems” he added.

In the evening we had a sausage sizzle and hosted the annual general meeting for the year, followed by a session on “Human Health” with Graeme Sait. The field day was free to members and a $20 per person fee for non–members to cover catering costs.

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Healthy interest in Central Queensland soils

Central Queensland producers affirmed their interest in healthy soils training, with more than 50 attending two Microbe Wise soil management training programs at Biloela and Rockhampton. The Callide Valley Healthy Soils Group hosted the first workshop at Biloela RSL Club, followed by a second day held at Rockhampton. Presenter and prominent soil microbiologist Dr Ashley Martin has been working with Central Queensland University to analyse soils in the region and has looked at more than 100 soil samples from Central Queensland. More info. . .

The Healthy Soils groups invited Dr Martin, of Microbe Labs Australia, Adelaide, to explain the make-up of healthy soils and show how each microbe affects soil health and production. Many participants have also been involved in analysis of their soils through the CQ University Microbe Measuring project.

"It is very exciting to be involved with such forward-thinking groups of producers who are looking for solutions to the problems of modern agriculture," Dr Martin said. Dr Martin has adapted new technologies for measuring soil biology in agricultural soils so farmers, agronomists and extension staff can determine more accurately the correct action. "We are enthusiastic about working with Grazing BestPrac and CQ University - and especially microbiologist Dr Sandrine Makiela – to extend this knowledge to Queensland".

"Our main project with CQ University has been guided by Mick Alexander of Grazing BestPrac and aims to compare the key groups of microbes across various soil types, land management practices and climatic regions, so we can develop a rating for healthy soils. There are very few landholders in Queensland accurately monitoring biology in their soils. Many agronomists have basically ignored the importance of life in the soil, as it was not quantifiable".

"Some organisations use only microscopes to visually count microbes, while others use only total respiration to assess microbial populations in the soil. There is minimal accuracy in those methods. Measuring the impact of management today is now possible as we have the most accurate methods available in Australia and we can help explain why plants will grow in one soil and not in another."

Dr Martin said the reason plants thrived was partly the balance of soil nutrients and partly the various bacteria, fungi, protozoa, algae and nematodes that cycled nutrients, decomposed organic matter and resisted disease and climatic variation. "In our program, we recommend producers conduct a nutrient analysis as well as a microbial analysis, as this will pinpoint any correlation between nutrient, microbial and structural problems," he said.

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