Long-term partner working to improve soil health

David Hardwick has worked on numerous NQ Dry Tropics projects, working with graziers to provide knowledge and skills to improve soil health on their properties.

David has helped NQ Dry Tropics develop a Rapid Assessment of Soil Health (RASH) manual, along with seven short complementary videos that address the different ways landholders can test their soil. 

The RASH Manual and the videos can be found on our LDC website in the knowledge section. 

Thanks to David, these resources were produced with support from two projects: Landholders Driving Change, a Burdekin Major Integrated Project funded by the Queensland Government through the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program, and Building Dynamic Burdekin Grazing Businesses, funded through the National Landcare Program.


David Hardwick during a soil health workshop in the BBB.

David Hardwick guides landholders through a ribbon test in the Rapid Assessment of Soil Health method.

Chance to learn from top-notch soil expert

Graziers interested in boosting their soil quality and increasing productivity got the chance to learn from one of the best in the ‘soil health’ business, agricultural ecologist David Hardwick, of Soil Land Food.  Workshops were held at Collinsville and Eungella in mid-September.

The aim of the ‘Understanding Soils for Pasture Production, Healthy Soils For Healthy Profits’ workshops was for David to step landholders through the Rapid Assessment of Soil Health (RASH) approach, giving them the practical skills to assess the condition of soil land types across a property, and to quickly assess key aspects of soil and land to determine if the soil is healthy, or has constraints.

Graziers learned how to better understand soil tests results and apply them to land management. Topics includes how to assess ground cover, water infiltration and soil texture, soil aggregate, soil organisms, and soil pH.

Check out the photographs here.

Stan Fordham, Emohruo


“Soil sampling is something that everyone should know.

The samples I brought along were okay which I was happy with.

I now know how to improve it because I want to do some seeding – and I want to make sure the soil is good”.


Barry Collett, Todsure


“A highlight for me was learning about bacteria, fungi and organisms that live underneath, how to create a better soil structure, how to keep it, maintain it, and how to test it ourselves.

David is very good at explaining the science in simple terms”.


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