Healthy soil, healthy food

Soil is responsible for 95 per cent of the food we eat and is ultimately responsible for much of the economic, environmental and social benefits that we enjoy. Its sustainable management is critical for our future, and recognised nationally with the release of the National Soil Strategy in May by the Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud.

With more than $200 million of government funds committed towards implementation actions over the next four years, it represents one of the largest investments in soil related outcomes for many years. 

The strategy has three main goals:

  • To prioritise soil health
  • To empower soil innovation and stewardship, and
  • To strengthen soil knowledge and capability.

Funding includes new incentives for farmers to increase soil testing on the condition they feed this information pack into the National Soil Monitoring and Incentives program.

The aim is to help governments, researchers and other users of soil data to deliver targeted products and services to farmers to improve their drought resilience.

There is also funding to support new food and organic waste initiatives and divert waste going into landfill.

The objective is to deliver cost effective, high quality organic matter to farms to help improve productivity and find a valuable use for this untapped resource, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The National Soil Strategy is also providing a set of goals around which farmers, industry, researchers and governments can coalesce to ensure that investment and delivery is targeted and effectively and efficiently directed.

Read the National Soil Strategy here.

RASH manual and soil videos are a step-by-step guide

Soil Land Food principal David Hardwick during a soil workshop.

The release of the National Soil Strategy in May this year provides a rallying call for all Australians with an interest in the management of one of our greatest resources – our soil.

Soil health has been a cornerstone of the LDC’s Grazier Support program. Revisit our soil health video series presented by soil expert David Hardwick.

NQ Dry Tropics has packaged a soil health tool kit for graziers – A Rapid Assessment of Soil Health (RASH) manual written by well known agriculture ecologist David Hardwick, along with a series of short videos that demonstrate how to carry out the various soil tests. 

RASH is a tool to help you assess your soil’s health and some of its key properties. The RASH manual and RASH scorecard, which is located at the end of the manual, can help you carry out objective assessments of soil health indicators.

This information guides you in making targeted management decisions to plan and implement systems of soil health management practices to alleviate identified constraints and maintain healthier soils.  

Download the RASH manual here and access the series of short soil health videos, presented by David Hardwick here.