Home' Smart Farmer : June 2012 Contents June 2012
NEW technique to improve
crop and pasture growth on
sandy soils has been demon-
strated to landholders at recent
workshops in the Lower North.
Those attending the Reeves Plains
workshop were shown how incor-
porating claying into their farm
practice could improve sandy soil
cover and reduce erosion risks.
Tony Fox, from the Adelaide and
Mount Lofty Ranges Natural
Resources Management Board, said
benefits could be achieved with less
than a 5 per cent increase in clay
"This small increase results in
improved productivity by perma-
nently reducing the risk of erosion,
overcoming water repellence,
increasing plant establishment and
improving the soil's nutrient and
water holding capacity," he said.
The workshop was part of a series
funded through the board's
Sustainable Industry Grants Scheme.
"The claying of sands is a new
practice for farmers in this region
and the board is keen to encourage
them to try the techniques and build
local knowledge and experience,"
Mr Fox said.
Deep sands over clay subsoil
could be modified using clay
spreading, delving and/or spading to
slightly increase the clay content in
the sandy surface soil.
These techniques and the conse-
quent improvement in soil texture
was explained at the workshop held
on the Humphrys' family property at
Participants were also shown how
to undertake a textural assessment
"Farmers at the workshop spent
time assessing the sands and avail-
able clay types to determine clay
percentage in soil, and to measure
pH and lime content," workshop
coordinator and Rural Solutions SA
consultant David Woodard said.
Demonstration sites and work-
shops were also held at the Fords
area near Kapunda and at Neukirch,
north of Nuriootpa.
"A demonstration site was also
established on a sandhill on the
nearby Gregor family property and
four sites were later spaded to thor-
oughly mix the clay into the sandy
topsoil," Mr Woodard said.
A series of workshops are planned
for spring to illustrate the effective-
ness of these techniques on produc-
This is part of a broader commit-
ment by the board to increase social,
economic and environmental well-
being in the region, via sustainable
land management practices.
• Need to know more?
David Woodard Rural Solutions SA,
Nuriootpa, 0417 803 525, Rita Reitano,
communications coordinator, 0438 138
Delving helps to boost
growth in sandy soils
Greg Tucker, Mallala, contractor Tim Dunstan, Nigel Humphrys and Neil
Gregor, both from Reeves Plains, Inspecting the delving work.
Benefits achieved with less than a
5pc increase in clay content
Deep sands over clay subsoil can
Series of workshops planned for
Healthy soils and carbon farming
workshops -- free
The Department of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Forestry in partnership
with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty
Ranges Natural Resources
Management Board presents free work-
shops on soil health and carbon farm-
ing with expert speakers on topics such
as soil carbon, biology and fertility.
• Soil carbon, biology and health.
• Methane reductions: research
review and methodology.
• Carbon Farming Initiative: method-
ologies and carbon trading.
• Opportunities to increase soil car-
bon including biochar.
• Funding opportunities.
Hahndorf, June 19
Lobethal Office: 08 8389 5900
Yankalilla, June 20
Willunga Office: 08 8550 3400
Gawler, June 21
Gawler Office: 08 8523 7700
Pasture management workshop --
This full day workshop will help you
assess your pasture, identify beneficial
pasture plants and weeds, and help
you develop a plan to improve your
pasture so that it is producing to its
Waitpinga June 23
Willunga Office: 08 8550 3400
Orchid identification workshop
Presenter: Robert Lawrence, author
of Start with the leaves -- a simple
guide to common orchids and lillies of
the Adelaide Hills.
Copies of the book available to pur-
chase on the night.
This workshop will be followed up
with a practical field trip in spring to
improve your orchid and lilly ID.
Where: Lutheran Church Hall, cnr
Second and Seventh Streets, Gawler
When: June 8, 6.30-9pm
Entry $5 includes a light dinner,
Registration essential: Gawler
Regional Natural Resource Centre 08
8523 7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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