AGRIBUSINESS

Input required to improve national soil knowledge

A SURVEY to understand soil issues, knowledge gaps and opportunities across Australia is now open.

Staff writer
 Primary producers are being urged to take part in a new soil survey. Picture Mark Saunders.

Primary producers are being urged to take part in a new soil survey. Picture Mark Saunders.

Dr Peter Fisher, soil co-ordinator with the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption & Innovation Hub (Vic Hub), said: "Everyone knows the importance of soils in sustaining healthy food production and for protecting the environment and biodiversity.

"But the pressure to improve soil health - while aiming for net zero emissions to minimise impacts on climate change - requires developing and adopting better soil-management practices," Dr Fisher said.

"For this reason, the regional soil co-ordinators, who are based across the country at each of the eight Drought & Innovation Hubs, are asking people involved in soil management to complete a new survey on the soil issues, gaps and opportunities in their region."

Results from the survey - which is open to all those interested in the future of soils, from agriculture to natural resource management - will help inform the design and delivery of targeted soil interventions to address priorities under the National Soil Strategy.

Dr Fisher is keen to see a strong representation in the nation-wide survey of Victorian soil issues and knowledge gaps, as well as RD&E opportunities for improved soil management.

"Soil types, farming systems and soil management issues in Victoria are quite varied, but Victoria is Australia's largest food and fibre exporter by value, and getting a good Victorian response to the survey is very important.

"But it's not just for farmers. This survey is for everyone who is interested in the future of soils; so I encourage all Victorians across the agricultural sector and those involved in natural resource management of soils to participate."

The multi-choice questionnaire has been funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) National Landcare Program.

The survey can be accessed here: https://melbourneuni.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6JSMQiYe7PnF2YK

For more information about the survey, contact Dr Fisher via email: fisher.p@unimelb.edu.au or mobile 0408 145 619.

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