The Sustainable Agriculture program – working together to improve and protect the land

The Condamine Alliance Sustainable Agriculture program is dedicated to improving and protecting agricultural land in the Condamine catchment.

It does this by helping farmers obtain and apply new skills, knowledge and practices to better manage soil carbon and groundcover.

Groundcover is one of the best ways to guard against erosion and keep soil safe.

Over the past year, the Sustainable Agriculture program has helped 150 cropping and grazing farmers apply improved practices across more than 20,000 hectares to manage soil carbon and reduce erosion risk.

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Keeping up with the Joneses

The Jones’ grow peanuts, wheat, sorghum and maize on their property, which is nestled amongst the hills surrounding the small township of Wooroolin in the South Burnett.

Brothers Warren and Brian Jones believe in the importance of maintaining soil condition. They currently practice controlled traffic farming to minimise soil compaction and minimal till to maintain soil structure. They also soil test frequently to determine soil fertility and requirements for nutrients and use this information to plan strategic crop rotations that reduce the need for chemical inputs and maximise the health of the soil.

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Specialist advice helps farmer tackle erosion disaster

When floodwaters in the Condamine catchment broke a creek bank in early 2011, one Darling Downs farmer lost an estimated 34,000 tonnes of soil as it washed away from his 35 hectare cropping paddock. With water 1 metre deep in some areas, up to 75 centimetres of soil was lost in the worst affected areas. Continue Reading…

Mystery Park’s success a mix of hard work and a little bit of luck

Rob McArthur believes life, like luck, is what you make it.

Despite his grandfather’s good fortune when first purchasing Mystery Park, today the property’s success has resulted from smart management decisions made by Rob and his wife Ainsley, as well as a lot of hard work on and off farm.

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Fire a Reef issue on the Cape

2009 was a major year for fire on Cape York Peninsula.  Wildfire is a significant issue for managing nutrient and sediment flows in the Cape York catchments.  Fires in the region are responsible for extensive loss of groundcover, release of nutrients, removal of organic matter and powdering the soil surface.

Eight million hectares of the Cape burnt during 2009, equating to 61% of the total landmass.  Given that some of the Cape’s 13 million hectares is rainforest, that should never burn, such a large area affected by fire has significant land management impacts. Many of these fires occurred during the late dry season, producing burns of great intensity which removed not only green vegetation, but also fallen branches and trees that provide valuable groundcover and habitat for biodiversity.  Continue Reading…