NCMC Soil Club – Soil Pit gives depth of understanding.

Member Services has carried out NCMC Soil club activities across the region in 2020, the most recent were Soil Pit workshops presented by Alan Coates who has extensive knowledge and experience in Soil science and Agricultural. Cattle producers were shown soil pits to provide a deeper understanding on the impact of soil profiles in our grazing enterprises and also how as graziers we can implement best management practices. The soil pit workshops gave insight into the whole dynamic soil story linking physical properties (structure), Biology (organic matter/carbon) and Chemical properties (pH/minerals).

Some of the strong themes presented to workshop participants were how and why our agricultural soils have been degraded over time. A ‘light bulb moment’ for many was the role Organic Matter and Soil Carbon play in our grazing performance, how it’s accumulated and the benefits it generates to our grazing systems. The workshops provided considerable knowledge and insight to cattle producers covering topics such as grazing techniques, pasture species & development, soil health and management, pasture health and fertility.

Drought Resilience thought – 50kg of soil with 1% Organic Carbon can hold only 20 Liters of water. The same amount of soil with 3% Organic Carbon provides storage for 100 Liters.

I would like to say a big thank you to the landholders who allowed us to have these days and dig soil pits on their farm, Owen & Helen Clarke, Ettrick, and Phil Fraser, Roseberry Creek.

Joe Leven