The National Soil Science Extension program is up and running full tilt. The Community of practice, which is the foundation of the program has meet monthly since July this year. The group includes the national network of regional soil coordinators which have now all been appointed.
The Smart Farms Smart Soils first face to face event was held in South Australia to coincide with the Soil CRC conference. The CoP team were joined on the day by the 5 newly appointed SA soil extension officers – Barrie Williams, John Butler, Ehsan Sayad, Cassie Douglas-Hill and Geoff Kew.
Without exception attendees highlighted the value of the networking opportunities the day provided and the excellent practical pit session
It was a great success with incoming SSA president Ed Scott helping out in the pit. Emily Leyden the SA Branch president provided invaluable assistance in organising a great day in the field
The CoP members learnt a great deal about the history of the field sites in McLaren vale form SA soils expert James Hall and were lucky enough to hear from innovative land managers Oli Madgett, Tony Hoare and Duncan Kennedy how they manage the soils in their vineyards.
The CoP has a state-based face to face event roughly every quarter to stimulate understating of our soils and how to manage them best, as one participant put it – ‘the more examples of soils that we are exposed to the better our understanding of soils in general’.