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Soils the focus for ladies day at Narcoona

News release
05 December 2022

Soil texture, permeability, pH and salinity were discussed at a Soils Ladies Day at Stirling North and pastoral country north of Port Augusta in September.

The ladies heard from soil specialist Geoff Kew, environmental consultant Janet Walton and Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Andrea Tschirner.

Soil Specialist Geoff Kew talked about soil types, structure, ribboning and testing and the essential elements for a productive soil.

Janet Walton talked about protecting soil productivity through the use of groundcover, tips to increase water infiltration and the importance of knowing your base level as a means of avoiding erosion issues on roadways. At Narcoona Station, she showed a range of measures that could be used to correct erosion gullies that form in some road structures.

After showing a practical example of the effects of microbial activity in healthy soil on cotton ‘undies’, Andrea Tschirner spoke about the three Ps of pasture production – perennial, palatable and productive.

“Land in good condition has a healthy mix of all three types of these plants. Soils with a healthy mix of bacteria and fungi are able to break down organic matter. 3P pastures growing in healthy soils will have the best chance to maximise water infiltration after rain events,” Mrs Tschirner said.

“A good mix of the three Ps in a paddock means less risk of soil erosion too.”

The Soils Ladies Day was offered as part of the From the Ground Up project, which is supported by the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund.