Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Soil health
GROUND COVER HEALTHY SOILS 4 SOIL KNOWLEDGE THE SOIL HEALTH KNOWLEDGE BANK The Soil Health Knowledge Bank provides soil management best practice to grain growers THE SOIL HEALTH KNOWLEDGE BANK has consolidated current knowledge and experience in managing healthy soils into one, easy-to- access website with a range of supporting documentation, workshop material and activities. Soil is a universal, foundation resource for all agricultural industries. It is the engine room of productivity. Development of the Soil Health Knowledge Bank ensures that all regions and industries have access to the best possible knowledge and assistance. It also provides clear and consistent messages about the attributes of healthy soils, and the management practices farmers need to use to sustain biological functioning, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant and animal health. The six characteristics of healthy soils, and the 10 habits of healthy soil farmers are key messages in the Soil Health Knowledge Bank. The site also provides tools needed to assess soil condition, including information on soil properties, processes and management for profit across a range of industries and regions. For grain growers the Soil Health Knowledge Bank contains a suite of fact sheets produced to help assess and test aspects of soil health, guidelines and www.soilhealthknowledge.com.au support the activities run as part of the HSSF Program. While the majority of the HSSF Program has concluded, it produced a wealth of generic, industry and regionally specific information, and education and training resources on soil health. To ensure continuing access to all these resources is maintained across Australia a new web-based resource, the Soil Health Knowledge Bank (www.soilhealthknowledge.com.au), is being established and will be live from 23 June 2009. The Soil Health Knowledge Bank has been designed with the user in mind. It brings together the science of soil health and the experience of farmers. It provides clear and consistent messages about the attributes of healthy soils, and the management practices farmers can use to sustain biological functions, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant and animal health. The website includes: ninformation about the characteristics of healthy soils and the principles of healthy soil management; ndetailed descriptions of the major factors that affect soil health (for example, acidity, compaction), how to identify problems within the paddock, and what corrective action can be taken; naccess to information on both a regional and industry basis -- documents can be downloaded for use in industry, regional or group training workshops; ndiagnostic tools to identify soil constraints, water-use efficiency and carbon inputs; nlinks to other soil health information, including detailed articles and farmnotes about particular soil problems; and nmaterial covering new science, alternative farming practices and case studies of how farmers have put soil health principles into practice. The Soil Health Knowledge Bank is a resource that farmers and their advisers can use to access the latest knowledge and learn about improving management of soil now and for the future. Our soil is an essential and irreplaceable resource, which will come under even greater threat in the future due to climate change, so continued investment in soil health knowledge, tools and support for farmers to test and adopt new practices should be a national priority. □ GRDC Research Code LWR0003 More information: Land & Water Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org; Soil Health Knowledge Bank, www.soilhealthknowledge.com.au (this website will be live from 23 June 2009) MORE THAN 17,000 FARMERS, ADVISERS, EXTENSION AND NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT STAFF PARTICIPATED IN THE HSSF PROGRAM The home page of the Soil Health Knowledge Bank website.
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