Keeping soil on farms and out of rivers

Life as a primary producer isn’t easy, no matter where you live. For primary producers in the dry tropics however, there are some unique challenges.

Dry tropics producers may endure long periods without rain and when it does arrive, it comes in monsoonal downpours. A big wet season can destroy fencing, remove topsoil and cause the loss of nutrients and seeds.

As Sustainable Agriculture Officer, Josh Schwarz, says, “Those soils represent your earning potential because pastures love to grow in them. Soil erosion leaves subsoils behind and unfortunately, the subsoils in our region are often of poor quality and they dissolve easily.”

That’s why helping farmers minimise sediment loss and maximise water quality is a priority for NQ Dry Tropics. NQ Dry Tropics staff meet station owners, listen to their plans and try to work with them to achieve their goals.

“All landholders have a dozen things they’d love to establish on their property if money wasn’t a limiting factor. It might be fencing, it might be returning vegetation to a stream bank or restoring soil health. If we can help them, we do,” Josh says.

Staff work with landholders by providing technical expertise, extension activities, training and grants. Landholders are consulted throughout and projects are tailored for each property.

We’ve been here for 20 odd years and we’ve always wanted to improve our fencing and water infrastructure so we can better manage our pastures. NQ Dry Tropics has made this feasible and we’re really happy with the result and the input we’ve received.

Wayne Shadforth, Lincoln Springs Station