Landcare is hosting a farming webinar about "Maximising ecosystem opportunities to fit your business". Tune on Tuesday 4 April at 1pm. Find out more here: https://loom.ly/_P6OzuY
The National Farmers' Federation are looking for mentors and mentees for the National Mentoring Program. Applications close on Monday 3 April!
"Having already connected more than 300 rural Australians with a mentor we are currently in our final round of applications and want to ...make a huge impact for regional, rural and remote Australians through the National Mentoring Program. "
Apply now: https://loom.ly/pREwYig
Applications from people interested in either becoming a mentor or finding one are encouraged. It is open to anyone from, connected to, or working with a farming community.
Learn More: https://loom.ly/_f7zw3w
Data released today paints a dire picture of farmers’ mental health. Two thirds of farmers reportedly experience depression and more than a third have attempted self harm or suicide.
The National Farmer Wellbeing Report (https://loom.ly/DXh1EAk), released yesterday by the National ...Farmers Federation, shows that farmers’ mental health is being severely affected by natural disasters, rising input costs, falling commodity prices and an uncertain economic outlook.
As NFF Vice President David Jochinke said, access to mental health support services and the de-stigmatisation of conversations about mental health in farming communities is urgently needed.
Soils for Life’s case studies also reveal that some of the drivers of mental ill health in farming - particularly increasing environmental and economic volatility - can be better managed through a focus on soil and landscape health.
Leading regenerative farmers have described how focusing on soil and landscape health has improved their business resilience. Healthier soil can allow farmers to reduce or adjust inputs, insulating them from variations in input prices. High input farming often requires farmers to prioritise high yields in order to recover costs. Farmers who spend less on inputs can prioritise reliable outputs instead, reducing stress. Improved soil and landscape health has also been associated with an ability to better manage extreme weather, especially because healthy soils store water for longer during dry periods, and prevent erosion during flooding.
As climate change and other pressures increase the challenges facing farmers, they need support to make decisions that they feel are best for their wellbeing, and for the resilience of their landscape, their business and communities.
What have been your experiences of mental health around farming? What have you seen or heard of working to support farmers’ mental health? And how do you think farmers can be best supported? Can a focus on soil and landscape health help improve farmers' mental health and wellbeing?
If you are suffering from feelings of depression or anxiety, you can seek support from Lifeline on 13 11 14, beyondblue (https://loom.ly/n57Eo1s) or find a list of services here : https://loom.ly/eqBqozw
Want to learn some simple soil health tests you can do yourself? We're running a soil observation workshop!
If you’re in the Riverina area, we would love to see you next week. Come along to Harefield on the 4th April.
Learn about stock management areas from Riverina Local ...Land Services, shelterbelts and enhanced farm dams from Sustainable Farms and participate in an in-field soil observation workshop run by Soils for Life.
More info and registration here: https://www.sustainablefarms.org.au/events/drought-resilience-field-day-harefield-nsw/
Riverina Local Land Services
#soiltesting #soilscience #biodiversity #soilhealth #fieldday #soilworkshop
What are the benefits of farmer-led learning groups?
The Paddock Labs project was designed to facilitate peer-to-peer learning around topics of interest and relevance to the farmers involved.
Participants enjoyed that the group was farmer-led because it recognised their expertise... and encouraged them to share and ask questions openly. They said that hearing others' mistakes and successes is important for the learning process.
Farmers felt it was important to have a space where they could talk comfortably with like-minded peers who were on a similar journey and that having a sense of community was important for accountability.
The program had events that were both online and in-person. Whilst they enjoyed getting into a paddock, participants also appreciated the ease of joining in from home or listening back to a recording whilst out on the farm. Having online group calls allowed for more regular ongoing support to be provided which participants enjoyed.
Most of all, participants appreciated the action-oriented approach, which allowed them to choose their own direction with support from farmers and other experts to understand the results.
To hear more about the project visit the project website: https://soilsforlife.org.au/south-australia-paddock-labs/
This project is supported by Soils for Life, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.
Image: What fabulous soil "locks"! We love seeing plant roots with no white bare roots. These are active, living, growing Rhizosheaths, which are the coating of soil particles that have formed around the plants root systems due to the biotic glues secreted by the microorganisms in the Rhizosphere. This is a good example of soil structure building in action. It is also documented as a zone of improved efficiency in water and nutrient cycling and nutrient acquisition via biological pathways for plants.
#australianagriculture #farmersupport #regenerativeagriculture #biodiversity #soilhealth #landscapehealth #soilscience #peerlearning #southaustralia #paddocklabs #farmergroups #farmingwebinars
As part of the Rangelands Living Skin project, Gus and Kelly Whyte are one of four producers who are running trials of low-cost, scalable practices that offer possible solutions to increase farm income and landscape function.
Look out for Angus Whyte & Kelly Whyte talking about the ...Rangelands Living Skin project in the Autumn Feedback Magazine: https://www.flipsnack.com/mlafeedback/meat-livestock-australia-feedback-magazine-autumn-2023.html?p=16As
In addition to replicated plot trials of various treatments such as liquid vermicast foliar spray, solid vermicast and biochar, they are also trialling water ponding.
Water ponding is a mechanical intervention, appropriate on fairly gentle slopes, to slow the flow of water across the landscape and encourage water infiltration into the soil. This approach is used to reclaim scalded country and rehydrate rangeland landscapes.
You can also find out more about water ponding here: https://soilsforlife.org.au/water-ponding-for-rangelands-repair-and-rehydration/
Meat & Livestock Australia
Rangelands Living Skin
Listening to our readers and farming communities, we have been encouraged to capture stories of new and young farmers, those who have owned their...soilsforlife.org.au
Applications are now open for 2024 Nuffield scholarships: https://www.nuffield.com.au/how-to-apply
A Nuffield Scholarship is 14-weeks of unique learning, with business friendships formed with our global network – 500 Australian scholars and 2,000 worldwide.
"In addition to... our longstanding scholarship investors, this year the Future Drought Fund (FDF) is investing in at least five scholarships that are specifically available to study drought resilience and support innovation. These scholarships will support applicants to build drought resilience expertise, adapt innovative technology and practices from overseas and share these learnings to advance Australian agriculture."
"Russell’s story of farming offers insights into flood prone landscapes like the Condamine River region, and highlights some of the challenges for farmers who have been affected by unpredictable and extreme weather conditions in recent years.
While still in the early days of ...practice change, Russell has observed promising changes to how the soil is behaving, as well as increased worm activity, especially in his multispecies paddocks. These results have given Russell a lot of confidence."
Head over to https://soilsforlife.org.au/young-seeds/ as we introduce you to Russell Young. In this first stage of his case study we’ve compiled some facts about his farm as well as an introductory video.
Check back soon for the second stage of Russell's case study where we release in depth reports together with a video on his practices and outcomes.
#regenerativeagriculture #regenerative #soilhealth #biodiversity #farming #resilience #farmingresilience #foodsecurity #landscapehealth #holisticmanagement #australianagriculture
"Farming at Border Park Organics has thrown many challenges their way, but Josh and Peri are resourceful people, guided by shared values, a strong sense of community and a can-do approach to life.
While Josh and Peri value the legacy they inherited and see great benefits in organic ...farming, the choices they have made since taking over the farm reflect a shift in thinking toward a systems health and systems management approach. The changes and their observations of impact have contributed to a sense of renewed hope for the future."
Head over to https://soilsforlife.org.au/border-park-organics/ as we introduce you to the McIntoshs at Border Park. In this first stage of their case study we’ve compiled some facts about their farm as well as an introductory video.
Check back soon for the second stage of the McIntoshs' case study where we release in depth reports together with a video on their practices and outcomes.
#regenerativeagriculture #regenerative #soilhealth #biodiversity #farming #resilience #farmingresilience #foodsecurity #landscapehealth #holisticmanagement #australianagriculture #southaustralia