on-site compost training

Soil Improvement Training

At OZ turners we’ve been pleased to see the upturn in the recognition that soil training can bring to a agricultural environment and the planet as a whole.  We’ve long been a supporter and believer of Dr. Elaine Ingram that soil is a complete ecosystem and needs to be looked at as a whole not simply by putting on nitrogen based fertilisers. The toxic chemicals in conventional agriculture are KILLING insects, and microbes. Then when those chemicals accumulate, they can kill larger organisms, like people. What Dr. Elaine Ingham does is teach people how to reverse these chemical dependencies.

To help you along with made a list of courses and information run by both the government and private providers all over the country we will be expanding this list as the as we go along keeping you up-to-date on what you can learn more on improving your sorrow soil and the results that you get from your farm.   We firmly maintain the LJPH equipment compost Turner’s out the market cleaning trailers and best value in the whole of Australia.  Improving your soil holistic Lee is a will return benefits for many years to come and will not simply wash away or evaporate with the next rain

Take a moment to look through a list if you know more we would love to hear when looking to build a complete list of compost and soil management training for the whole of Australia and New Zealand. 


Manage organic soil improvement – LINKPDF

AHCORG403 –

Byron Community College

Soils – Organic Management – PDC Module D

Get to know your own soil – what is it made of, what will grow well in it and how you can improve your soil to make the most of what it has to offer. Delve into the world of compost, soil nutrition and microbiology as we explore some of the myriad of ways you can build a healthy, fertile, robust soil through organic practices that will help you to grow food packed full of life force. LINK

Learning Cloud – Soil Management

Learning Cloud offer Nationally Accredited Diplomas and Certificates that are recognised by the government, employers, registered training organisations and universities. Completing these courses will position you as a qualified and sought after graduate. LINK

 

 

 

Workshop Location Size (MB)
2015 – Soil Refresher Training Course Queensland 64 (total)
2010 Soil Health workshop Brisbane 23.2
2009 ‘Back to the Basics’ Understanding Soils Workshop Brisbane 14.6
2009 ‘Back to the Basics’ Understanding Soils Workshop Cairns 16.5
2009 An Introduction to the Theory Measurement and Interpretation of Soil Chemical Properties Brisbane and Toowoomba 8.5
2008 Understanding Soils Workshops ‘Back to the Basics’ Rockhampton 11.5
2007 Back to the Basics’ Understanding Soils Workshop Toowoomba and Brisbane 6.9
2005 Soils refresher training course Toowoomba 7.2
2002 Understanding soils soils data and land management issues Cairns 6.7
2000 Understanding soils soils data and land management issues Toowoomba 10.6
1996 Land management for urban development Brisbane 6.5
1993 Environmental soil science – a training course for the non soils specialist Brisbane 7.3
1988 Understanding soils and soil data Brisbane 8.1
1985 Identification of soils and interpretation of soil data Brisbane 15.9

NSW DPI

Fertilisers and soil improvement

So what is soil health - living soil

So what is soil health?

So what is soil health?

or Understanding and Managing Soil Biology

Soil health is a made up of its physical, chemical and living components, but can only be assessed by its living components, if the soil has no living components then it’s dirt. If the physical and chemical components are correctly balanced, but other factors stop the growth of life, then it is unlikely that soil could maintain a healthy status. New research has shown the critical importance of Soil health and organic carbon balance to soil health. Soil organic carbon is the main component of soil organic matter, or the broken-down remains of plant and animal life. So what is the connection between soil carbon, soil health and soil biology?

Here is the important bit

“Organic matter can not break down by itself!”

What's Composting?

Decomposition is done by a vast army of shredders, fungal feeders, predators and herbivores that devour plant and animal matter whole, dissolve it with acids and enzymes, grind it to a paste, and suck its juices! This work is carried out beneath the surface of the soil by creatures that can number billions of organisms per gram of healthy soil, imagine one teaspoon of soil can containing up to 1 billion bacteria. That equals a mass of over two tonnes of livestock per hectare! No wonder some people talk of ‘micro herds’.

The challenge for modern farming
is to understand the needs of the ‘micro herds’
and how to best use the hard work of these creatures to
improve the health and sustainability of our farms.

Imagine a farm where most of the required soil nutrients are provided free, where workers manage pests and diseases at no cost, and where weeds no longer require the unrelenting program of expensive spraying. Right now that might sound impractical, but solid scientific research is showing that with proper management of the biological component of our soils, these objectives don’t sound so crazy.

Science has long known and understood the nature of suppressive soils.  Suppressive soils resist diseases; with research is showing that we can grow massive biomass crops using only 10-20% of current nitrogen inputs; farmers are discovering a reduction in weed pressures when the underlying causes of the weeds are understood. These findings have a common explanation in soil biology.

It’s not the soil that’s weed suppressive,
Its whats living in the soil.

Soil Survey

These benefits are coming from bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms that are controlling pathogens, fixing free nitrogen from the air, and maintaining nutritionally balanced soils. Proper management of soil biology is central to sustainable agriculture. These skills have to be learned and applied across the full range of agricultural landscapes. This book represents one step on a journey into a new way of thinking about agricultural sustainability. It provides growers with practical help to start thinking about soils as ecosystems. What is a good bug and what is bad? How many is enough, too much or too little? What do these bugs tell me? And how can I adapt my management practices so that I am not working against the billions of organisms in my soil that can work for me?

There is an old saying that the best fertiliser is the farmer’s footprints – i.e. there is nothing as valuable as having a good close look at what is happening at ground level in the paddock. Central to discovering soil biology is development of the ancient art of observation. Although most farmers feel there is not enough time in the day, it is hoped that a focus on soil biology will encourage growers to climb down from the tractor, take out a 10x lens and take a really good look at what is going on down where it matters, in the soil. What changes are happening seasonally? How has a particular activity impacted on bug numbers? What can I do to boost their numbers? What benefits can I observe from looking after the micro herds?

The pressure from declining terms of trade has promoted a quantity mindset with quality in second place. That pressure threatens to push farms beyond their productive capacity with resulting declines in productivity, rises in pest and disease pressure, and a range of off-site environmental impacts such as sediment or nutrient export to waterways. Managing for quality as well as quantity depends on improved understanding of the soil as an ecosystem. Such knowledge will support landholders’ aspirations to farm sustainably and leave the land in as good or better condition than when they took over.

Compost builds a healthy soil with healthy biological function will produce healthy food and healthy livestock. It may not produce greater quantities of food or livestock, but it can produce comparable quantity with greater quality.

Soils Alive!

Understanding and Managing Soil Biology
Authors: Declan McDonald, Section Leader
Denis Rodgers, Soil Ecosystems Project Officer
Sustainable Land Use, Land Conservation Branch,
Resource Management and Conservation Division
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
Bagger3_HD

NEW Sandbagger with 1 tonne bag option

New to OZ turners from JPH equipment, is the upgraded Bagger 3 HD with built in one tonne sandbag filling option and dual weighing scales, 

The Bagger 3 HD is a flexible, multi-use machine for filling both 1 tonne sandbags and 10/20/25 KG bags, it’s flexible heavy duty design, can hold 3 m³ of sand in the hopper and can reduce sandbagging to a one-man operation, also available is a companion loading conveyor as a companion product that lets you fill the hopper with smaller equipment like a dingo, kanga or bobcat just as easy filling using a skid steer loader.

 Bagger3 HD Dual Weighing Controls   Bagger3_HD 1 Tonne Weigh Plate

Sandbags, Builders Bags, 1 tonne bag, Bulka Bag, Jumbo Bag call them whatever you like, the Bagger 3 HD from OZ Turners is should be on your list of bulk/sandbag filling systems The Bagger 3 HD reduces the risk of injury staff and minimise wasted time by making each bag filling operation fast and easy while maximising production efficiency.  It perfect for Landscape Suppliers & Building Suppliers, suppling bulk sandbag and other products for building sites. It is also ideal for Quarries selling special products.

 1 Tonne Sand Bags,   The Bagger 3 HD is a Australian-Made and designed to fill Mulch, compost, stone, potting mix, garden mix, grain, manure, sand, soil, gravel, stone, woodchip, scoria, stock feed, rock, pebble, sawdust, metal dust, salt, stock feed, dirt, bark and more.   The Bagger 3 hopper is made from 4mm plate and heavy duty square tubing for the supports. The machine is fitted with a height adjustable galvanised roller conveyor table for filling small size bags. A 2.2kw motor turns the heavy duty feed belt and it is also fitted with it’s own compressor for the pneumatic foot pedals which operate the bag holding and the 600mm wide sealing unit.  An easy to use digital fill timer is attached, which allows timing to 1/100 seconds, ensuring and even bag fill.  Forklift inserts are also attached to allow safety in moving the unit around to your desired position. The 3 cubic metre hopper can easily be filled by a front end loader or skid steer (bobcat).

Compost sales

Opportunities and barriers to on-farm composting

A recent European study assesses the challenges to marketing on-farm composting startups

Four recent studies, based on surveys of European farmers, assess the challenges to marketing of compost and the barriers to farmer uptake of composts and organic farmers expectations.
These studies indicate that relatively few publications to date address composting (and other recycled nutrient) with a marketing customer focused approach, rather than the producer of the products. Studies of surveys of compost marketing information online and on 21 in-depth interviews (June~December 2014) with companies marketing compost were selected across  Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands and France. These interviews included composters, biogas plant operators, agricultural contractors, soil and organic fertiliser manufacturers, brokers and technology suppliers.

Key issues for marketing

  • Compost & Digestate marketing is often driven by difficulties of disposing of local / regional nutrient surpluses or because the operator itself does not control farmland
  • New business niches: e.g. agricultural contractors or organic fertiliser manufacturers can act as value-chain intermediates finding customers and suitable applications for product.
  • Certain products a best used in specific markets: organic farming, speciality horticulture and home gardening
  • Product quality is the key to marketing, including hygienisation (pathogen limits), nutrient content, contaminants and foreign materials (glass, stones). Quality control systems, for both feedstock and output are vital.
  • The product quantity will help define possible markets and appropriate product packaging and distribution channels
Sale prices depend on whether it is sold in bulk or in small-scale/retail, as well as on the degree of additional processing. While farmers often understand the ability of compost & digestate to bring organic carbon to the soil and also calculate the economy against traditional fertiliser.
Large scale composting

Improving soil with compost and cover

Improving soil with compost and ground covers is easy, you can make your own compost. In fact, you may be throwing away the materials you need to make this valuable resource. As an alternative, you can purchase compost and soil conditioners in bags or by the truck load from dealers. This can get a little expensive, especially considering compost should be added each year to Improve the soil but it’s worth it.

Composting is simply the act of helping natural materials such as leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable scraps to break down. Composting methods can be grouped into two categories: passive or active. Passive composting methods allow nature to do most of the work, but take a lot longer to get a finished product. In passive composting, raw materials such as leaves, straw, grass clippings, and vegetable scraps are stacked into a free standing pile or placed inside a composting bin and allowed to break down on their own over the course of two to three years. This method produces good compost, just not very quickly.

Active composting can produce ready to use compost in as little as two months, but takes more work on your part. In active composting, raw materials are made into a pile similar to passive composting, but then the pile is turned every week to encourage rapid break down.

To build a compost heap, pile green and brown materials in 3”- 4” thick alternating layers in a free standing pile or inside a compost bin. Examples of brown materials include leaves, straw, newspapers, and wood chips. Green materials include vegetable scraps, grass clippings, plant debris, coffee grinds, and animal manure, but avoid pest waste, which can contain harmful bacteria. A few other things that should not be added to compost piles include meat and bone scraps, dairy products, grease or oil, perennial weed roots like Florida betony or dollarweed, and diseased plants, since the pile may not reach high enough temperatures to kill plant disease organisms.

Make sure to water each layer as you stack it so the finished pile has the moisture content of a damp sponge. Turn the pile every 5 to 7 days until you can no longer recognise any of the original materials because they have all broken down to a crumbly brown soil like consistency that has an earthy smell. This should take two to three months. To mix compost into the improving soil, spread a layer over the surface and then till in 150mm to 200mm deep.

COVER CROPS

Green manures are cover crops that are seeded directly into empty garden areas, allowed to grow for several weeks until they reach bloom stage, and are then tilled into the soil. Tilling crops into the soil adds nutrients and increases organic matter, and is much like growing compost directly.

 

READ MORE

Written By

N.C. Cooperative Extension

NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with
US federal, state and local governments, to form a strategic partnership
called the N.C. Cooperative Extension

 

 

Unlocking soil’s potential to mitigate global warming, improve crop yields and increase resilience to extreme weather.

Compost holds potential to slow global warming

By using compost, the land under our feet and the plant matter it contains could offset a significant amount of carbon emissions if managed properly.

More research is needed to unlock soil’s potential to mitigate global warming, improve crop yields and increase resilience to extreme weather.

Two published and overlapping papers Oct. 5 in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics and Global Change Biology, emphasizes the need for more research into how soil – if managed well – could mitigate a rapidly changing climate.

Slowing-global-warming


If you want to do something about global warming, look under your feet. Managed well, soil’s ability to trap carbon dioxide is potentially much greater than previously estimated, according to Stanford researchers who claim the resource could “significantly” offset increasing global emissions. They call for a reversal of federal cutbacks to related research programs to learn more about this valuable resource.

The work, published in two overlapping papers Oct. 5 in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics and Global Change Biology, emphasizes the need for more research into how soil – if managed well – could mitigate a rapidly changing climate.

“Dirt is not exciting to most people,” said Earth system science professor Rob Jackson, lead author of the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics article and co-author of the Global Change Biology paper. “But it is a no-risk climate solution with big co-benefits. Fostering soil health protects food security and builds resilience to droughts, floods and urbanization.”

Humble, yet mighty

Organic matter in soil, such as decomposing plant and animal residues, stores more carbon than do plants and the atmosphere combined. Unfortunately, the carbon in soil has been widely lost or degraded through land use changes and unsustainable forest and agricultural practices, fires, nitrogen deposition and other human activities. The greatest near-term threat comes from thawing permafrost in Earth’s northern reaches, which could release massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

Despite these risks, there is also great promise, according to Jackson and Jennifer Harden, a visiting scholar in Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and lead author of the Global Change Biology paper.

Improving how the land is managed could increase soil’s carbon storage enough to offset future carbon emissions from thawing permafrost, the researchers find. Among the possible approaches: reduced tillage, year-round livestock forage and compost application. Planting more perennial crops, instead of annuals, could store more carbon and reduce erosion by allowing roots to reach deeper into the ground.

Jackson, Harden and their colleagues also found that about 70 percent of all sequestered carbon in the top meter of soil is in lands directly affected by agriculture, grazing or forest management – an amount that surprised the authors.

“I think if beer bets were involved, we all would have lost,” Harden said of her co-authors.

Jackson and his co-authors found a number of other surprises in their analysis. For example, plant roots are five times more likely than leaves to turn into soil organic matter for the same mass of material. The study also provides the most complete estimate yet of carbon in peatland and permafrost – almost half of the world’s estimated soil carbon.

“Retaining and restoring soil organic matter helps farmers grow better crops, purifies our water and keeps the atmosphere cleaner,” said Jackson, the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Provostial Professor in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.

Stanford University, Stanford, California - Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

 

 

By Rob Jordan
October 5, 2017

READ MORE HERE

Richard Hawkes was working as an agronomist when he decided to grow a small trial patch of potatoes using compost

Using Compost to improve crop yields

Richard Hawkes was working as an agronomist when he decided to grow a small trial patch of potatoes using compost to improve crop yields on his family’s 56ha property at Boneo, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

Now that patch has grown into 16ha with seven varieties — about 80 per cent of which is sold through Sydney and Melbourne wholesale markets, with the remainder sold through a farmgate shop — in ­addition to their crops of carrots, spring onions, parsley and radish. From from next year they will lease an additional 6ha of land. Given the soil is sandy, Richard said he works hard to retain moisture and nutrients, with crop rotation key to high yields.

“A Compost spreader is an expensive piece of machinery
but in the long-term I believe it will pay for itself,
because we’ll have happy worms, grow better crops
and make more money,” Richard said.

An ideal two-yearly paddock rotation would start with a green-manure crop of broccoli. In the past a break crop has been caliente mustard, but this year Richard has leased land to broccoli growers, in order to get a harvestable crop that provides a boost to ­organic matter and breaks the weed cycle. Broccoli is grown for eight weeks, followed by potatoes, then carrots, spring onions, and radish, then repeated.

SOIL TESTING TIME

SOIL is tested annually for ­nutrition and an agronomist advises on soil needs. “As much as I’d love to be hands on, working as an agronomist, my role is now as a generalist.” With an annual average rainfall of 450mm, soil is constantly monitored for moisture, with solid set computer-controlled irrigation applying both bore water and class a ­recycled water from the Eastern Treatment Plant.  He said potato farming on sandy soil was a balance of irrigation and disease pressure — “every time you water you create a disease event, it’s a ­vicious cycle” — with small amounts of fungicide ­applied following irrigation.

 

Hawkes Farm Store is a family run business that sells produce grown on site, as well as products from local growers. The aim of the store is to bring together great produce from around the Peninsula.

 

 

 

READ MORE
About Hawkes Vegetables
Mornington Peninsula farmer Richard Hawkes has eyes on the future
SARAH HUDSON, The Weekly Times
October 17, 2017 11:00pm

Victorian Panmure dairy farmer Peter Moir

Victorian dairy farmers talk compost AUDIO

A growing number of dairy farmers in south west Victoria, including Panmure dairy farmer Peter Moir says he composts everything from manure to old hay. He has even composted the body of a dead cow. “It’s actually very good as far as odours go, but the two Labradors I’ve got there certainly enjoy something like that happening close to the house.” It took six months for the cow’s body to break down in the compost heap. “I like the idea too about the possibility of the improvement in our soil and farm health.”

READ MORE abc.net.au/news/rural

LISTEN abc.net.au/news/rural