The following outcomes were achieved from group work carried out by attendees at an SRF Farmer Support & Application Day in Dandaragan, WA on the 15th Feb 2023. Attendees had been involved in an education day with Dr Christine Jones on Healthy Farming Pathways using diversity in pastures and crops on the 14th Feb. This day was intended to help farmers think through next steps in applying this new knowledge on their farms. The groups were challenged to come up with the questions they would need to ask to guide them to better decision making. And then they discussed the possibilities for approaching farming practices that would increase the above and below ground diversity.
- 15mins for choosing QUESTIONS &
- 15mins to only POSSIBILITIES.
1/ Increasing Species Diversity – Functional families / Weed replacers
Where are we starting?
What are the functional family groups?
What are we trying to change?
Why or how did we get here?
What are the limiting factors?
What is growing?
What are the indicator plants telling me?
What species could assist with non-wetting soils?
Will fungi (mycorrhizae fungi) speed this up?
What are aluminium tolerant plants?
What minerals are locked up?
Which plants can unlock them?
Are all plants within a plant family considered equal in value?
What is the right timing to plant?
Does seed diversity require coating / bio stimulant diversity?
Soil Tests (chem/bio)
Brix (purchase refractometer)
Seed Quality Enhancement:
Seed coating – Bio stimulants / Compost
Understanding what weeds are trying to tell us.
Functional Plant Groups:
Architecture – above (plants) and below ground (roots)
Cool / warm season
Annuals / Bi-annuals / Perennials
Not coated with chems?
How seed was grown?
2/ Biological Inputs / Inoculants – DIY / Off the shelf
How do you know the quality of your stimulants?
How do you increase the quality of your stimulants?
How do you know what stimulant is for what purpose?
Where do you start with bio stimulants?
How do I track what’s good for my soil?
How do I find a good soil test?
How do you interpret a soil test?
How do I keep plants growing with regards to a bio stimulant?
Apply direct to plants as a foliar application.
Microscopy course (DIY testing)
Reduces chemical use
3/ Building Carbon
How do we build soil carbon?
What is the value of soil carbon?
How does carbon affect climate change?
Why would we want carbon?
What is carbon?
How do we farm carbon?
How do we increase soil organic carbon?
What forms does carbon come in?
Will carbon capture and storage be viable?
Why is carbon important?
Should carbon be commodified?
How does carbon affect food?
How do we get carbon to stay longer?
How does SOC affect human health?
How do we measure carbon?
How do we use carbon?
How does carbon fit in farming?
How do we lose carbon?
How do farmers come to understand about carbon?
How does carbon get into or out of the ecosystem?
How does carbon cycle?
Are there different carbon cycles?
How do plants cycle carbon?
Can anything exist without carbon?
What colour is carbon?
Change farming system.
Set goals for carbon storage.
Paradigms systems / mindset
Foster life not death
Education awakening biodiversity.
Where the person is at – discovery process.
In the ground, on the ground.
? water more biologically active.
Multi species covers- various deep-rooted architecture.
Demonstrate – measure how it’s done
4/ Building Networks – Marketing / Resources / Community
Why do we want/need to connect?
Who do I want to connect with?
Where do I find them?
What mediums do I use?
How do I promote Regen Ag?
What is the motive?
What is the intention of building networks?
What are our values?
What source to use?
What are the current resources?
What are the self-organising and transformational opportunities?
Who will maintain the network?
Will a network contribute to going forward?
Who can help us?
Key speakers come to town providing an impetus to develop networks around likeminded issues.
Networks give untold space to talk positively.
Networks create community and education opportunities.
Networks expose common needs.
Networks can create safety in numbers.
Networks allow us to try something new and be open to change.
Commitment to meet regularly.
Buddy for support.
Upfront rules – you’re in or you’re out. Fit or not a fit.
Join SRF closed Facebook page “Farmers Who What to Farm More Regeneratively”.