Horticulture producers in the Mary River catchment have the opportunity to learn how to assess their soil from a soil chemistry ‘guru’, by attending the first in a series of workshops scheduled for the region.

Producers attending the first workshop in Amamoor on Wednesday 29 July, can expect to get their hands dirty as they work with Hort360 Facilitator Michelle Haase and Agronomist David Hall to use simple in-field soil assessment activities that can be easily applied on their own farm. Mr Hall will use a soil pit and hands-on activities to assist producers in learning how to determine their soil type, its water holding capacity, pH and other factors.

“Understanding your soil is crucial to get the best production out of your crops,” Ms Haase said.

Also at the workshop will be a presentation on mapping technologies and tools that can be applied in field to assist producers in getting a bird’s eye view of their farm and processes that are impacting production.

“We have established a demonstration site in Dagun, in partnership with CQUniversity and Verterra, to use advanced mapping tools and imagery, and intensive soil analyses. We will be visiting the demonstration site and hearing first hand from a researcher on the results, and the landholder on using Hort360,” added Ms Haase

Hort360 is a best management practice program designed for the horticulture industry, and an online tool which helps producers benchmark their farming and business practices.

“It’s an important tool and we’ve now launched the Hort360 Reef Certification program so that growers in Great Barrier Reef Catchments can become accredited for gaining business efficiencies, and demonstrating sustainability and environmental stewardship,” Hort360 Manager, Scott Wallace said.

The workshop series is an initiative of Growcom, the peak industry body for horticulture in Queensland, and is funded by the Queensland Government Reef Water Quality Program.

Registration is essential, as there will be some special provisions in place to accommodate social distancing and hygiene requirements due to COVID-19.

To register for the Understanding Soils Workshop on Wednesday 29 July at the Amamoor Hall, 35 Busby Street Amamoor, visit https://bit.ly/Amamoor or contact Hort360 BMP Facilitator Michelle Haase by phone 0428 586 890 or email mhaase@growcom.com.au